In the first book in the Divergent Trilogy, Beatrice lives in a future Chicago where people are divided into 5 factions representing the main characteristic of each person: Abnegation (selflessness), Amity (love), Candor (honesty), Dauntless (courage) and Erudite (knowledge). Beatrice has spent her childhood in Abnegation with her family. At the beginning of the book, she has just turned 16, and she must choose which faction she will belong to for the rest of her life. An aptitude test reveals that Beatrice is Divergent, the results being inconclusive. She is told that she must hide this fact as this puts her in great danger. After much reflection and conflicted feelings, she chooses to be part of Dauntless and has to leave her family. She is then whisked to her new faction where she will undergo training. The 10 best initiates will become Dauntless, and the rest will be factionless (homeless). A fierce competition arises between the 20 youth in training, and Beatrice, or Tris as she is now called, must deal with the fact that she is Divergent on top of the physical and mental initiation. Meanwhile, something big is brewing that will turn Tris’ world upside down.
Despite similarities with The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Divergent was highly entertaining and fast paced, and the dystopian world the author created was interesting and believable. In addition, I thought it was amazing that Veronica Roth wrote this book in her early twenties while she was still in college. In fact, it was an immediate success, and the film rights were bought before she graduated from college. I can’t wait to see the movie and read the next book in the trilogy, Insurgent.
Fun facts about the book and the author:
- Veronica Roth is very different from her main character, Tris. She has many fears, including spiders, heights, speed and public humiliation.
- The author chose Chicago as the setting for the Divergent Trilogy because it is where she is from and where she lives, and because of the L train that runs constantly in the city.
- Who needs a train station? The Dauntless jump from moving trains when they arrive at their destination.
- Veronica Roth would choose Abnegation as her faction.
About the author and her work: Veronica Roth’s Website.
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