Book Review: THE DIVERGENT SERIES

Imagine a world in which we are all divided according to our many different personalities. Do you think it would be possible? Of course not! Everyone has a mix of personalities and will never be able to fit into one single type of personality. Veronica Roth, however, created a world just like that, in the Divergent series!

The backdrop of the whole series revolves around a ruined Chicago in the near future, which is a city with its residents divided into five different factions based on their personalities. They are Abnegation for the selfless, Amity for the kind, Candor for the honest, Dauntless for the brave and Erudite for the intelligent. This removes the threat of anyone acting independently and re-threatening the population’s safety. Everyone takes an aptitude test at the age of sixteen, and choose their factions at the Choosing Ceremony the very next day. They will then have to pass the initiation of their particular faction or be deemed factionless, a group which lives in poverty. Beatrice Prior, the daughter of Abnegation leader Andrew Prior, is tested with equal aptitude for three different factions, Abnegation, Erudite and Dauntless, classifying her as “Divergent” and she is warned never to share this information with anyone at all for fear of her life, as the ruthless leader of Erudite hunts down and kills Divergents. She eventually chooses Dauntless under a new name, Tris, and faces many trials and hardships, and also a romantic relationship with her instructor Four. However, a crisis unknown to her had been brewing for quite some time. Racing against time, fear of her life and the lives of those around her, and tough emotional struggles, she must find out what is really happening both inside and outside of the city, think and execute means to save her family and friends from all the chaos, and make traumatizing decisions that she has to cope with for the rest of her life.

One flaw that I felt would be the writing style in the third book, Allegiant, which is written from both Tris’ and Four’s perspective; I felt that it was confusing to switch between the two roles. Despite that, I personally liked the book series a lot as the story was unconventional and refreshing, and the faction quizzes were fun as they enabled you to know which factions you would fit in! The books were also written at a reasonable pace so that readers would not feel that the story is too rushed or too draggy. I was hooked onto the first book, Divergent, in just the first few pages, and Insurgent was equally exciting. I particularly liked the detailed descriptions of Tris’ inner thoughts and feelings, and would highly recommend the series to anyone who likes reading about dystopian worlds!

The three main books of the series are Divergent, Insurgent and Allegiant (in chronological order). Other books include the prequel to the series, Four: A Divergent Collection (which consists of five short stories from Four’s perspective), and The World of Divergent: The Path to Allegiant (a companion book to the Divergent trilogy). All the books are written by American author Veronica Roth; I found it impressive that despite Divergent being her debut novel, it was still extremely popular with readers all around the globe, with many fans even creating their own faction quizzes! You may want to search for some and try them for yourselves!

-Daphne Yow (4T)

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