Divergent came to my attention by the enthusiastic recommendation of some of my students, namely a group of 15 year old girls in my English class at school. This gives a pretty clear indicator of the audience I’d recommend this novel to – teenagers, girls, young adults and anyone who enjoys a good light read with some action, romance and adventure.
The novel tells the story of Tris, a teenage girl who is caught between the life her parents want for her and the life she desires for herself. The setting is a futuristic dystopia, a world where people are divided into five groups based on core values this society has selected as most important: Abnegation (the selfless), Amity (the peaceful), Candor (the honest), Dauntless (the brave) and Erudite (the intelligent).
When individuals reach 16 they undergo aptitude testing and must choose whether to stay in their parents faction or move to another faction they have shown traits for in their test. The story begins with Tris facing this this dilemma. She is part of Abegnation, and has never even seen her own reflection. What will she show aptitude for? And what should she choose? Tris makes her choice and begins a classic coming of age journey in which she seeks to find her own identity and uncovers some disturbing information along the way. And of course, there’s this guy…
The book is often compared to The Hunger Games as it has a female protagonist and is set in a dystopia. It’s a fab read and has a lot young readers can relate to. There is currently one sequel, Insurgent and further books in the works. Tris is an awesome character, not at all wussy – I like that she’s a bit of a bad ass at the same time as being a pretty good role model for readers.
The film is set to release in March 2014. Will it be ‘the next Hunger Games’?
My rating: 3.5/5
NB: I am a harsh critic of literature! 3.5 is still a highly recommended read.
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