Author: Veronica Roth
Released: February 2nd 2012
Pages: 489 (Paperback)
In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, 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.
After receiving a copy of Allegiant for review, I thought that to celebrate (aaaand to remind myself of the story) I'd reread both Divergent and Insurgent. Now I always remembered that I'd found Divergent addictive and very difficult to put down, but I think I forgot to what extent. All I can say is Bloody. Hell. After all this time, it is still one of the best dystopian novels I have ever read.
Set in future North America, society has been split into five different factions in order to prevent war: Amity, Candor, Erudite, Dauntless, and Abnegation. Each factions claims that a different trait is what is responsible for the outbreak of war, and each faction proceeds to eliminate that trait from amongst their numbers. At the age of sixteen, every member is put through an initiation test, and the following day are made to choose one of the five factions. The novel starts on the day of Tris Prior's initiation - but something goes wrong. Instead of eliminating four out of five of the factions, it only eliminates Candor and Amity; Tris has the aptitude for Dauntless, Abnegation and Erudite. Tris is Divergent.
When I first read Divergent at the age of fifteen, I think I idealised the characters. The two main ones, Tris and Four, appeared to me as if perfection. Upon rereading it, I've decided that they are so far from that, a characteristic of Roth's writing which I have come to love. YA novels contain so many stereotypically beautiful characters with charming personalities, and neither Tris and Four fall into those categories. They are flawed, they make mistakes, and they are believable, even when placed in a fantasy setting.
Despite my perception of the characters changing, my love for their relationship did not. It is so intense and intoxicating that you get drawn in by their chemistry, and I devoured scenes between them as if it were no more than ice cream. Roth has created one of my favourite ships in fandom history; I ship them both so hard, it hurts.
I forgot how much I loved the secondary characters! There are so many names, so many faces, so many conflicting personalities, yet each and every one of them stands out as their own individual and unique person. You could easily take any character and create a whole sub-series devoted to them, the information is that accessible and in-depth. (Actually, can this be done? I want to hear Uriah's story so badly!)
The plot is so obviously good that I almost forgot to write about it. The dystopian genre is so overdone, yet this story cannot be outdone it is that unique! The idea of factions is incredible - not only is it realistic, but it's just damn interesting. Whilst I was reading the novel, I always wondered as to what faction I would be in, and it pulls the reader further into the story.
It's safe to say that overall, I am still in love with this series. Rereading it and reminding myself of the characters, the plot, the genius concept...I can't believe I haven't reread it before now! This is one of the best trilogies out there without a doubt.