review by MARISA
I think the first thing I thought when I started on Divergent was – wow, this is really well-written. And it is. Even though I should be sick of dystopias by now, even though I’m not sure if dividing the world by factions even make sense, I couldn’t stop reading. And the whole time I was reading, I was also telling people, “you should read this.” I still think that – you should read this.
We’re first introduced to Beatrice Prior, or Tris, as she would later be known, as her mother fixes her hair, on the morning of an important day. Because she lives in a society that is divided into five factions, each dedicated to a single virtue – Candor (honesty), Abnegation (selflessness), Dauntless (bravery), Amity (peace), and Erudite (intelligence). While one is born into and raised within any of the five factions, at the age of 16 they will take an aptitude test to determine which virtue was strongest with them, and which faction would suit them the most. Tris was born and raised in Abnegation, but had always felt she wasn’t selfless enough for her faction. When the time came to choose, she would have to choose between remaining with her family, and being herself. Choosing a faction was a difficult decision for Tris, but it wasn’t the end of her trials. She would then have to undergo the initiation of her chosen faction, and if she fails, she would be factionless, an outcast of her society.
There’s so much about this book that I like, I don’t know where to start. I found Tris likeable, and I enjoyed reading about her navigating through her new life, making friends and enemies. I liked Four well enough, although like most male romantic leads, I could pretty much do without him. I was really glad for the lack of a love triangle – I know it works with some books, but it’s another YA trope thing I’m getting tired of. I liked the fact that it dealt with Tris’ relationship with her family members and how it changed after she made her choice. I liked thinking about how their society worked – even if it seemed highly unlikely a system, I still wondered about what faction I would be in. (I figure that most of us would be Divergent, but if I had to choose only one faction, I guess mine might be Erudite. I am a Ravenclaw, after all!) I liked reading about Tris’ initiation, and learning more about the factions. I liked… ah, I give up. I liked a lot of things about Divergent, okay? To the point where I stop remembering the things I didn’t quite like.
At this point I think it’s best to just point out two things. One – I started on Insurgent right after finishing Divergent, and it was on Eid, so I was basically just ignoring relatives and friends in favour of reading; and Two – I was already making a mental note as I read this that I would order more copies for the store, and promote it in any way I can. – Mari