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04 September 2012

Book Review: Divergent

"One choice can transform you."

Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Publication Date: May 3, 2011
Language: English
Series: Divergent Series (Book 1)
Genre(s): Science Fiction / Young Adult / Dystopian



In Chicago’s dystopian world, society is divided into five factions – Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). Each faction cultivates traits it consider desirable in the interest of promoting peace and a functional society. Each fulfills its own social role. On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds are forced to choose which faction they want to ally and devote the rest of their lives with. Either they chose to follow a different faction and leave their families behind or stay in the communities they were raised.

Beatrice is a born Abnegation. She has lived her life trying to uphold the ethics of her parents. She finds her life to be so dull. She has always known that she’s different, and she doesn’t belong in Abnegation. Beatrice’s decision is between staying with her family and being whom she really is—she can’t have both worlds. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

Beatrice struggles with her emotions because, at sixteen, her aptitude test and choosing day has arrived. The results for most people are obvious, but in Beatrice Prior’s case, something goes twisted. She’s ‘inconclusive.’ She doesn’t fit into the categories used to assign people, expressing several dominant traits in the Erudite, Abnegation, and Dauntless clans at the same time. It turns out that she’s one of the atypical subset of the population: a Divergent. And being Divergent, her niche makes her extremely dangerous because she fits outside the mesh constructed to create and maintain a flimsy peace between people struggling on limited resources in a dystopian society. When her time to choose arrived, she followed her heart and chose to be selfish but brave, abandoning her family and choosing Dauntless.

While switching factions itself takes a lot of courage, Beatrice soon learns that if she wanted to be initiated into the faction, it will take much more than a simple choice. Only ten spots are available for more than double number of hopefuls, Beatrice struggles to make her way to a brutal and highly competitive initiation. I would rather be dead than empty, like the factionless she says. Along the way she unearth a lot of secrets about the world she lives in and the people she interacts with and discern not only what she’s truly capable of, but what it truly means to be a Divergent. She further learns more about the secrets of her own family – secrets which have been deeply buried for a long time.


It's funny that when I first encountered the book, I decided to include it on my to-read list mainly because of its title! Nothing more than that, just the title haha. It was my boyfriend who started reading it first and told me how great it was. 

At first, reading Divergent would make you think of The Hunger Games probably because both almost had same concept and genre. But let me say this, Katniss and Beatrice was incomparable though both were amazing kick-ass heroine. So if you thought Hunger Games had a lot of going on, better read this one! Well basically most of the time Katniss just sits in the cave or sneak and observe up in a tree, here however, Beatrice (or Tris her Dauntless name) is all over the place! Something is always happening here and there. Her mind is restive enough that you don’t even feel when the things slow down. I also loved that Tris gets seriously beaten up. And while she does, she molded herself to be tough and a better Dauntless initiate. Moreover, there’s this believable tension between herself and her fellow initiates and the discrimination she felt as a “Stiff” (Abnegation-born). 

Although this is an action-packed book, there’s also a little space for drama and (oh okay…) romance. Why does the dystopian genre always has to comprise with this? Chause! I mean it’s like everyone has the tendency to defend the little protagonist where she can just literally kick butts! Tris is not all goody-two-shoes heroine. She’s selfish, manipulative and cruel as hell but that what you would love about her. Overall, it has the perfect blend of romance, wit and adventure, enough to give you a heart attack haha charaught!

Divergent was beautifully written. It flows just like a movie wherein you’re introduced to the characters, their adversaries, their allies, and their lifestyle. Moreover, what I like about it that the storyline was filled with significant scenes to make it deeper and intense for the readers. So, if you’re looking for an amusing dystopian read and feel like investing a series, here it is: Divergent. Just make sure not to drink coffee while reading this book. And always remember to keep breathing! You’ll surely need that!  Haha chause!

 “We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage
that drives one person to stand up for another.
- Dauntless Faction Manifesto (Divergent)

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