Divergent by Veronica Roth is a young adult novel set in a dystopian future. Society has been reformed into factions. Each faction is defined by a certain value: selflessness, bravery, knowledge, truth, or peacefulness. It is a world where people conform to a set way of thinking and lifestyle. Divergence follows the coming of age of the book’s young heroine, Tris. She is Defiant, not restricted to a certain value or mindset. She leaves her sheltered life and is thrown into a world where she must discover her own identity and survive people’s fear of her inability to conform.
This is an excellent book for a bit of light reading. Divergent is sure to draw one out of their own life and submerge them in a fascinating tale of a possible future. Veronica Roth writes Divergent in the first person. She never deviates from this form to reveal any of the plot by omnipotence or to show a situation through another character’s eyes. Any insight into a character’s thought is reliant on Tris’s empathy. It forces the reader to find out information at the same pace as Tris, thus keeping the reader interested and surprised at all the twists the story takes. Readers find themselves growing with Tris and learning about the powerful forces within her society and personal life as she does.
Divergent delves into the morally grey. It goes beyond the simple fantasy plot of good versus evil. With five different traits people value as most important and beneficial; the book shows how people can conflict over differing views even though they all have good intentions. It also reveals how ideas that start with worthy goals can be twisted into something that is no longer pure and take followers of those ideas down that path with them. Divergent’s heroine lives in the grey herself. She wants to be a force of good and do what is right, but often lines get blurred. Justice is mixed with vengeance, insensitivity replaces kindness. This leads to complex characters whose image can change throughout the book and gives the story depth and a degree of realism.
The mysteries surrounding Tris, and the reason for people’s actions will keep a reader engaged and eager to continue. The relationships she builds are complex and varied allowing a reader to see how they change her and the way she sees the world. Wondering what the big picture is and who Tris will become, will keep the reader craving more.
Divergent is the first book of a Trilogy. A movie with the same title is expected to come out in March 2014 and the first trailer was recently released. This series has begun with a great start and promises to become so much more.