I had high hopes for this book after hearing a lot of positive reviews and I’m happy to say I wasn’t disappointed. It had a lot to live up to after being mentioned many times as the next Hunger Games, a series which I absolutely loved, but I think if it’s possible, I may love this one more.
The main premise of the book is a future world split into five factions: Abnegation; the selfless, Candor; the truthful, Erudite; the knowledgable, Amity; the kind, and Dauntless; the brave. As a child, you grow up in the same faction as your parents, but at age sixteen, you get to choose which faction will be your place for the rest of your life, possibly leaving your family behind forever. Before you make this choice, you take an aptitude test which tells you which faction is most suited for you, but when Beatrice takes this test, she somehow manages to break the simulation. The woman administering her test tells Beatrice that she is Divergent, not fitting to any of the factions, and that she should never ever tell anyone.
I don’t want to go any further into the plot, because I don’t want to spoil this for any of you who may want to read it yourself, and I really would recommend that you do. But the book follows Beatrice to her newly chosen faction and through the initiation process, with it being imperative that she passes so that she doesn’t end factionless.
The book didn’t pull any punches, leaving nothing out in describing the fear that Beatrice is feeling every step of the way. We get to see her learning the ways of her new faction, while trying not to miss her family, and wondering what it means to be divergent. I felt every bit of fear and uncertainty that Beatrice was feeling, I felt so connected to the character that there were times when it was all I could do not to cry out at what I was reading.
The book sets up very nicely for book number two, Insurgent. I made a special trip to WH Smiths yesterday to buy it, I couldn’t wait for it to be delivered from Amazon, I need to read it now, like right now.
I’ll leave you with my favourite quote from the book, it really stood out to me:
“I believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.”