Sunday, December 2, 2012

Divergent

Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: Katherine Tegen (HarperCollins)
Released: February 28, 2012
Genre: YA Dystopian
Series: Yes (Book #2 Insurgent)
Source: Library Kindle
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.
As usual, it took me a while to get with the program and read the book everyone is going crazy over. And as usual, I loved it and am waiting impatiently until I get my hands on the second book!

Tris's emotional struggle and her journey to self-realization are so clearly, so starkly portrayed. I felt along with her every step of the way - every moment of confusion, every time she had to make a decision that would alter the rest of her life based on two seconds' thought. Her romance with Four both helps and hinders her internal battles, and I loved that it was ambiguous, not that he is clearly a good influence on her.

All that is a great backdrop for the action and suspense of the story. The intrigue is really cleverly strung out, keeping the reader guessing as to what it all means while giving little glimpses into the "enemy's mind" and letting Tris find things out slowly but horrifyingly. But more than the main conflict and plot, the encounters between the guys and girls in Tris's training/initiation group are terrifying for what they reveal about how the society has fallen from the practices that were put in place originally to help protect them. That sixteen-year-olds are able to behave so ruthlessly is more frightening in some ways than what the adults are planning.

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