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Divergent Paperback – February 28, 2012
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“A memorable, unpredictable journey from which it is nearly impossible to turn away.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“You’ll be up all night with Divergent, a brainy thrill-ride of a novel.” (BookPage)
From the Back Cover
Paperback features over fifty pages of bonus materials, including a sneak peek of Insurgent, an author Q&A, a discussion guide, a Divergent playlist, faction manifestos, and more!
In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, 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 faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really 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 alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.
Veronica Roth is the New York Times bestselling author of Divergent, the first in a trilogy of dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.
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Beatrice is about to take the test that will determine which of the five factions she will go into for the rest of her life. The five factions are: Candor (the honest), Amity (the peaceful), Erudite (the intelligent), Dauntless (the brave) and Abnegation (the selfless). Each of the factions carries out certain job throughout the city. Those without factions do all the dirty work and have no rights in society. Born into Abnegation, everyone thinks she will stay in. On the day of the test, Beatrice learns she is Divergent. Fitting into not just one, but many factions. She chooses Dauntless and is told to keep her Divergent identity secret. In dauntless Beatrice renames herself Tris, and she is tested to determine who she really is. Her failure could leave her factionless. Her testing will reveal that she is divergent if she isn’t careful. Being divergent might just get her killed.
I can’t believe how spot on the movie was. I could completely picture the scenes while I read this book. There were only a few details left out of the movie Divergent. This book was really addictive. Even though I knew what was going to happen, I couldn’t stop reading the story. There were a few interactions left out and we get a more in depth look at Tris’ struggle to leave Abnegation and her whole family behind. The development of her relationship to Four made much more sense in the book and he was instrumental in the end. We also get more of an explanation of Tris’ fears and why Four was so different from his peers when he graduated.
I really enjoyed the character building, getting to know her friends and her fears. The author is able to draw in the reader right from the start. The location of this story is a dytopian Chicago. I liked the gradual world building in this story. The whole society is cut off from the outside. The idea that people are either of 5 personalities was really problematic for divergents because they have characteristics from more than one. The struggle to pick just one thing for the rest of your life is something a lot of young adults can probably relate to as they make career choices, so this story may feel close to home.
I came into Insurgent expecting more of the same. Man was I grossly disappointed. I actually saw the movie first and thought it was very well done, so I was excited to dig into the book expecting a similar storyline but some deeper character insights and the juicy bits you get from the book that just don't translate onto film. What I got was a ragtag, at times completely nonsensical, rambling, all over the place mess. It left me scratching my head wondering if these were even written by the same author. Anyway, here is the breakdown, as always Pros first.
1) The best pro was a carryover from the first book. The worldbuilding in this series is brilliant and innovative. I really like the deeper look inside Candor, and to see the dichotomy even between those houses like Amity and Candor who should have been allies in standing up for what was right. This really was the only high point in the book.
1) Inconsistent characters. It was like some of the characters from Divergent developed multiple personality disorder. Tris turned completely unlikeable in this book, and given that readers are trapped in her head due to the 1p POV, that is not a good thing. Other characters seemed to act in ways contrary, or at least inconsistent, with how they were written in Divergent.
2) Story. Things sometimes happened for no reason. Characters acted in unfathomable ways. Sometimes obviously courses of action were ignored by otherwise brilliant strategists. All in all this felt like a REALLY BAD fanfiction written in the Divergent setting.
Since reading and expressing some of my displeasure at the drop in quality between Divergent and Insurgent, I have heard rumors that the third book drops even further so I should go ahead and lower my expectations. I think I will pursue another course. Given how much quality stuff there is piling up in my reading queue, I think Insurgent was bad enough for me to do something I rarely do...leave the series unfinished and give the third book a pass.