Author: Veronica Roth
Genre: Young Adult; Dystopian
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins)
In Tris’ world, every person chooses his or her place in life – their faction – at sixteen: Abnegation (the selfless); Candor (the honest); Erudite (the intelligent); Amity (the peaceful); and Dauntless (the brave). Tris grew up in Abnegation but feels the pull of Dauntless. Instead of knowing exactly where she belongs, like everyone else, Tris is torn. The factions are supposed to help society, but is there something darker going on?
The premise sounded a little strange to me at first, but Roth did a fantastic job building this dystopian world (set in Chicago). I totally bought into it from the beginning.
YA books are often written with first-person narration. Sometimes I find this annoying (what could be worse than being trapped in a teenagers head?) and sometimes it works for me. But usually the combination of first-person AND present tense does me in. Divergent is an exception. I barely noticed that I was trapped in Tris’ present-tense head because I just wanted more story.
While there are bigger things going on, this is really the story of Tris and how she becomes herself. She is unsure and lost when we first meet her. By the end, she is almost unrecognizable. And there is a TON of action along the way.
And then there is Four. I have a new addition to my fictional YA crush list (this just seems to grow and grow). While I don’t think romance is the most important part of this story at all, I loved his character and the way he and Tris interact. It was more realistic than a lot of those I-loved-him-the-moment-I-saw-him-and-I-never-want-to-be-with-anyone-else-ever romances. Four pushes Tris. He doesn’t patronize her and he always believes in her.
Tris is a heroine. Tris is the kind of girl a young reader can actually look up to, and the kind of girl the rest of us can cheer on. Read Divergent. The hype has been well-deserved.