Started on: 20.December.2013
Finished on: 23.December.2013
Title : Divergent (Divergent, #1)
Author : Veronica Roth
Publisher : Katherine Tegen Books
Pages : 487 Pages
Year of Publication : 2011
Price : $ 9.99 (http://www.bookdepository.com)
"I realize that the decision might be simple. It will require a great act of selflessness to choose Abnegation, or a great act of courage to choose Dauntless, and maybe just choosing one over the other will prove that I belong. Tomorrow, those two qualities will struggle within me, and only one can win."
At the age of 16, it's about time for Beatrice Prior to make the decision of her life; choosing the faction she wants to be in. She lives in an Abnegation family, a selfless faction that forbids the people to ever think about themselves. Her brother, Caleb Prior, will also be making his decision. But before the Choosing Ceremony they have to go through an aptitude test to see which faction she belongs. But Beatrice is unlike any other Abnegation; she's curious and sometimes she doesn't want to be selfless. When her aptitude test showed more than one result, Beatrice found out that she's a Divergent. If she made the wrong choice, she might become factionless - a title everyone dreads: becoming poor and does the job that no one else wants to do.
"Maybe if I could have told them I was Divergent, and I was confused about what to choose, they would have understood. Maybe they would have helped me figure out what Divergent is, and what it means, and why it's dangerous. But I didn't trust them with that secret, so I will never know."The truth is, Beatrice doesn't know a thing about being Divergent. But Tori - who administered Beatrice's aptitude test - told her that it was a dangerous thing to be; and that she should never tell anyone about it, not even her family. At the Choosing Ceremony, Beatrice decided to betray her family by choosing Dauntless - the brave and courageous faction, while Caleb - who has always looked like a true Abnegation - chose Erudite, the faction that seeks knowledge. Beatrice would have to go through Dauntless initiation to prove she's brave enough to be in the faction. But everything is new to her; including jumping off a moving train and jumping off a building. She then made a new name for herself: Tris.
The transfer initiates instructor is called Four. He will be guiding the initiates through three stages; the first stage is primarily physical, the second primarily emotional, and the third primarily mental. The first thing they have to learn is how to shoot a gun and how to win a fight. Tris is having a hard time because her body is not used to all the physical exercise. She often got called Stiff - a nickname for the Abnegation - by other initiates. But Tris is determined to prove them wrong.
"I believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for one another."
"I think we've made a mistake,... We've all started to put down the virtues of the other factions in the process of bolstering our own. I don't want to do that. I want to be brave, and selfless, and smart, and kind, and honest.... I continually struggle with kindness."Tris had to witness so many cruelty during the initiation; she was given a hard time by Peter - a transfer initiate from Candor, the honest faction - out of jealousy because Tris did well. So many different things happened during the initiation it almost drive her crazy. But thankfully Tris had her friends by her side: Christina, Will, and Al. Four also took part in saving Tris' life, which then made their relationship grows into something more. Tris had so many questions about Four's identity; which faction did he came from, what's the meaning behind his name, and if he is Divergent like her. Four finally opened up to her by letting Tris see his fear landscape; and the answer to her questions was definitely unexpected.
The story doesn't stop there, when the initiation ended, all the Dauntless are injected with a newly developed serum. And the next day they woke up, everyone becomes a sleepwalking-soldiers except for Tris - because she's Divergent and she can resist the serum. Tris gets in a life threatening situation; but she tried her best to shut down the simulation that controls the Dauntless.
"I feel Tobias brushing my hair back before the first simulation. I hear him telling me to be brave. I hear my mother telling me to be brave.
The Dauntless soldiers turn as if moved by the same mind. Somehow I get up and start running.
I am brave."
I finally read this series, which is loved by so many people it made me super curious, and I absolutely love it! My hype over this book might not be as great as it was with The Hunger Games, but Veronica Roth definitely created an amazing world. The best thing about Divergent is the factions. When I started reading, the amount of information I have to take made me confused; but slowly I am absorbed into the world of Divergent. The people are divided into 5 factions: Dauntless the brave, Abnegation the selfless, Amity the kind, Candor the honest, and Erudite the smart. And I was really excited to know how each factions lived their lives - although in this book we get a lot more about Dauntless and Abnegation rather than about the other factions. Abnegation is so selfless to the point where they can't even look at the mirror. While Dauntless' bravery is amazing, and if you haven't read this you should find it out for yourself ;) I will talk about the other factions in the next book review.
"No one's perfect... It doesn't work that way. One bad thing goes away, and another bad thing replaces it.The story is told from Tris' point of view, so the readers get to see what she's feeling and experiencing through the initiation. But the down side of it is that we can't know everything. Even so, that makes me even more curious about what will happen next, and what it means to be a Divergent in that world, why it's dangerous, and many other things. It really made me unable to let go of this book. The plot of this book flows really nicely; the interaction between different characters personality creates conflict. And since the beginning, the author made me curious of what it means to be a Divergent. The secret is unveiled little by little. And the revelation about Four's identity is definitely a shocking one; because he's been mentioned early in the book, but then there's this correlation and I'm so happy! Didn't see that one coming. As I've said earlier in the plot summary, there's so many things going on in the story that I couldn't talk about it one by one. If you haven't read this yet, I guess you just have to enjoy the wonderful ride.
I traded cowardice for cruelty; I traded weakness for ferocity."
Of course I have to talk about the characters! There are plenty of characters in this book, but it's not really that difficult to remember because most have distinct personalities. For example Christina, who's always straightforward and honest because she's a Candor - making her talk nonstop and ask things directly. And Peter who's always a bully and is the cruelest of all in this book (although we might see something unexpected in the next books?). Tris is an admirable character, of course, because she shows incredible courage most of the time. While Four starts off as a mysterious and cold character; but when I found out his past life and scars, I started loving this character more. I absolutely love the scenes involving Tris and Four's 'romantic meeting', and I think it's a refreshing and heart-warming scene to have amidst all the cruelty, death, and stuffs. I am only afraid that the movie adaptation will only focus on the romance rather than portraying the amazing world of Divergent. Another character I won't forget to mention is Uriah! He's a really fun character and absolutely charming, I think. Unfortunately we will only get to see him in the second movie adaptation ;__;
"I don't think I could have made it through Candor initiation, though.... There, instead of simulations, you get lie detector tests. All day, every day. And the final test... They give you this stuff they call truth serum and sit you in front of everyone and ask you a load of really personal questions. The theory is that if you spill all your secrets, you'll have no desire to lie about anything, ever again. Like the worst about you is already in the open, so why not just be honest?"As I've said earlier, the thing that attracts me the most in this book is the factions. The people believed their ancestors decided on the personalities that would make the world a peaceful place. It's amazing how the people are dedicated in being a person to fit their factions. The main conflict of the series is not out yet, because the first book mainly introduced the readers to the new world, the life of Tris as Dauntless, and also the meaning of Divergent. But I'm pretty sure without Veronica Roth's spectacular writing, this series wouldn't be as great. Hopefully Veronica Roth will write another series that is as fantastic as this one, or even better! I'm definitely looking forward to Divergent's movie adaptation, which is set to release around March this year. I'll post the actors/actresses as well as trailers if I have time; for the time being, let's just watch this short First Look Trailer I found on Goodreads :))