WHAT IT’S ABOUT
In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, society is divided into fivefactions, 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 to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating 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 a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.
Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.
All I really want to do in this review is post a gazillion exclamation points but even that can’t define how much I loved it! More than love, it’s by far my favorite book of 2010, and it’s probably entered my top 5 books ever. That’s a hard feat to accomplish.
Usually if there’s a decision between sleep and reading, I choose sleep because I only get 6 hours of it a night for work. I chose reading over sleep. Hell, I chose reading over work because I kept sneaking in pages throughout the day. I was like a junkie trying to get my fix.
I even avoided watching VAMPIRE DIARIES so I could continue reading. Friends, that’s huge for me. Nothing can keep me from Damon, especially shirtless Damon. But Divergent did.
At first I was impatient that I was far back on the Bookanista reading list and had to wait forever to read it. But now I’m grateful that it arrived on my doorstep the week before it was published. Because that meant between the time I finished it to the time it came out, I only had to wait 3 days.
And let me tell you, those three days were torturous. ALL I wanted to do was re-read it again. There was only one other book I’ve read in my whole life where I finished it and immediately started it over again. (Twilight–don’t judge!) As soon as my copy of Divergent came, I dove right back in and loved it just as much the second time, maybe even more because I picked up on a lot of hidden clues I’d missed the first time around.
I’ve told my writing group I will no longer be friends with them unless they all read it. I’ve forced at least 3 people to read this book already, including at least one coworker who hasn’t read YA except Hunger Games (and in fact, she’s borrowing my copies and I’ve withheld the last book to force her to read Divergent instead, MWUAHAHAHA). I’ve asked everyone I knew to choose a faction. Apparently my entire family would choose Erudite, except my mom who chose Amity. That sounds about right to me. I’m torn between the two, but of course, I’m always indecisive so that also sounds right to me.
So why did I love it so much? I don’t want to spoil anything, the journey and surprises in this book only enhance the experiences. I knew very little going into it and I’m glad about that. But here are some things I loved:
- Tris. She’s such a great character, and I loved being in her head. Her struggle between being selfless and selfish, courageous and scared, vulnerable and strong was brilliantly done.
- Four. Actually, no wait, let me put that another way. FOUR!!!!! Swoon. He’s not only entered my List of Fictional Love Interests My Husband Should Be Happy Aren’t Real, but he’s moved pretty high up on that list. It’s hard for me to talk about *why* I love him so much without giving spoilers. But let’s just say you will understand by the end of the book.
- ALSO HE’S MINE SO BACK OFF.
- The writing. The prose is gorgeous and I really felt like every sentence was carefully curated and perfectly placed. There was such beauty in the way a single sentence, even only a few words, could sum up a scene or punctuate it in a way that not only enhanced the reading but gave it a new perspective. I am in awe.
- The world-building. The way the factions have formed, and changed over time, was brilliant.
- The supporting characters are each memorable. People I cared about even after only a few scenes.
- The mysteries going on throughout the book kept me reading, and I felt they all came the perfect solution.
Seriously, is Book 2 out yet?
What are the rest of the Bookanistas reading this week?
Elana Johnson marvels at Moonglass
Christine Fonseca raves about It’s Raining Cupcakes
Shelli Johannes-Wells chats with Pure and The Summer of Firsts & Lasts author Terra McEvaoy
LiLa Roecker and Carrie Harris have a passion for Possession
Beth Revis admires the audiobook of Anansi Boys
Carolina Valdez Miller is giddy over Moonglass – with giveaway
Megan Miranda swoons over Strings Attached
Shana Silver delves into Divergent
Sarah Frances Hardy gabs about Gossip from the Girls Room
Matt Blackstone is tantalized by Bad Taste in Boys
Stasia Ward Kehoe glories in a guestanista review of The Rendering