“One choice can transform you.”
Divergent is the first book in Veronica Roth’s dystopian trilogy, which is followed by Insurgent and Allegiant.
This book was all kinds of incredible. I knew Divergent was going to be special as soon as I read the synopsis.
And I was right.
I love this unique world that Veronica Roth has created. The idea of having five factions, and dividing people up into each faction based on where their strengths lie, is brilliant. I loved reading about each faction and trying to decide which one I’d fit into. (By the end, I decided that I’d definitely pick Dauntless, by the way! Because fear holds us back, fear sucks.)
In Divergent, our protagonist, Beatrice Prior, goes through such a transformation and so much self-discovery that she actually changes her name.
Beatrice was a girl I saw in stolen moments at the mirror, who kept quiet at the dinner table. This is someone whose eyes claim mine and don’t release me; this is Tris.
Though Tris was born in the faction Abnegation, she chooses to transfer to Dauntless, which means she will have to let go of any fears she may have, as the Dauntless faction is dedicated to fearlessness, courage, and bravery. They loathe cowardice.
We believe that cowardice is to blame for the world’s injustices. We believe that peace is hard-won, that sometimes it is necessary to fight for peace.
During Tris’s Dauntless initiation, she meets Four. He’s her instructor. It’s the beginning of something beautiful. He’s strict, but compassionate; she’s unsure, but brave. The two are able to help one another overcome the fears they have lurking deep within themselves. Separately, they are strong. Together, they are fearless.
I loved getting to see Tris grow throughout this book. Seeing her shed her old self and transform into this courageous, strong-minded, almost unaffected girl, was inspiring in a lot of ways. Tris is not a weak character by any means, but she doesn’t go over the top trying to prove she’s her strength or try too hard to be bad ass.
In fairness, knowing how this series ends (with the final book, Allegiant), I respect and admire Tris that much more. But this isn’t an Allegiant review, so I’ll try to keep on track. Sorry.
I highly recommend this entire series to anyone looking to step into a world nothing like our own, someone who wants something unique, action-packed and inspiring.
People I DO NOT recommend this book to:
Folks who’ve read The Hunger Games and saw how insanely popular it became, and now feel the need to say that every. single. dystopian novel is “copying” it. Comparing books is totally fair game as it helps give curious readers a small idea of what a book is about, but it gets old seeing reviews saying one book copied another, and therefore “sucks. ” I really loathe book reviews where the reviewer basically compares every element from one book to the most successful book in that same genre. (Back in the day I remember when I couldn’t read through book reviews on Goodreads without seeing loads of comments along the lines of, “This is trying to be Twilight,” or, “This is basically just Twilight with different characters.” The best ones I’ve ever seen were the ones that said The Hunger Games copied Twilight, when obviously the two books are nothing alike—like at all.
This is becoming too ranty. Sorry. I’ll just leave that there though, because it’s how I feel. Just take a book for what it is and praise it for its differences rather than trying to find similarities between it and the most popular book in that same genre.
If you’re the type of reader who can see each story and world for what it is, and you can push aside the most popular series and step into a different one and thoroughly enjoy it, then you might just fall a little bit in love with the Divergent series. It has done very well for itself, and I think all of Veronica Roth’s success is deserved. Plus, I love Tris Prior—she’s hands-down one of my favorite protagonists of all time.