I just recently finished reading Divergent by Veronica Roth. I was turned on to it by a list I found called 25 series to read if you loved the Hunger Games. As a fan of the Hunger Games series (but mostly the first book of the second and third), I decided to check out some of the books on the list. From the beginning it was easy to see how Divergent made it on this list. The main character and hero is female. It is set in a future where the United States has been reconfigured into different, very specific groups that make up society. The heroine, Beatrice (Tris), is an Abnegation. This group prides selfless over everything else and that it is the key to lasting peace. There are four other groups that each have their own characteristic that they believe is the most important for maintaining peace. The book begins when Tris is 16 years old. At 16, each person decides which group they want to be a part of for the rest of their lives (there is a simulation test given to help people determine where they would best fit in). Tris receives an inconclusive response from her test and therefore has more choices as to where she should go.
Ultimately, Tris chooses Dauntless. This group believes that bravery is the key characteristic. In order to be a true member, the initiates must pass a series of tests to make sure they have what it takes to be Dauntless. Tris has to overcome a lot including bullies, internal conflict about whether she made the right choice, and of course a potential romance with the instructor for the initiates.
In the end there is a battle where Tris and her group of friends and family have to work together to prevent the complete elimination of the Abnegation group.
I really enjoyed this book. It was nice that it can stand on its own even though it is part of a series. It seemed similar to many books like it but still had its own individual take on those ideas. I wish there had been a little more explanation about what different things meant earlier on because it might have helped understand Tris and the society a little better. It also would have been nice if the end of the book didn’t seem so cramped. There is a lot of action in the end and some parts seem to miss out on the importance they deserve. Overall though it was a great book and I look forward to continuing the series with Insurgent. Here’s hoping the third book comes out soon.