Saturday, August 24, 2013


by Veronica Roth
496 pages
High School+

Long ago, the vices of men destroyed the world.  To prevent that from ever happening again, the factions were formed to bring out the best in people. At the age of sixteen you decide which faction you want to live in: Amity, Candor, Erudite, Abnegation or Dauntless become your family.  While some stay within the one they are raised in, others choose to change factions, leave their family, and start a new life.

Beatrice Prior grew up in Abnegation, always striving to be selfless and serve others.  While her parents and brother are great examples of this, she struggles to have the right frame of mind.  When her birthday comes, and she finally get to attend the choosing ceremony, instead of staying with her family, she leaves and joins Dauntless, the brave faction. On top of this, her brother, less than a year older than her and choosing his own faction, leaves to become an Erudite.

Life in the Dauntless compound is so wildly different than Beatrice could ever have imagined.  Guns and fighting classes are just the beginning.  Now known as Tris, she struggles to adapt but also hides a secret: when tested to see which faction she should belong to, her results were very abnormal.  She is Divergent, not really conforming to any one faction and able to think outside the traditions of any of the factions.  She thinks for herself, and that is dangerous.  If people learned about her secret, it could be very dangerous for her, and them.

So, I actually read this months ago, and decided to reread it since the third book is coming soon (October!) plus they are making a movie from it.  Looking back at my blog, I couldn't believe I hadn't blogged it back when I first read it.  I enjoyed it then, and I enjoyed it again, so great book!  Even knowing what happened the second time through, I had a good time reading.

Once again, truth and secrecy is a big theme in the distopian world.  Apparently the world goes to pieces because of secret plans the government doesn't want you to know about.  Even revamped governments get it wrong.  But even between individuals, truth can effect relationships.

Another big theme is bravery.  Dauntless is based on bravery but over the course of Dauntless history, the meaning of bravery has changed.  Tris sees what it has become, but isn't quite sure if she likes what she sees.  She has to discover what it means for her to be brave, personally.

Overall, great book.  I would definitely say high school or mature middle school aged, mostly because of lots of violence in the book.  While there is a little romance, it never really gets beyond kissing.  Great book, eager to see how everything gets tied up at the end!

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