Monday, September 1, 2014

Book Review: Divergent

by Lil' Leia 

Hi guys! Today I will be reviewing “Divergent” by Veronica Roth! OK, first I will tell you why I am doing this at this specific time. The reason is, the movie, starring Shailene Woodley and Theo James, will be released on DVD on Tuesday! Yay!  Anyways, time to focus on the actual review. If you’ve been living under a rock and don’t know what Divergent is (besides it being a book and movie), it’s a story set in dystopian Chicago far into the future, where society is divided into five factions based on human virtues:  Amity (the peaceful and kind), Erudite (the intelligent), Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), and Dauntless (the brave and daring). Every year, the 16 year olds take an aptitude test that says which faction he/she is best suited for, but they don’t all receive one conclusive response, some receive multiple, in which case the person is called Divergent and has to keep that fact secret because the city considers it dangerous. The very next day, they have to choose (regardless of their test result) at the Choosing Ceremony whether to remain in their birth faction and stay with their family, or transfer to another faction and leave their families forever regardless of their test result. If they fail the initiation process for their faction, they become factionless and live the rest of their lives on the street in poverty.



Beatrice and Caleb Prior are the 16 year old son and daughter of a high ranking government official from Abnegation. Since they are 16, they can choose whether to stay in their own faction or leave and join another one, but first have to take an aptitude test to see in which faction they belong in. Beatrice took her test and her test results showed she was Divergent, a dangerous status that she must keep secret. As an Abnegation, she is supposed to be selfless. She has to care for the needs of others before herself as part of her selflessness. At the Choosing Ceremony, Caleb chooses to transfer to Erudite, but Beatrice is torn between Abnegation and Dauntless. She takes a knife, cuts into her hand, and lets the drops of blood fall to the flaming coals of the Dauntless (Editor’s note of no importance: EXCUSE ME, WHAT?!). Beatrice meets Christina, Will, and Al on the way to the Dauntless compound and they quickly become friends, but she also meets some enemies and rivals, named Peter, Molly, and Drew. Beatrice, who shortens her name to Tris, meets Four/Tobias, her instructor, who also happened to be an Abnegation transfer 2 years before her. Before she becomes a full-fledged member, she must pass through simulations and combat training. The top 10 initiates become members, the rest are factionless. At the end of initiation, Tris comes in 1st place, and becomes a member of the Dauntless along with Will and Christina. Then every Dauntless member is injected with a serum that Dauntless leaders say is a tracker in case anyone goes missing, but in reality it’s a simulation serum that makes her fellow members trek to Abnegation headquarters and plan war. Since she is Divergent, the serum doesn't even affect her. She is soon noticed and dragged to Erudite (who were making war plans against Abnegation and were using Dauntless as an army) headquarters but later escapes to Amity.                                                                                

That is the basic plot for those of you who haven’t read the book but want or need a more detailed description than the ones given in bookstores and websites. That said, let’s get on to the review! 

So the book starts out a little slow, but it’s for the good of the book because it gradually progresses from that at the beginning to being a little bit fast at the end, and it lets the author build up a good structure for the book, if you know what I mean. I like Veronica Roth’s writing style, for the reasons you can see right above ;).  I also really like how the characters and plot are developed. And I can relate to Tris’s struggle to understand who she is, which also can factor in XD. In short, I LOVED the book, and I hope you do too.  I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. See ya later this week with the movie review!

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