(Side note: Hell yeah! I did it!)
Divergent is the 9287365th young adult dystopian novel I’ve read this year. Its premise, in short: Beatrice Prior lives in dystopian Chicago, and society has been divided into five factions. Each faction values one specific trait over all others: Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). Each year, 16-year-olds are given an assessment and chose which faction they will belong to. Beatrice is given her assessment, and finds out she is “divergent” — and is told in no uncertain terms by her assessor to keep that a secret. Beatrice decides that she no longer wants to live in Abnegation, but in Dauntless, and so begins a grueling initiation process that involves pain, fear, suffering, and immense amounts of bravery. Of course, this is a dystopian novel, so something goes wrong, and when it does, Tris (as she renames herself) nearly ends up dead.
Riding on the tailcoats of The Hunger Games, this book is different enough to be enjoyable. It’s still got that Games-esque twist (the selection of factions and resulting initiation process compared to the hunger games) to keep the plot action-packed. I really loved Tris’ interaction with the rest of her family, and the development of friends in a place where it’s hard to trust anyone. For kids and readers who enjoy books like this, I would highly recommend it.
Overall Rating: 8/10