Book Review: Divergent

 

“Divergent” is a dystopian novel full of action, bravery and a focus on the fear of being different.

Dystopian novels have recently been a major phenomenon, and while it is great to have an abundance of people reading the subgenre, it also means there is a lot of crud to pick through before finding a decent read.

“Divergent,” however, has found itself a favored place on my list of good reads. In fact, I read “Divergent” – all 500 pages of it – in just one night, only a few hours. It’s that addictive.

Review by Abrielle Backhaus, Arts & Rec Editor

Review by Abrielle Backhaus,
Arts & Rec Editor

The plot has many twists and left me continually guessing what would  happen next.

In a future version of Chicago, after freeing itself from the threshold of apocalypse, society has split into five factions that endorse and live by a single core value.

The protagonist of the story, Beatrice Prior, was born into an Abnegation family and struggled to uphold the faction’s morals. Abnegation formed because they believed selfish greed was the reason for the world’s demise and swore to remain selfless and only serve the needs of others.

Unwilling to be dressed in drab gray clothing and constantly serve others, Beatrice knew her selfish ways were not of Abnegation values.

At 16, all youth are required to take a test to determine the faction to which they belong.

Beatrice’s test results are inconclusive, meaning something powerful and rare, she is Divergent, and is able to decide which faction she will spend the rest of her life in. Choosing to be Dauntless and leave her Abnegation roots for the faction of the courageous, she finds that with only 10 spots available at the initiation process, she will have to work hard to prove her worth.

Through the brutal initiation, Beatrice finds out not only what she’s made of, but what it truly means to be a Divergent.

Founded on five character traits, the entire system seems  insubstantial. How could it be possible for any individual, with his or her infinite emotions and experiences, to be condensed to one single quality to tolerate for the rest of their lives and to choose at the mere age of 16?

I struggled with the unlikehood of the unusual society separation for quite some time, but once the characters choose their faction and head off to their designated faction headquarters, I was entirely engrossed in the imaginative world. As if the action wasn’t enough to pull me in, I became engaged in the small romance that ensues between Beatrice and a Dauntless faction member.

I did find myself comparing this dystopian novel to the “Hunger Games,” but I can honestly say that “Divergent” had me in a much better state of mind opposed to my depressing gloomy aura while reading the “Hunger Games.”

Author Veronica Roth kept the story entertaining throughout with danger, love, betrayal and endless adventure. I can hardly wait to see if the movie that will be released March 21, 2014, will live up to the book.

5 stars out of 5.

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