Divergent by Veronica Roth was published April 25, 2011 and has been a big hit among it’s fans. This is one of the first novels Veronica has written and she did a great portion of it while she was still in college. In 2014, Divergent will become a movie directed by Neil Burger, starring Shailene Woodley, who is best known for her work as, Amy from The Secret Life of the American Teenager, as Beatrice Prior. This is the first book of the Divergent Trilogy including Insurgent and Allegiant that is set to come out this October. The fans can not wait for the 3rd and final book or for the first movie.
In this book, you meet Beatrice Prior, who is a member of the faction, Abnegation. The day she took the test that is designed to help her choose her faction, She gets divergent results, or multiple factions choices that would work for her. At the ceremony, she is faced with staying with her own faction or to go to Dauntless. At the last second, she chooses Dauntless and changes her name to Tris. She then faces initiation which is like a series of tests that determine whether she is ‘dauntless material.’ Tris quickly meets Four and they fall in love with each other and she also discovers that Four is Divergent like herself. She has to be careful though because being Divergent is dangerous. For the final initiation test, Tris is forced to face all of her fears in a simulation and the average number of fears is 14 and but the least number of fears is held by Four, with only four fears. She successfully becomes a Dauntless member but soon after her acceptance, the whole of Dauntless faction is put under a simulation by the Erudite to attack Abnegation, Tris’s old faction. What happens next is up to you to discover because I don’t want to give too much away.
The main character in this book is Beatrice, or Tris Prior previously from Abnegation but after coming up as Divergent, chooses Dauntless where she has to go through the multiple stages of initiation. Before she starts initiation though, she says, “A new place, a new name. I can be remade here.” And she did by changing her name to Tris, getting tattoos and wearing make-up, something she would never do as a member of abnegation. It shows that Tris is finally realizing that she has to be Dauntless now and leave Abnegation behind. Tris is 16 and has a very child-like structure and she is very self-conscious of her herself. She and Four fall in love, but keep it secret until after initiation. Then, Four who is also Divergent and a previous member of Abnegation, is the instructor of Tris’s initiation. He was the first person to ever transfer from Abnegation to Dauntless and only has four fears, hence the name Four. As an initiate, he comes in first but chooses to take a guard position instead a position of power, allowing Eric to take a leading role. Eric is the Dauntless leader who believes in ‘fight until the death’ and whose view constantly clash with Fours beliefs that they should value all of the factions beliefs. Christina is a former Candor and on the first day of initiation, she helps Tris into the moving train. She really encourages Tris to try new things and get more into what Dauntless really is. Al is also a former Candor who only joined Dauntless to please his father. He immediately has a crush on Tris but is shot down by her. When she comes in first in the second phase of initiation, Al Joins Peter and his friends to kill Tris, but they fail when Four comes and puts Drew in the hospital. Peter is also from Candor, but is always insolent and odious towards other people. When someone gets in his way, he tries will all of his mite to tae them out. Peter terrorizes Tris with her past life and what is becoming of it. These are the more prominent characters but there are many others who are just as important.
The main conflict in this book is between Tris and the Erudite leader Jeanine Matthews. Erudite and Abnegation had been in conflict for a long time becasue Abnegation had all of the political power and the Erudite want the power they have, and when they attack Abnegation with her new faction, Dauntless, that is the last straw. Therefore, this is both and society vs. society and person vs. person conflict. My favorite character is Tris, not only because she is the main character, but because she is also very unique and I feel that I can connect with her on some level. For starters, she is Divergent which makes her different but I thought it took a lot of guts for her to leave her old faction and go into one that she was not very familiar with. I also admire how she amassed enough determination to prove her worth and how strong she is on the inside. I think what readers should take away from this book is to not be afraid to be yourself and make decisions for yourself no matter what others say about it. You never know, you may think you are good at what you do but you might be better at something you have never tried before. It is also important that you value your decisions and stick with them because if you regret a decision, you will never be able to move on.
The character I could relate to was Tris. We have both been in situations where we had to make a big choice that could change our lives and we have also both been uncertain about soem major and minor things. Tris and I are both self-conscious of ourselves al well. One thing the both of us have faced is a love hate relationship with our brothers. Tris’s brother is less than a year older than her so they are about the same age and I have a twin. Both of our brothers think they are right all of the time and try to be helpful but fail in doing so sometimes. We both have also done a lot of volunteer work because of our parents and on our own. A big similarity between us is that we have both felt like we didn’t belong somewhere and we both did something about it. It is not a lot of similarity but it was enough for me to have a connection.
I think the book is spectacular! This is the only book that I have been able to read more than once other than short children's books. The strengths of this book include the fact that it is a great story and the characters are so creative and relatable. This makes the book easier to get into. This book also really flows easily from one scene to the next which I find comforting in a book. I do not think I can pinpoint a weakness in this book, as a result, I feel Veronica Roth is a very adept writer. If I was given the opportunity to change any scene in this book, I wouldn’t do it. Again, I thought it was very well written book and also that it is perfect just the way it is.
I would definitely recommend this book to other people. It is a lot like the Hunger Games series in the post-apocalyptic aspect and the different sections of society. However, this book has a totally different twist that is similar to the Matched series. The ideas of these books makes Divergent what it is. It is not all sappy and love filled but not fraught with action and gore either, but a perfect combination of the two. I think kids and adults alike, would appreciate this book and the story it tells.