Date Published: April 25, 2011
Genre: Young Adult Fiction / Futuristic Fiction
In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.
This was another case of my personal quirk of having to read a book before the movie comes out. In all honesty, I don't know if I would have read this book otherwise.
The good news is that I think this will make a good movie. It has action and romance, which pretty much is needed for a mainstream blockbuster. It appeals to different age groups and it ends in a cliffhanger.
The bad news is that I felt the book was, well, a bit lacking. Most of the fault falls in the writing. The plot was interesting enough, but I don't feel that Roth clearly expressed what she wanted for most of the book. Frankly, the whole concept of the different factions and why they had them and how the society operated was just muddled. The writing just seemed rushed to me and it kept me from really getting into the book.
I will see the movie, eventually (I'm not sure it would be worth my getting a babysitter and then buying a ticket, so I might wait until it comes out on DVD). And I am interested, but not compelled, to read the next book. But, I'm probably a pickier reader than most and many readers probably won't have the same issues that I do with the writing.
The bottom line is that if you are looking for an action-packed, lighter read with a dystopian twist, Divergent would be a good choice.
I was not solicited for this review and I received no compensation for this post.