In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating 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 a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her. (From Goodreads.com)
It’s very rare that I mange to read a full 500 page book in one day, no matter how hooked I am. I have a six-year old daughter who demands much of my time and rarely lets me read as she gets on with something quietly. So the fact I read Divergent in its entirety the day it arrived speaks volumes. Ok, I’ll admit it, I enlisted the help of the unpaid babysitter who sits in the corner (TV), ordered takeaway so I didn’t have to cook, abandoned any kind of housework and bribed my daughter continuously to let me read just a few more pages. Even she became obsessed with my reading progress that day asking ‘How many pages have you read now Mummy’ and appointed herself my official reading cheerleader. That’s how good this book is. Once started you won’t be able to stop until you have devoured every breath taking word.
As one of my top 3 anticipated books for 2011, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book. Of course being so excited can often lead to over anticipation with the book becoming a let down. Absolutely NOT in this case, Divergent was everything and much, much more than I was hoping for and has easily shot straight to my top read of the year, the last two years in fact. It’s going to take some beating.
For once I’m going to refrain from hashing over the plot, I couldn’t do it’s intricacies justice and really don’t want to inadvertently give anything away that will spoil the book, so readers can go into it the same way I did. What I will say though is that Veronica Roth’s dystopian world is exquisitely built with complexities and detailing that will force the reader right into the very heart of it from the moment they pick up the book. It’s clever, exciting, brutal, jaw droppingly shocking and intense. I adored lead character, Tris, the underdog who comes into her own. She’s brave, loyal and intelligent, fierce and compassionate in equal measures. Then there’s Four (Tris’s coach in the new life she chooses) the HOTTEST, most swoonworthy guy ever. I’m slightly obsessed by him, I’ve even dreamt about him and I completely fell in love with him. The romance between Tris and Four is solid, real and beautiful. It developes at the right pace, it has the right amount of intensity and passion, yet it doesn’t overwhelm the story at all. Divergent is an action packed and exciting read set in a brutal and violent world after all and the balance between action and romance is perfect.
To sum up, I LOVED this book big time. I found it hugely addictive and couldn’t part from it for a second I was that engrossed and involved in it. I think I read it with my eyes on stalks, my mouth hanging open and with my heart pounding throughout, It’s the most exciting book I’ve read for a long time. The final pages set up fantastically for the sequel and the wait for it is going to be sheer torture. Seriously, if there is one book you must buy this year it’s Divergent, I whole-heartedly recommend it and then some. Just make sure you have a spare few hours because I’m warning you, once you start you won’t be able to stop.
Published by HarperCollins May 2011
Many Thanks to the publishers for providing me with a copy for review.