During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are–and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.
This series was actually one of the first reviewed on my site, and it was the first reviewed by a “guest reviewer,” who just so happens to also be my sister. Last year, when Chelsea read these books, she RAVED about them. Begged me to read them. I said I would. Maybe. Someday. But who knew when. At that time, I wasn’t sure about Dystopian fiction. I just wasn’t sure I could get into it. I’ll admit, I’ve never read Hunger Games – seen the movie, yes – but just didn’t read the books. It just wasn’t something I felt I could connect with.
Then I read Lauren Oliver’s Delirium books. Hold. The. Phone. Those books rocked my world. I knew I was now a Dystopian junkie. A lifer. I wanted to give the Divergent series a chance. While I wasn’t sure if I’d fall into the same kind of love as I did with LO’s series, because maybe I was just such a fan of LO’s words, I wanted to give it a shot, nonetheless.
VERONICA ROTH BLEW ME AWAY. I won’t really even comment on the premise of the books too much, because really, I realize I’m probably close to the last person ever to read them. And that’s okay with me. Sometimes, it’s better to show up late than not at all. Right? However, if you do want a more thorough review and rundown of “what to expect,” check out Chelsea’s review from last year –> HERE!
Anyway, I LOVED that it was set in a Dystopian Chicago. Living not far from the city, I loved being able to recognize the familiar places that Roth mentions … but with that other world twist. I loved the idea of the factions – and getting to choose where you’re going to go or if you’ll stay where you grew up. This reminded me of a harsh college choice. Some parents are set on their kids going to NYU for Med School, and they might choose to go to Berkeley for Creative Writing. This was how I related it in my head. I know it’s kind of a far reaching analogy, but whatever. It worked for me.
There were plenty of twists and turns and drama to keep my attention and keep me guessing. I love that in a book. The writing was flawless. I always find it so refreshing that in a Dystopian novel, where you might not feel you can make “real world” connections, they’re almost endless. The same thoughts and ideas can apply to our relationships, loves, families, friends, even if the world is run completely different.
Divergent introduces us to this world. And really, up until the last page, I felt like I was sorta kept guessing what was going to happen next. I truly felt I was part of Tris’s journey from the first page.
“You know,” I say. “I really don’t care.”
I stand on my tiptoes and press my lips to his.
It is the best moment of my life.
Oh – and I’d be remiss not to mention Four. Goodness, I loved me some Four. I love the mystery surrounding him. I loved the way he handled Tris. I just love him. MMM MMM MMM.
This is a must read book – but be prepared, you’ll definitely want to pick up Insurgent (book 2) as soon as you finish Divergent. I did. I needed more. Right away. Oh, and if you haven’t heard, which I doubt at this point, Divergent is currently being filmed in Chicago! It has a 2014 release date and stars Shailene Woodley as Tris and Theo James as Four. You can check out the “first look” from the set –> HERE!