I found it very difficult to put “Divergent” by Veronica Roth down. I went into the series with the expectation of an enjoyable reading experience since the series has become so popular. Still, I found that I enjoyed the book even more than I had expected. Early on we learn that in “Divergent” there are different Factions that people are divided up into and that these Factions define those within them. “At the Abnegation table, we sit quietly and wait. Faction customs dictate even idle behavior and supersede individual preference. I doubt all the Erudite want to study all the time, or that every Candor enjoys a lively debate, but they can’t defy the norms of their factions any more than I can.” (Divergent, pg 9).
I found the whole system that these characters live in to be interesting. Kids are raised in different Factions and then at their coming-of-age they have to decide which Faction to commit their loyalty to. In this society, your Faction is everything. “Decades ago our ancestors realized that it is not political ideology, religious belief, race, or nationalism that is to blame for a warring world. Rather, they determined that it was the fault of human personality – of humankind’s inclination toward evil, in whatever form that is. They divided into factions that sought to eradicate those qualities they believed responsible for the world’s disarray.
Those who blamed aggression formed Amity… Those who blamed ignorance became the Erudite… Those who blamed duplicity created Candor… Those who blamed selfishness made Abnegation… And those who blamed cowardice were the Dauntless.” (Divergent, pg 42-43). I thought this to be a very powerful speech and I liked that Veronica Roth outlined the history of this society for her readers.
One thing that I really enjoyed about “Divergent” was the main character, Beatrice or “Tris”. She is a very intriguing character. She’s strong and not in a strong-with-the-help-of-a-man, but strong in her own fashion. She looks out for her own interests and she doesn’t wait around for a guy before she develops into a strong person. She starts out that way. I really liked that about her. “I have realized that part of being Dauntless is being willing to make things more difficult for yourself in order to be self-sufficient. There’s nothing especially brave about wandering dark streets with no flashlight, but we are not supposed to need help, even from light. We are supposed to be capable of anything.
I like that. Because there might come a day when there is no flashlight, there is no gun, there is no guiding hand. And I want to be ready for it.” (Divergent, pg 138). I thought this was a great example of how Tris thinks. She doesn’t wait for something to happen, she sees the stirrings of discontent and realizes what this means. She knows that there is going to be a day when she needs to stand up and fight and she isn’t about to go into it unprepared.
Would I recommend this book? Yes, I think that any fan of young adult would enjoy the Divergent series. This would probably not be the best book to introduce someone to YA because it can get confusing with the different Factions and remembering which one stands for which trait. But it was a very entertaining read. I think it is something I would especially recommend to the females of the world. We need more strong female characters. I am undeniably looking forward to the next books in the series.