Book #25 of 2014: Divergent

I was a little resistant to read Divergent, only because everyone has had such high praise for it and I was afraid of being let down. People have likened it to The Hunger Games, and after reading it I have to say that I agree. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I have obviously seen the reviews so I had a hard time not picturing the actors in my head as I went along through the story.

In the author’s imagined world, society is broken down into five groups: Abnegation, Candor, Dauntless, Erudite, and Amity. On one day each year, all sixteen year olds must take a test which determines their rightful place in the world and then they have to decide whether to follow the test results or break away into a group of their choosing. Beatrice was born into a Abnegation family and has lived by their rules for the past sixteen years, but she can’t help but feel that maybe she truly belongs elsewhere. Her choice will affect not only her, but her family, and even society as a whole.

This was definitely a page-turner. I had a hard time finding stopping points late at night when I knew I had to go to sleep if I had any hope of functioning at work the next day. Often I had to just force myself to stop, and then I would pick it up at lunch the next day or as soon as I got home from work. I thought the premise was original and the storyline unfolded at a good pace. There were a lot of cliffhangers and surprises, some of which were easy to figure out in advance, but that didn’t detract from the overall story. The characters were well written and likable — for the most part.

I enjoyed this book so much that instead of borrowing the sequels from the library, I’m just going to purchase the set. I have been told by various people that the last book is disappointing, but I’m ok with that. This is definitely a series to own.

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