Roth, Veronica. 2011. Divergent. HarperCollins Publishers (Katherine Tegen Books). [email protected], (212-207-7000). 487 pp. $17.99. ISBN 978-0-6-202402-2.
Beatrice Prior lives in a society made of factions. Each faction is made to exemplify a characteristic. ‘Abnegation’, ‘Dauntless’, and ‘Erudite’ are just a few of the factions. When the citizens of the society turn 16, they must take an aptitude test that suggests to which faction they belong. When Beatrice takes her test, the results say that she belongs in three factions. Tori, who gave Beatrice the test instructed her not to tell anyone that she was divergent . On ‘Choosing Day’, Beatrice chose Dauntless because she believed that she did not fit in with other Abnegation members. Upon her arrival at the Dauntless compound, Beatrice renames herself Tris. She also meets her instructor, named Four, who tells them if they are not chosen they will become factionless. The Initiation is split into two parts: physical and mental. Although Tris had a disadvantage in height, she finished in the top ten for the physical section. During the second part of the initiation Tris is put under a fear landscape, a realistic simulation where she will face her fears. Tris has seven fears, and is scored on how long it takes her to fight through her fears. At the end of stage two Tris ranks first amongst the initiates. Out of rage her fellow initiates try to kill her by throwing her into a chasm. As Tris is doing so well in her initiation, the Erudite faction is making accusations about the Abnegation. In the meantime as Tris’ starts to have a relationship with Four and learns about his nickname. She also learns his real name, Tobias, and that his father, Marcus, is an Abnegation leader who the Erudite wants dead. After learning of her placement at the end of initiation, Tris and all the Dauntless are injected with a serum that tracks faction members. Tris then realizes that the Erudite are using the Dauntless to attack the Abnegation. The attack takes place at nighttime, and all the Dauntless, with the exception of the divergent, which include Tobias and Tris, become hypnotized and attack Abnegation member.
This book would be appropriate for an audience of 12- to 21-year-olds. (NSB)