Rating: ***** Suggested Age: Mature 12 or 13
Summary: “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.” (Summary found on Goodreads).
Divergent is my second favorite book series (next to Harry Potter of course). Divergent is a great start to Veronica Roth’s wonderful series. It takes place in future Chicago in a dystopian world. There are great lessons to be learned about bravery, kindness, not fitting in, and doing what is right in your heart. This novel features a female heroine, which is always a plus in my eyes. The book deals with human traits that have been taken to the extreme. You like the main character from the start. You follow her on her journey to save the Divergents (read the book to find out what this term means) from the faction that is trying to take charge. The violence is high. There is a suicide in the book and four supporting characters die in total. Another character is stabbed in the eye. They use guns, knives, and fists for weapons. Even though there is a lot of violence, the characters become strong through their struggles and grow as human beings. There is non-graphic adult content in the book. These are situations that would be over the head of younger readers, but older readers will understand, hopefully grasping that these things are not okay. It is not a very hard read, the vocabulary is pretty simple. I read this book when I was 12, but I would not recommend it to immature older readers. They should be mature 12 or 13 year olds. Roth is a great writer and I recommend this book to fans of dystopian novels.