I finally got my hands on the Divergent Series by Veronica Roth and to start all I can say is WOW!!! This first novel blew me away! It was amazing! In this book, you meet the main character, Beatrice Prior, who lives in a dystopian Chicago that is separated in factions, five factions to be exact. These factions are Candor, where the people value and live by the virtue of honesty; Abnegation, where the selfless live; Dauntless, which houses the brave; Amity, which are the peacemakers; and Erudite, who value intelligence above all else. Every year, all of the sixteen year olds have to make a selection and decide which faction they wish to live in and therefore dedicate their whole lives to. If you choose the faction you have grown up in then you can continue to live with your family, but if you choose otherwise, then you must give up your family for what you believe. Beatrice needs to decide if she should stay with her family or give into who she really is. On the appointed day her choice surprises not only her family, but also herself.
The book then takes you into the world of initiation into the faction of her choosing. Since this is the beginning of her life now, she decides that she needs a new name, Tris. She finds a new group of people she wants to call her friends, but is struggling with whether they really like her or if they are just using her. She also finds herself attracted to an older boy, whom she’s not sure if he shares her desires; which can be fascinating yet frustrating all at the same time. Tris also is keeping a secret about herself hidden from everyone, even those closest to her, because the truth could be tragic for her. During initiation into her chosen faction she also learns a secret that could jeopardize everyone she has ever loved, and has to decide whether she should conform or follow her true self to help those she loves, no matter the cost.
Veronica Roth is an amazing writer. The plot is fast-paced and unpredictable. I never knew what I was going to find on the next page, and therefore just had to keep reading to find out. It is definitely a page turner. Even within the exciting world of Tris, Roth manages to throw in some good life lessons. Overall this story starts out as a coming of age book, where Beatrice (Tris) has to make a big decision at the young age of sixteen that will affect the rest of her life. She needs to know enough about herself and look deep within to find out what virtues she possesses and whether that is worth leaving her family and all she has ever known. Tris deals with internal struggles throughout the book, even after she chooses her faction, as she tries to figure out who she really is, her true self-identity. Tris comes to realize what her strengths and weaknesses are, and are surprised to find certain strengths she never thought she had. I also love the romance story that Roth has weaved into the book. The whole time you are wondering what is going to happen and what the subtle, or not so subtle, tips are that the boy is giving her. Is he trying to tell her something more? Help her? Warn her?
I can’t wait to dive into the second book, Insurgent. If you are a fan of the Hunger Games, then I suggest you pick up this series and dive into Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago.