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StorySnoops Children's Book Reviews | Divergent | Veronica Roth
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by Veronica Roth
LEXILE READING LEVEL: HL700L {what is this?}
PUBLISHER: Katherine Tegen Books
NO. PAGES: 496
GENRE{S}: Dystopian Fiction
SERIES: Divergent
SEQUEL: Insurgent (Divergent #2)
YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults
ISBN: 0062024027
READ & REVIEWED BY: Jen - StorySnoop

The Story
Divergent—Book Review

Today is the most important day of Beatrice Prior's life; one that will decide her future. That's because the society in which she lives has been divided into factions in order to extinguish undesirable human traits that lead to a world at war. Beatrice, along with all other sixteen-year-olds, must choose which faction she will align herself with for the rest of her life. The choice is between five factions, each guided by one virtue: Amity (who value peace), Erudite (who value intelligence), Candor (who value truth), Abnegation (who value selflessness), and Dauntless (who value courage). Beatrice is torn between loyalty to her family and being true to her herself. After making her choice, Beatrice faces an initiation process in which twenty initiates compete for ten spots based on their performance of certain tasks. If she is not ranked in the top ten, Beatrice will live factionless, and in complete isolation. Now calling herself Tris, she faces ruthless opponents and her greatest fears, while guarding a secret that, if revealed, could destroy her. At the same time she is inexplicably drawn to one of her trainers and struggles to let him in when she has spent all of her life keeping people out. When she uncovers a plot that threatens the foundation of society, Tris realizes that revealing her secret may be the only way to save the people she loves.
The Scoop
Divergent—Book Review
{spoiler alert}

Divergent is the gripping first installment in a new dystopian series set in a future Chicago, offering just the right balance of strong female character, compelling plot, action, and romance. Readers will be engaged by Tris' transformation externally and, more importantly, in how she views herself and what she is capable of. Despite the dystopian setting, Tris' struggle is one that teen readers will relate to, as she is torn between being true to herself and what she thinks her family wants her to be. While angry with herself for giving up on her family's value of selflessness, ultimately Tris learns that she cannot truly be courageous without also being selfless. In the end, her family accepts her choices, even though they are not the same as their own. Although her chosen faction's leaders seem to be moving the group in a dangerous direction, Tris values the faction's original beliefs--honor and bravery--and demonstrates these traits with fierce determination. The story does involve some violence. Tris is attacked by three initiate boys who are jealous of her success, and it is implied that they touch her inappropriately. One of these boys, who has struggled during the initiation process, commits suicide. Afterward, he is called a hero by one of the faction's leaders, but Tris is horrified that this description makes suicide seem like a viable option. Tris' faction is manipulated into participating in a plot to overthrow the government by murdering its leaders. During the coup, Tris must kill a friend in order to survive, and she witnesses the death of her parents who are both shot trying to save her. It would be interesting for readers to discuss the inherent danger of valuing just one virtue over all others, when there is merit in each of the virtues represented by the factions. Fans will be eager to read the next installment in the series, Insurgent.
>If you liked Divergent check out these Read Alikes!
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