Summary:Beatrice "Tris" Prior has reached the fateful age of sixteen, the stage at which teenagers in Veronica Roth's dystopian Chicago must select which of five factions to join for life. Each faction represents a virtue: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite. To the surprise of herself and her selfless Abnegation family, she chooses Dauntless, the path of courage. Her choice exposes her to the demanding, violent initiation rites of this group, but it also threatens to expose a personal secret that could place in mortal danger. Veronica Roth's young adult Divergent trilogy launches with a captivating adventure about love and loyalty playing out under most extreme circumstances.
This book was 486 pages long.
This book was NOT long enough.
Seriously. Every moment of this book was pure momentum. It made me want more and more from the very first page. And from the first page, Roth kept dishing it out. I couldn't stop and I didn't want to.
I am completely and utterly in love with Veronica Roth's distopian society. Not just the writing of it, but what it is. Everyone lives in one of five factions, or segments, of society. Each of these factions having their own way of life based on a character trait that they feel is the most important one to live by. It is virtue in its most extreme manifestation. A virtue, that at age 16, a member of society must figure out where they belong.
The whole premise of it is so fascinating to me. The idea that what you believe and how you are able to process life is where you belong. It sounds comforting in a way. It also sounds scary in a way. Whatever faction you choose - that is where you belong and you should never have to question your place in society after you join them. They are supposed to take care of you, you are supposed to be given a role to contribute to society. It makes life sound easy. The society even goes so far as to have the motto "Faction over blood." You belong in a faction even more than you belong in a family - afterall, your family may not agree with the same lifestyle as you.
But as much as the ideals of the factions - of giving everyone a place in society, of making everyone feel like they fit in somewhere - appealed to me at first, Veronica Roth's main character "Tris" kept showing me how the society doesn't work. Because Tris is Divergent she could fit into more than one faction. It's a dangerous thing. Tris must find out why it's dangerous but the more she finds out, the more we realise why the society doesn't work.
This is just the beginning. Throughout the book Roth keeps throwing more and more at us. A scary leader, a possible love interest for Tris, tryouts and training, friends, enemies, lots of jumping off tall buildings and walking around dangerous places, characters that need to face their fears, conspiracies, tattoos everywhere, backstabbing, amazing technology, and probably a hundred other things I'm forgetting at the moment.
The world may be "dystopian" but it's a complicated one. Not just a break down of society, but beyond that, a whole new society. I loved having the insiders look at The Dauntless faction from Beatrice's fresh new eyes and hope to see much more of the other factions in the next two series books.
My enthusiasm for this book tops almost every other young adult book I've read this year - matching only Matched by Ally Condie and Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. It's fast paced, had me from the beginning, there was something magical about it from the first page, and is filled to the brim with discussion worthy, thought provoking ideas.
Way to go Veronica! Now, please magically insert Insurgent into my hands - I'm waiting...:)
Disclaimer:I bought my copy.