I guess I was aware of the Divergent series, but had somehow always confused it with The Hunger Games. With all the press about the upcoming movie, I thought it was about time I read it to make sure I didn’t receive too many dismissive eye rolls from the teenagers of my acquaintance. I’m quite aware that I’m not the target audience, but honestly, I thought this was pretty great.
It’s that fairly standard dystopian future world, where teenagers must choose their lifelong allegiance to one of five factions when they turn 16. Tris has been raised within the Abnegation faction, whose defining characteristic is selflessness, but she can make her own choice whether to stay with her family, or to choose Candor (honesty), Erudite (knowledge), Amity (peace) or Dauntless (courage). Those unfortunates who are not aligned with a faction or do not make it through an initiation process are known as the Factionless – the lowest caste of people who live on the periphery. On the other hand, a Divergent is a rare individual who does not show a clear alignment to a single faction and can choose their own path, thus being an outlier of society who is treated with suspicion and fear. Tris registers as Divergent, and chooses the Dauntless faction.
The majority of the book is about the new initiates pledging with Dauntless. Tris soon realises that the factions are more politically aligned than idealistic and she is drawn into uncovering a great conspiracy…
I enjoyed this book and hope the remainder of the trilogy lives up to this first novel. I think this should be mandatory reading for every young girl who read that Twilight pabulum in an attempt to repair the notion that a heroine sits around waiting to be chosen by a boy. Maybe a crossover where Tris gets to kick Bella’s ass? I’d read that.