Big thanks to Paper Lantern Lit for giving me this ARC book!
Release Day: May 3rd, 2011
Publisher: Harper Collins/ Katherine Tegen Books
In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society has been divided into five fractions, 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 fraction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she 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 her life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's 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 save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.
Honestly, I was very lucky to receive an ARC copy of this book since I was dying to read it! Out of all the dystopian books I've read in the past, I have to say that DIVERGENT is probably one of my top favourites of all-time - 1) because it's a little different to what's out there at the moment, and 2) because there is some gun action, and finally, 3) because there's a hot guy waiting inside this really cool debut book.
The only thing that I was confused about, was that people compared this to the Hunger Games and The Matrix. I can definitely see The Matrix in this book but as for the Hunger Games . . . I couldn't see the similarities. While I still think the Hunger Games is better, but DIVERGENT follows it close behind!
Moving on with the story, I love the world that Veronica Roth has created . . . what with these five different fractions that are dedicated to five different virtues. A very clever idea indeed. And at the center of this world is Beatrice Prior, or as she renames herself . . . Tris. Before the whole story evolves into chaos, at the beginning Beatrice must take her aptitude test which will determine a result, but ultimately she must decide which fraction she should belong in: Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and/or Erudite (the intelligent). But there is also another, one that only a few know about and one that is considered very dangerous to the five fractioned society . . . a Divergent.
Without giving too much away, since this book hasn't been released yet, I will say that whatever fraction Beatrice/Tris chooses is where the entire novel setting will be set out in. And since Beatrice chooses an entirely different fraction from her families fraction - the one she currently lives in along with her parents and brother - she is then pulled into a crazy new world where she must adapt to the vastly of rules that her new fraction has set out for her and her fellow initiates, one that prepares her for a shocking new way of life. I mean that literally.
What I loved most about DIVERGENT is Tris's new fraction. The whole reality of it is crazy and terribly exciting, all that is very confronting and almost dangerous. Just what I like. Each fraction is moulded together with each virtue's traits, and even the clothing's colour are strictly contained to one fraction to the next. Either way, this world that Tris is surrounded with makes her always stand on her toes, and soon enough she quickly learns how to toughen up. But then this leads me to her love interest, FOUR!!!! He definitely ranks at the top five of my favourite fictional boys! He's strong all the way through and the whole relationship between him and Beatrice seemed real and honest, unlike most YA books. They both have a balance with each other, they know exactly when to support each other and when to also let them do what they do best . . . recognizing their own strengths and weaknesses. They were pretty awesome, more so FOUR!!!!
My only complaint of the book is that the MAIN ACTION happens after the 400th page and when people said it was the next "Hunger Games", I was left disappointed with that comment. While the heroine is strong like Katniss and there are moments of violence, but I can't really see the Hunger Games inside this particular story other than a bit of violence. Despite that, Veronica Roth has done an amazing job with her debut book and I'm sure a lot of people will be excited to grab their hands on a copy of DIVERGENT!
I was going to give the book four stars, but considering the fast-paced-and-addictive ending, five stars seemed more than fair! For those who haven't read it, be sure to grab yourself a copy in May and for those who've been lucky enough to read ARC versions of the book, guess you already know about the movie deal with Summit! Can't for that and DIVERGENT's sequel that is due out sometime next year in 2012!