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Divergent: 1 Hardcover – 3 May 2011
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"You'll be up all night with Divergent, a brainy thrill-ride of a novel."--BookPage
From the Back Cover
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.
- ASIN : 0062024027
- Publisher : Katherine Tegen Books; 1st edition (3 May 2011)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 496 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780062024022
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062024022
- Reading age : 14 - 17 years
- Dimensions : 21.87 x 14.3 x 3.86 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 966,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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However, I have to say I loved the world of Divergent – how this dystopian world is there without explanation. There is no info-dumping of how the world came to be, or what exactly is going on, the reader finds out as our protagonist (Tris) does. And even then, given her naive innocence, protected upbringing and rules regarding her behavior facts are a little hard to come by. But it makes enthralling and realistic reading.
There are hints at what happened and the reason for introducing factions as a way of life – but it is all from a small collection of points of view interpreted by Tris. I’m eager to see if she discovers a deeper and darker truth as the series develops.
You get a real sense of Tris’ intelligence, she keeps a lot to herself and is a critical observer as well as exhibiting moments of madness and dare-devil-ism… I grew to love her as she broke out of her meek upbringing to almost Amazonian stature. It made her relatable as we grew with her on this journey and was not simply gifted with special talents – she fought and earned every skill in her arsenal.
While the book jumped around a bit in location, that I felt unnecessary, as it was somewhat distracting, it did manifest a real sense of Tris not knowing what is going on, but aware of the different layers of intrigue and political machinations. Again something I’m very interested to see play out in the next installments.
Divergent develops and explores much of the cast expertly to help build the world and socio-political landscape. I’d have to say the downfall for me, was that many of the questions I had were not answered – but it is a pilot novel in a series. So I guess a little patience with weather my curiosity.
A relatively fast read with great pacing… you won’t get bored with this book. If you liked elements in The Hunger Games and The Giver then you have to give this book a shot. Not overly surprising and fairly predictable but highly entertaining.
Top reviews from other countries
The induction creates the values and behaviours necessary to reinforce group mentality. Those who do not succeed, or conform, are factionless. This is portrayed as a fate worse than death, as they live outside the bounds of a civilised society. Again a little like Brave New World, a place outside of the compound filled with savages.
It is interesting that the author has chosen 16 years of age as the time of choice. An age in the UK where students finish compulsory education. A stage which they are also still pliable and open to new ideas and influences.
Like most YA novels it is written in the first person from Beatrice’s point of view and it is though her interactions that we learn about the rest of the characters. We learn a lot about Peter through his shocking behaviour and the way he treats Beatrice. Equally we love and respect Four for his ability as a leader and his care and respect for Beatrice. Four’s role is also contrasted with Eric and we discover that Four is the more able despite Eric’s seniority and obvious resentment.
This book is a great example of groups, motifs and team dynamics and how these are woven together. The first person narrative, like the Hunger Games, is relational and exposes the other characters through their words and actions. I look forward to reading the rest of the books in the series.
Divergent ends with Tris thinking of life beyond a faction, yet insurgent is so much more than this. She still clings to Dauntless as her faction of choice, but she also has to recognise that she is divergent with all the risks associated with this.
We discover much more about the other factions in this book, starting with Amity, where they flee to first. Erudite by their nature hold the knowledge of all the faction as well as a secret they would prefer to see destroyed than fall into the wrong hands. It is this secret that drives the story forward as individuals set aside their factions to work together. The reader also sees the strain this puts on Tris and Tobias’s relationship as he works with this father and is reconciled to his mother.
The divergent are much more important in this book than the previous one and we learn that there are more members of this group than Tris may have imagined. They are certainly a target for the Erudite and their Dauntless allies. From a political perspective they are the people who think across party lines. This can also be seen in the way Dauntless splits with some siding with Erudite, most notably Eric and those who don’t. Even peace loving, neutral Amity suffers a crisis amongst its members with some needing to fight rather than stay neutral.
As the title suggests there is more fighting, violence and torture in this book, but I love the ending. The idea that the divergent are the future and that factions were only a temporary solution to restore order from chaos. I look forward to reading the next book.
Its an interesting angle to take, maybe a bit limited in scope but in the case of this novel it does help show the crossover of these traits and the effect it has on the particular individuals in the book.
The protagonist is in my opinion rather annoying, I can't put my finger on why she annoys me, I think it has something to do with the fact she believes she's oh so special.... But that's just me. I also have a bit of a problem with the fact that the bad guys *spoiler* are supposed to be the guys who favour intelligence, yet in this case are scared of growth.... A counter to intelligence, again in my opinion.....
Anyway, good book, worth the read if you got time and want a nice easy read.
It is written in a very simple style, almost as though the narrator is speaking aloud. This does mean that Divergent will be a very accessible novel to read, even for those who maybe haven't yet acquired stellar reading skills.
Divergent is the first book of a trilogy - presumably, all following the adventures of unlikely heroine, Beatrice Prior - or Tris. It is set among the poisoned ruins of a rusty post-apocalyptic world. The city she inhabits - apparently Chicago - is full of dilapidated railways and skyscrapers and is surrounded by mud and marshes rather than lakes. At various points Tris wonders whether these lakes and surrounding countryside could be reclaimed, but this is not within the scope of this ferociously-paced debut novel.
At 16, this girl, still with the body of a child, is poised to make the first adult decisions of her life. The trouble is, that some of these may mean that she will have to say goodbye to her family and everything she has known, for good. Then, during her assessment, intended to determine where her future, she finds herself with another problem. She is a Divergent. And that means she could be killed if this is ever found out.....
This is a future world where humanity is divided up into five castes, or rather, factions - well six actually, as there is a subgroup of dispossessed and unemployable individuals who are factionless. Tris starts out as a demure Abegnate, who are conditioned always to put the needs for others before their own. Then there are the honest Candors, the intelligentsia, known as Erudite, the peace-making Amity and finally the thrill-seeking Dauntless, who value courage.
Each Faction is designed to instil conditioned virtues intended to correct the human evils responsible for war and social discord. Now only Abegnators may be in positions in power, because being devoid of ego, they are least likely to be corrupted by it.
Sounds like a good system and not really dystopic at all. But the worm of human evil within the apple is beginning to turn within some Factions.
Though long, this novel does not seen to flesh out the details of this future social order, nor what lead to it, nearly as much as readers such as myself might have wished for. What it does do, and with great efficiency, is to create a compulsive page-turner as this Tris negotiates the brutal combat training involved in her initiation into the warrior caste and then the traumatic mind simulations, designed to confront the initiates with their deepest fears to they can overcome these. It is all very dog-eat-dog as this is a process of ruthless elimination and is far removed from the Abegnation way of life as could be imagined.
Divergence includes a love interest too, who may or may not have secrets of his own to protect. The relationships does seem rather complicated by the fact that he is supposed to be one of her mentors.
Tris ruminates at times whether or not the training truly fosters truly courage in its candidates or whether her initiation isn't more to do with bullying. She certainly seems to end up becoming capable of acts of cruel violence herself, which may not endear hr as a heroine to some. Overall, this is a precipitously savage tale and heads do roll, especially at the end. Still - thus is supposed to be a dystopia and our heroine may have a destiny beyond what she already knows. Either way that may not much bother the adrenaline-fuelled kids who may lap this up, though.
Most young people will be confronted with the question on how far to accept or deny what they have grown up with, and maybe risking rejection from the culture that has fostered them so far, which us maybe why novels such as these address so well these angsts. It will be interesting to see how Tris's understanding of the world she lives in develops from here - if she can survive long enough to do so.
Divergent probably breaks a lot of the accepted rules on pacing, and possibly even with regard to 'info dumping' but it woks because the author and readers are at play in a fantasy world, where a lot of words are required to set each new scene and stage. Also, the book is part one in a trilogy so the story arc will span right across the three which creates additional time to dally. That said, there is still a proper story with a beginning, middle and end, although it is clear the further instalments of the trilogy cannot be read as stand alone books.
I almost don't know what I want to say about it, except I found myself caught up in the world and really enjoying it. I cared less for the more dramatic parts as some of them read in a choreographed way and were a little telling but, for me, so much of the strength of this story lies in the rich detail of an imagined world that I will forgive almost anything else. The city becomes a character in its own right - a place I'd visit if it weren't quite so dangerous to be there.
The blossoming romance between the main characters was very sweet, and I hope they make their way through the following two books unscathed. I stumbled across a couple of things I didn't like, or that seemed unlikely - such as when Tris switched to calling Four by his real name with little second thought. This should have been more difficult for her (as it was for me) and I also found Tris borderline unlikeable at times. She acted both as a selfish child, and therefore a possibly believable naive sixteen-year-old but she also conformed to that richly mined trope of the orphaned (if not dead, parents for this trope are removed from the child by some other means) child in an adult world whom adults defer to for leadership decisions. A lot of the characters in the story are stereotypes, or tropes, but there are two further books to further define them and round them out, so I am happy for now.
I am happy to be able to move straight on to book two in the Trilogy (Insurgent) and learn some more about the world, and maybe even get some of my unanswered questions taken care of.
I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley from the publisher in return for an honest review.