In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, 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 to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating 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 a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.
Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.
Well, if I haven't seen you in my branch yet, then you don't know this is my book of the summer. If you are looking for the next book to carry you through your Hunger Games withdraw, this is it. I don't know exactly what it is about this book that drew me in, but I read every single one of the 487 pages of this book as if it was written with invisible ink and may disappear before I could finish it. I devoured this book.
When you first meet Beatrice, you go with her through her decision to change factions and really go against everything she has every known. For a sixteen year old girl, that's pretty brave. Once she joins Dauntless, boy, do the punches come...and, I do mean punches in the literal sense. Dauntless makes you fight to be part of the faction. You have to earn your way - not just choose your way. It's nitty and gritty. Tris must use all of her smarts and strength to survive this strange world she has chosen. Especially when she finds out what it truly means to be Divergent. This she will have to hide from both friends and enemies. It could get her killed. As if surviving Dauntless wasn't enough, Tris discovers something sinister going on between the leaders of two factions that could lead to horrible repercussions for Dauntless and all factions if not stopped.
If you're looking for a book to keep you sitting on the edge of your seat, hoping for the best - but fearing the worst, reading as fast as you can so you can find out what happens next, then this is the book for you. Divergent may actually be my favorite book of 2011 so far, and I'm glad to recommend it to any teen who is looking for a great read!
*reviewed by Joy YA Librarian @ Ouachita Valley Branch