Reading level: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction/Dystopian
Size: 496 pages
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: May 3, 2011
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Divergent trilogy
Source: ARC through Amazon Vine
Rating: 5/5 stars
I got an advanced reading copy of this book through the Amazon Vine program. I had heard wonderful things about this novel and was very excited to read it. It ended up being an absolutely wonderful book. It grabbed me from the first sentence and didn’t let go until the end. Roth builds an interesting and engaging world, with wonderful characters, and a fast-moving plot that pulls the reader in quickly.
Beatrice lives in a future world where humanity has been divided into five factions to ensure survival of the human race. They are Abnegation (selfless and serve others before themselves), Candor (lawmakers and always honest), Amity (people who are friendly and peaceful), Erudites (people who are smart and study a lot), and Dauntless (protectors and warriors). Beatrice has been raised in Abnegation and is used to always dressing in grey and never being able to look in a mirror, but sometimes she has trouble being completely selfless.
On the day she turns sixteen it is time for her to take her exam and find out which faction she is best fit for. But something goes wrong, she is different, she is Divergent. Now it is up to her to choose without any sort of guidance; will she choose Abnegation and stay with her family? Or will she choose Dauntless the place she truly feels she will fit in? As she makes her choice and her story continues Tris (Beatrice) finds out that being Convergent is more dangerous than she thought
This book drew me in right from the first page. Beatrice is a wonderful character, she has valid concerns, is realistic, and is tough enough to try and stay true to herself. The characters she meets up with in her faction are also very interesting. All of them have their own stories and fears. The boy she ends up spending a lot of time with, Four, is not only fairly swoon-worthy…but is just in general very interesting and very tough.
The world Roth has created is unique, intriguing, and utterly engaging. It is a supposed utopia on the edge of collapse. As with most dystopians things on the surface appear hunky dory…then as the reader learns more we realize that things underneath are not right at all.
There are a ton of action scenes and that coupled with the wonderful plot really propel the reader forward. At first it seems like that book is going to be about Tris’s training in her faction, but then the plot continues to reveal more and more surprises. The climax of this book is truly outstanding and heartbreaking and Roth doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to putting our beloved characters through the wringer.
The ending is well done but leaves the reader desperately wanting to know what will happen next. It is well wrapped up, but you can just tell there is so much more of this story to be told. Roth’s writing style is incredibly readable and engaging and I adored it.
Overall I just can’t say enough fantastic things about this book. I loved the world, the characters, the plot, and the writing style. There really wasn’t anything here that I can complain about it was just all so well done. If you love YA dystopias you have to give this a try. If you loved The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins or enjoyed Matched by Ally Condie, check this out. I absolutely cannot wait to pick up the next book in the series.