Book Review: Divergent ★★★1/2
If you like the hunger games, you will enjoy this. Divergent is a dystopian novel set in Chicago in the future. In this world the society takes a test at the age of sixteen to determine which faction out of five based upon moral tendencies they are most akin to. The five factions represent selflessness, peace, honesty, bravery and intelligence. Upon being told which you should be in you then have to choose either to stay with your family in their faction or move to the one you are suited to, and be separated from the other groups. Being divergent is when you are suited to more than one group and are required to choose which faction you wish to be in.
The main character Tris is one such divergent, and being so puts her in grave danger as by nature she doesn't conform. In a world where they are trying to create the illusion of peace by putting like groups together, and therefore forcing "natural" conformity and making them easier to control, she poses a threat to the system.
I really liked the concept behind this dystopian world, the idea of segregation is one that has occurred frequently throughout history, and segregation according to your virtues is simply a new form of this, one which these novels show is unsuccessful. it is made more plausible by being set in a currently existing city, and that landscape means you can picture it in more detail as there are recognisable landmarks.
The plot keeps you reading because there is always something going on, always a new part of life in the factions to discover. It is however a little predictable, especially when moving into the second novel, because you know that there must be more than meets the eye to this world so are just waiting for the reveal.
This, like the hunger game is now being made into a film. I think this will be worth watching purely because the story is set in a current city so you do not have to extend your disbelief as much in order to feel like it is real. This is a really quick YA read, and I imagine lots of young readers will discover it even more with the film release, but it may still appeal to adults because the concept is so interesting. The series has three parts and is almost complete, with Insurgent already released (review to come) and Allegiant being released later this year.
A fun and interesting read.