‘Somewhere inside me is a merciful, forgiving person. Somewhere there is a girl who tries to understand what people are going through, who accepts that people do evil things and that desperation leads them to darker places than they ever imagined. I swear she exists, and she hurts for the repentant boy I see in front of me.
But if I saw her, I wouldn’t recognize her.’
As much as I hate using this phrase, in this case it is true; if you liked The Hunger Games, you will love Divergent.
Set in a dystopian future, 16 year-old Tris is living in a world divided into factions. Upon turning 16, each child must take an aptitude test to find their most suitable faction. After making their choice, they face countless initiation tests that push them to their limit. If they choose a faction different to that of their family, they must never see their family again.
There are five factions:
Candor – The Honest
Erudite – The Intelligent
Amity – The Peaceful
Dauntless – The Brave
and Tris’ family’s own faction, Abnegation – The Selfless.
However, Tris has an ability that singles her out from the others, but can she understand how to use it before it’s too late?
I liked this book in the same way I liked the Hunger Games. It is fast-paced, there is a lot going on and many surprises to be found. Tris is very much one of the ‘new’ teenage heroines people have been talking about, much like Katniss Everdeen. She’s strong, defiant, and fights for what she believes in.
There’s no denying that a lot of these new dystopian stories recycle many bits and pieces from older dystopian novels, but I don’t think that really takes away from the fact it is an enjoying read. The colour-coded factions in Divergent are reminiscent of The Handmaid’s Tale, but seeing as that was one of my favourite books as a young girl, I didn’t particularly mind being reminded of it. Veronica Roth certainly puts her own spin on dystopia, and I found the characters engaging and realistic. The jumping-out-of-trains part was a little less believable, but still entertaining nonetheless.
As with many recent YA books, this is set to be another trilogy. The second book Insurgent is out in May, and you can be sure I’m going to read it!
Suitable for age 13+
Original Book Girl