Although the whole dystopia thing has recently been slightly overdone in the young adult genre, Veronica Roth has outdone herself within the faction-divided world of Divergent. This story describes a futuristic Chicago after a devastating war, where each citizen is placed into one of five factions based on their values and characteristics. Divergent follows Tris, who leaves behind the selfless faction she was born into in order to join Dauntless, where the fearless protect the city from what lies beyond. However, when taking the aptitude test to decide where she belongs best, Tris’s results are inconclusive. The test proctor hastily informs Tris that she is Divergent, which means that she cannot be defined by one simple quality. As Tris is trained to be a courageous member of the Dauntless faction, she realizes that she could be killed for being Divergent. With the help of a trainer they call Four, Tris’s adventures become more and more risky, and she must stay under the radar or suffer the consequences.
Divergent is a page-turner. The high-paced life of the Dauntless and the rivalry between Tris’s old faction, Abnegation, and Erudite, the faction that values knowledge, keep the story fast-paced and action-packed. From a feminist perspective, Tris is a new kind of heroine able to stand up for herself even in a faction of Chicago’s strongest, against all odds.
Roth’s concept of a post-modern future may be a bit clichéd, the author brings an original, awkward adolescent voice to be the speaker in a unique dystopia. The plot is riveting and the characters believable.
I would recommend this book to all YA fiction fans and action buffs.