Divergent by Veronica Roth
Review by Anique
Divergent, by Veronica Roth, is a dystopian novel published in 2011. The book portrays the point of view of the protagonist, Beatrice, or “Tris”, Prior. Beatrice lives in a society that is divided into five factions, each prioritizing a different characteristic. These five factions include Erudite (knowledge), Abnegation (selflessness), Candor (honesty), Dauntless (bravery), and Amity (kindness/peace). Once each citizen turns 16, they must take an aptitude test to determine which faction they are most fit for and decide which faction they would like to spend the rest of their lives in.
Beatrice, who was born into Abnegation, is the daughter of Andrew and Natalie Prior and sister of Caleb Prior. Her father, Andrew, is a member of the government. The founders of the factions decided it would be best to only appoint Abnegation into government roles, in order to be able to ensure that no leader would decide to abuse their power to benefit themselves.
In Abnegation, Beatrice has never felt like she truly belongs. She would constantly find herself partaking in selfish activities, such as sneaking a look at herself in the mirror, or questioning the things that make Abnegation the faction that it is. When the choosing ceremony finally comes, Beatrice must choose between staying with her family, or truly becoming herself. When the time comes, Beatrice shocks even herself when she decides to join the faction of Dauntless, whose members honor bravery above all other things.
Over the duration of the book, Beatrice (who soon changes her name to Tris), must overcome the obstacles of Dauntless initiation. From physical and mental challenges, to peers who want her dead, Tris has it hard in initiation. If she doesn’t become a Dauntless member, she will become factionless, which is a fate possibly worse than death.
“Becoming fearless isn’t the point. That’s impossible. It’s learning how to
control your fear, and how to be free from it.” (Page 239)
Throughout the story, Beatrice puts her fears aside countless times in order to do what’s right. She shows readers that, never mind what background you come from, it is important to be yourself, no matter what sacrifices you have to make in order to do that. She also shows that you can’t let what others think of you dictate how you will go about your life. The constant barrage of problems and mysteries in Beatrice’s life make the book a page-turner. The way everything connects throughout the book is no doubt the most gratifying part of the read.
I would most definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys dystopian novels, as it is one of the most iconic from the genre. Veronica Roth gives great detail throughout the book that almost makes it feel like you are there with Tris the whole time. This book is also great for those who enjoy making predictions in their reading. Although some parts of the book are quite emotionally and physically gruesome, the incredible creativity in this book makes it almost impossible to put down.
Check out Divergent from the Newport Beach Public Library.