Divergent - by Veronica Roth

"I read it in a day and immediately wanted to reread it."

This book is amazing. If you like The Hunger Games, you'll love the fast pace of this book. Although, as a warning, this book will make you want to try some dangerous stunts. After reading this book I felt I could jump onto moving trains and off of buildings. It made me look at the world in 'factions'. This book is a good length and easy to read. I read it in a day and immediately wanted to re-read it. I really enjoyed it and I can't wait for the sequel.

   - Avenley

"Tris struggles to keep a dangerous secret, one that could destroy her."

The book Divergent, by Veronica Roth, is action packed, taking you through amazing thrills and fears and leaving you gripping the sidebar while frantically anticipating what will happen. The anxious tone helps set the stage for the amazing events that take place, the dialogue is made up of easy to understand words, and the setting is the near future in Chicago, where the author currently lives.

The dystopian Chicago is divided into five factions, each with a different set of highly valued virtues, and each with its own ideas of a perfect society. Candor shows honesty, promising to never tell a lie, Erudite values its incredible intelligence and knowledge, Amity strives for peace, doing whatever it can to stay away from conflict, Abnegation is known for its selflessness, and Dauntless prides itself on its bravery. Each faction's values are thought of as ideal virtues in a united utopia, but when divided as they are in the book, they may just spell disaster and corruption.

For a girl of only sixteen, Beatrice Prior has to make the challenging decision to stay with her family or venture to a new faction, just like everyone else her age. Beatrice is stuck between staying in Abnegation with her selfless family, or being courageous and choosing to leave, and her decision shocks her along with her family. Beatrice's choice leads her to a new way of life, and a new name, Tris. As part of her new life, Tris must face all of her fears in a difficult initiation with other initiates. Throughout the initiation, which is a borderline between bravery and stupidity as initiates must perform almost adolescent stunts, she finds herself struggling to understand her friends, including a mysterious boy named Four. Tris also struggles to keep a dangerous secret that sets her apart from all the other initiates, one that could possibly destroy her. Her character can be seen changing over the course of the book as she learns that selflessness isn't always a good thing. As events unfold Tris realizes she's not alone and discovers her secret may actually be the key to saving herself and her family.

The moving and anticipating style leaves you on your toes, wanting to know what happens next, and the well-developed characters definitely fit with the on-edge style. The plot is full of twists and turns, yet is still well paced, and there is never a dull moment. Roth still makes room for detail, "the strands fall on the floor in a dull, blonde ring." This book deals with issues that are alive today, including the characteristics of an ideal virtuous person and the idea of conformity versus individuality in society. The well-written book of Divergent, which is the first in what will surely be an epic trilogy, is a thrilling ride of romance and betrayal, decision and consequence, perfection and corruption, conformity and individuality, and the expected being replaced by the unexpected. I enjoyed this book through and through and I think the rest of the series will be just as well written.

   - Briana P.

"Teens can identify with angst in making decisions that affect the rest of your life."

I find it very interesting that futuristic dystopian societies seem to be a featured topic in books lately. Do you think it might be because our world seems to be in such disarray and we can identify with it? Or do you think that people just like to read about imaginary scenarios? Divergent by Veronica Roth, is an example of this current interest in a made up futuristic society. Maybe this trend in story plots helps us escape for a little while, or it makes us think about what out society might become in the future.

When I first picked up this book and read the synopsis on the back cover, I quickly compared it to The Hunger Games. As I progressed through this story, told in first person by the main character Beatrice Prior, I saw a few similarities between the two stories. They both revolve around a female protagonist in a society where they feel that they have no control over their destiny that is nearly predetermined for them. In Divergent, however, society is divided into factions based on an individual's human traits. Beatrice is a member of the Abnegation Faction, which means that she must be very plain and selfless at all times. During a society ritual called the Choosing Ceremony, all sixteen year olds must choose the faction in which they will live out the rest of their lives. They are led to believe that everyone has the right to choose their own path in the world, in honor of the democratic philosophy of their ancestors. Ironically though, the paths are actually preset into factions that represent selflessness, bravery, intelligence, honesty, and peace. Therefore, the author develops the plot by allowing the reader to accompany Beatrice, while she completes an aptitude test that will enable her to make the right decision for her future. The results make you want to keep reading the story because even Beatrice is not quite sure what her results are leading her to do. Once she made her decision, I could not put the book down because I was drawn into the society with her, and felt suspense in nearly every chapter.

Veronica Roth is a young author who I believe will do very well with this story line. The twists and turns of the plot and subplots kept me turning the pages in anticipation of what Beatrice was going to do next. Even though I automatically assumed that the main character would be just another female main character who turns out to be a hero, I was surprised to see how the author kept me wondering which path Beatrice would take. Her decisions were not based on gender.

The story is very fast paced; sometimes I found myself reading quickly through the pages so that I could continue Beatrice's adventure, only to have to go back and read to find some small details that I missed. Roth develops the conflict in Beatrice's life very well and I believe that many teens can identify with the main character's angst in making decisions that affect the rest of your life. As a young adult novelist she does an excellent job at allowing the reader to relate through this. I know I can; I am feeling a lot of pressure to make the decision about where I want to go to college, and what do I want to do when I grow up. Divergent actually kind of helps you realize that we are lucky that our society is not so strict about making decisions about our future. We are permitted to change our mind.

If you are looking for a book that will keep you on the edge of your seat in anticipation of what will occur on the next page, I recommend that you read Divergent. Hopefully, I have spiked your interest and you will read this story so that you can become immersed in her decisions and society. Only you can decide, after you read it, whether or not you can identify with the characters in the book.

   - Jon C.

"Every time I put it down, I felt like I'd paused my favorite movie."

Divergent is a thrilling roller coaster of emotion, action, and diction that takes you on a journey with the characters. My heart broke when theirs did, and I laughed and smirked along with them through every page. I like books that you actually have to think about all the pieces of information given when starting the process of reading them. This would be one of those books. I love not just having the plot thrown out at me like bait to a shark. "My family might be able to help me make my choice, if I could talk about my aptitude test results. But I can't. Tori's warning whispers in my memory every time my resolve to keep my mouth shut falters." This is the start of an excerpt given before the book even starts. It made me so curious; it made me want to know so desperately what she (Beatrice) was speaking of.

Beatrice is a part of a faction called "Abnegation," a faction that wears gray clothing and is only allowed to look in a mirror every three months. Self- indulgence and vanity doesn't have a home in this group of people. This dystopian society is divided into 5 factions: Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless, and Erudite. When the kids get to a certain age they have to take what is called an aptitude test. "One choice can transform you." Roth's style of writing is incredibly moving and brings many emotions, dragging you in and keeping you there until the last word. I like challenging books, ones that give food for thought. This book is written so well, I couldn't put it down. I read over 300 of the 487 pages in one day. Every time I put the book down (which wasn't often) I felt like I had paused my favorite movie, and all I could think about was getting back to "watching" it. I would say that this book was thrilling and captivating.

Character development was impressive. Beatrice changes and goes through so much along with the many other extremely interesting characters in the book. The plot keeps you on your toes. I have only read the first of the trilogy, but I already have the second book Insurgent, and plan on starting it ASAP. There is a lot of well explained combat in the book so if you like action; you might take quite a bit of interest in this book. Throughout the course of this book, you meet a lot of people from different backgrounds, cultures, and stories.

Divergent is a powerful book. There are many moral values and quotes that hold true. One great quote I have found to love is, "I believe in the ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another." This quote is so important to me because it does take a huge amount of courage to stand up for someone sometimes. Throughout Divergent there are many relatable emotions such as death of loved ones, relationships, and making the right choices over the "better for myself" choice. I highly recommend this book to any one reading this book. I loved it and I'm sure you will too.

   - Natalie S.

"Divergent is detailed, philosophical, and dark."

Divergent is a book set in the post-apocalyptic future Chicago, where five separate factions have set up a government together (Dauntless, Abnegation, Erudite, Amity, and Candor) to survive in the waste land. Veronica Roth, the writer, was inspired to write the book while learning about different phobias and how people overcame them, specifically the use of drugs and simulations to simulate the fear the user had. Much of the setting was inspired Roth's early life living near Chicago. If I had to sum up Divergent in a few words they would be detailed, philosophical, and dark.

Overall the book is a thrill, a joy to read, and you will be reading until you're done. The start of the book did take quite a while to get the ball rolling, but as soon as the story gets established, you won't quit reading until the end. I walked into the book, thinking it would just be another teenage oriented novel, which in some respects it was (specifically the shallow romantic plot), but I was impressed with the story, and I felt like I truly cared for the characters. None of the characters are entirely flat; most of them have rational motives for the things they do - which is quite difficult to come by in books. I was not entirely thrilled with the more romantic parts of the book. They honestly feel tacked on in a way, and I feel that the story would have been much better if they had been left out.

The start of the book begins slowly, and builds up to peaks after peaks of action, leaving you always wondering where the story is going to go next. "What if they tell me that I'm not cut out for any faction? I would live on the streets, with the factionless." Everyday fears of not being accepted or being bullied are major plot points during the first half of the book. When a person becomes 16 in this book, they must choose which faction they wish to join. They can stay in their own faction or leave their faction, but they have to leave everything they've known and loved behind including their families. People that leave their faction are often shunned by their faction as a whole.

Tris is incredibly worried about her place in the world, like many of us, and only wants to be accepted. Once she has chosen a faction, initiation begins. "I look at my reflection in the small mirror on the back wall and see a stranger. She is blond like me, with a narrow face like mine, but that's where the similarities stop. I do not have a black eye, and a split lip, and a bruised jaw… she can't possibly be me, though she moves when I move."

I like the author's style of narrative - first Person with a true grit into the life of the character. Many of the descriptions in the book (and the entire book is full of description) actually made me stop for a second at the incredible amount of detail put into things, but not always in a pleasant way.

If you are someone who does not enjoy reading a darker book than usual, this is probably not for you; but if you do, this book is perfect for people looking for thrill in a book with a story. Though many books take on post-apocalyptic settings, few pull it off to be as believable as Divergent. The cause was left unknown, but was probably not nuclear (considering the intact nature of forests and ability for farming). Development of characters in the book is very well done and thought out, every character changes in some way, but not always for the best.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for something on the gritty and dark side of literature. I enjoyed reading this book immensely and plan on buying the second and third installments of the series. It is a long read, but once the book gets set, it truly becomes a wonderful story that has hidden meanings and thrill throughout.

   - Cole B.

"something for everyone: mystery, tragedy, adventure, and even romance."

Still in college, Veronica Roth sat down at a computer and began typing ideas for what would eventually form her best-selling trilogy. Little did Roth know that these late nights spent typing would lead to a widespread teenage obsession over her Divergent series. Her first book Divergent, starts the journey.

The book pulls you into the story; you can see the sweat on the teenager's faces and sense their anxiety about the future. You don't even realize how long you've been reading until you finish the book. Divergent incorporates humor, suspense, drama, and mystery all into one novel. Roth is able to adapt teenage emotions to a completely different society. She seems to know just what to say in order to hook readers. Roth's characters seem like friends by the time you close the book. You feel their pain, laugh with their jokes and root for them to not give up hope.

Divergent has all the adventure of Hunger Games with the drama of Sarah Dessen's books. Roth has hidden surprises throughout the book in order to keep you interested. You will find yourself powering through it in a matter of days.

   - Kelly B.

"Tris is not your typical damsel in distress."

I really liked the character of Tris (Beatrice). She wasn't your typical damsel in distress that seems to plague a lot of the young adult dystopian genre. She is one of the most memorable characters I've ever known - determined, strong, and still vulnerable all at the same time. Another exceptional and extremely likeable character was Four, Tris's training instructor in the dauntless compound. But unfortunately, despite how strong the main characters are, the minor characters seemed highly stereotypical and unimportant. Another issue with the book was that there was a lot that was unexplained, which was slightly frustrating. However, the second book answered many questions about the first. Some of the world-building aspects were poorly done. There wasn't enough history or explanation as to why the society developed as it did, and I struggled with understanding why people fit so nicely into one faction or another.

What I did get from Divergent was an entertaining story. I really did enjoy following the recruits from initiation onwards. Overall, I really enjoyed it. I even bought the second and read it overnight. I would definitely suggest you read Divergent, especially if you're a fan of dystopian novels.

   - Liam G.

"I am completely in love with this book."

Divergent is captivating. The novel begins with an introduction to the main character, a girl named Beatrice - and to the world she lives in. In this alter universe, people are separated into different factions, based on their beliefs - Amity, Candor, Erudite, Abnegation, and finally Dauntless. If you are in the Amity faction, you believe that peace and kindness solves everything. The Candor faction believes in the truth and cannot tell lies. The Erudites believe that knowledge is the key to everything and members of the Abnegation faction believe that one should be selfless and never take part in self-indulgent activities, such as looking in the mirror. And finally, if one is with the Dauntless faction, being fearless and strong prevents a nation from becoming weak.

The protagonist, Beatrice or Tris, was born into the Abnegation faction. She always knew in the back of her mind that she did not belong there, because no matter how much she tried, she could not be selfless. At the age of sixteen, she has to take a test to see what faction would fit her. After the test, she finds out she is something called "Divergent," meaning that she cannot be placed just into one faction. Her test results say that she can either be in Dauntless, Abnegation, or Erudite. Since she was raised in Abnegation, she has a strong dislike for Erudite (Abnegation and Erudite do not get along). So instead of just staying in abnegation, she transfers to Dauntless. After the ceremony, she must go straight to the Dauntless faction, and complete the initiation test. (One may not just simply join a faction as they please; they must past the test first.)

Tris is faced with many tests that will make her question her ability to actually become one of the Dauntless. She must persevere through extreme training, bullying, love, friendship, trust issues, deaths, and most of all fear. But, the initiation test is not the only problem at hand; the Erudite and the Abnegation faction's hatred for each other is widely known throughout all of the factions, but the Erudite take it to the next level by plotting a war against them. The situation is worse when the Dauntless leader is in alliance with them.

I personally am completely in love with this book. The amazing plot twists literally left me breathless. There were times were I would squeal with happiness, yell in frustration, or even cry. The author's writing makes it very easy for the reader to be actually able to indulge themselves into the book, and actually feel as if you are Tris. The book is amazingly well written, and I would personally recommend it to anyone who is looking for an adventure.

While reading this book, I felt as if I could actually become a part of this amazing story. I found myself turning the pages with such ease, and flying through each chapter. Whenever I had to book the down, even for one split second, I was anxious to pick it up again and continue reading. The author uses clever events and plot twists to get an emotional reaction from you. You find yourself cheering for someone in the book as if you were watching a football game. I am also very impressed with this author's boldness; she is not afraid to get you very well acquainted with a character and just kill them off. That aspect of her writing reminds me of the popular author J.K Rowling. Also, the ending of the book is a gut wrenching and hair pulling cliff hanger. Right when I closed the book after finishing it, I found myself craving to know what happens next.

The character development in this book is very impressive. In the beginning of the book, from what the reader knows, Tris is a weak little girl. As the story progresses, she becomes strong. She has a big need to prove herself to other people. Though things are different in the Dauntless faction, she gets accustomed to it quickly and becomes the strongest and most fearless character in the whole book. Though there are times where even the reader can question her ability to succeed, she always manages to surprise everyone in the end. The most impressive thing about her development is her ability to learn from her mistakes. When she fought the first time, she did not know what to do. But, during her second fight, she knew that in order to win, she had to observe her opponents' movements and strike at the right time. She also overcomes countless amounts of dangerous and scary events. Whether it was something that happened to her, or even someone else, she knew how to keep her cool. Tris always thought that she either belongs in Abnegation, or Dauntless. But, she finds out she belongs in neither of them. She is Divergent.

    - Amari O.

"Even though it's a 500 page book, there's always something important going on."

Divergent is set in a futuristic Chicago in a city divided into five factions who all follow different morals and different self-values. It's told through the viewpoint of Beatrice Prior as she begins her journey to deciding a factor to go into. However, along the way, she finds out some interesting things about herself and others that could lead her into some serious trouble.

Divergent is a thrill ride from start to finish. From the moment I picked up the book, I never wanted to put it down. I think that from my personal point of view the book had almost everything that you could like from a YA fiction novel. The novel is also written by someone who was in college while writing the book so she is close enough to the age group to be able to know what it's like to be a teenager.

She also does very well with the action scenes in the book. At the beginning you don't think that they would be as big and exciting as say The Hunger Games action was, but trust me, if this book doesn't have you on the edge of your seat for some of the action scenes, you must not have any kind of emotions whatsoever. I finished it in three days and that was with school and homework that I had to do. I ended up getting yelled at multiple times for reading during class but the book was so addicting to read, I just couldn't stop reading.

Obviously I love Veronica's writing style because she's able to write good action scenes but also able to incorporate great love stories thorough out the book. One more thing that I like about Veronica's writing style is how I know that no character is safe in the story. She has a great way of creating this feeling that every character could be gone in just a split second because of the way she tells the story.

I also think that she was able to create great climaxes just one after another because even though this is a five-hundred page book, there is always something important going on. Roth is also very good at keeping the book fast paced. In total, Divergent by Veronica Roth is addictive, action-packed, relative, and all in all a great book that I would recommend to anyone anywhere.

    - Matthew E.

"finished it in two days and can't wait to read the sequel"

Divergent is a very good teen book written by Veronica Roth. This book is much like Hunger Games in the sense that it is set up in a futuristic world where the America has obviously fallen apart and this society was their solution to the USA government as we know it today. This book sets up its society by factions affiliated with certain virtues such as: honesty, intelligence, peace, bravery, and selflessness. Each faction is named for their virtues; honesty is named Candor, Selflessness is named Abnegation, bravery is named Dauntless, intelligence is named Erudite, and peace is named Amity. Each faction is also in charge of a certain working in the government system; Amity is in charge of generating the food for the society, Abnegation is in charge of the government, Dauntless is in charge of the protection of the society, Erudite is in charge of research and development of the society, and Candor are the judges of society. Each faction was originally set up with good intentions and everyone was thought to fit the mold of at least one virtue and be able to live their life by this virtue. At the age of 16, each teenager picks the faction they will spend the rest of their lives in and what they will stand for as a person. Most stay with their original Faction, others leave, but, not everyone fits the mold. Some cannot live their life only thinking a certain way. This is what Tris, the main character of this novel soon finds out.

The author, Veronica Roth, does a very good job of developing Tris's character and how it changes throughout the book. She is dynamic and unpredictable. Her character is very much like a normal 16 year old girl who is faced with many tough decisions. The ways she chooses also show the different aspects of her character. This book also has many unexpected things happen.

Most of this book is based on that theme of everything is not always as it seems. The characters' decisions, the faction's true intentions and other revelations show that people and circumstances are not always how we perceive them. Another theme she shows throughout her book is the idea that values can be corrupted and often are. The ideas that originally founded this society were sound and right but as different corrupt people come into power, they twist things into their own meaning and often corrupt things that are the best part of us. Tris discovers this as she delves deeper into the world of the factions and how they are run.

Another interesting part of the book that plays a key role is the idea of Faction is stronger than family, an idea that is sometimes seen in other organizations in the real world. Roth uses a lot of real world issues and exaggerates them in her book. The issue of right and wrong is also a strong theme in this book. Tris and the other teenagers in this book are faced with many things that are not necessarily right but have to either learn to accept them or speak out against them. By the end of this book Tris has made her decision about what she is willing to take and if she is going to choose what she believes is right or to continue with what she knows is wrong. This is a page turner novel and I finished it in 2 days. I loved it and cannot wait to read its sequel.

   - Alex V.

"Divergent will put you on the edge of your seat and carry you away to a different kind of world."

It cannot get better than this! Action, thrill, and romance all wrapped up in one book called Divergent. Divergent is a novel of a girl named Beatrice who does not know who she really is because she has never fit in with her faction: Abnegation. In this world, there are five factions. Erudite is the faction of knowledge. Candor is the faction of honesty. Amity is the faction of joy, peace, and friendship. Abnegation is the faction of selflessness. Dauntless is the faction where people live on the edge and who do, not the most courageous things, but the most daring things you could ever think of. Veronica Roth’s Divergent is a story filled with so many emotions like love, fear, confusion, and bravery. Turning sixteen means that you have to choose your fate, what your life will be like. It is a huge decision. Will kids leave their parents or not? The Choosing Ceremony makes Beatrice nervous. She knows she does not fit with Abnegation, so what does a girl do? Ready to embark on a new life, Beatrice changes her name to Tris and links her life to someone she might possibly love named Four. Personally, I really liked this book because there is action and thrill and my interest just goes to an all-time high with the addition of the quick little romance parts in the book. Towards the middle and end was the best part of the book for me because it was so intense and suspenseful that I did not want to put down the book, I had to know what was going to happen.

I like the writing style that the author uses because it is very descriptive and it really puts a clear visual in your head. The most interesting thing about this novel is the factions and how each faction is so separate from one another and is so set in their ways. While I was reading the book, I was wondering how can one person be so set in the standards and beliefs of a faction? It seems like people have so many more different sides to them than just a set of qualities, but I guess that comes to play at the end of the story when trouble starts to occur between the different factions. There is one quote that is absolutely my favorite, and it is the Dauntless motto. It just stuck with me because it is something that was very courageous and honorable that they believed and lived by.

You will definitely love this book if you are someone who loves the thrill of an action-fllled storyline. Divergent by Veronica Roth will put you on the edge of your seat and carry you away to a different kind of world.

   - Hannah W.

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