Thursday, November 21, 2013

Review of Divergent by Juliet Tosto

Divergent opens with five factions or tribes that make up most of Chicago.  Each faction consists of people with the same character trait-bravery, selfless, honest, kind, and intelligent.  Beatrice, the main character, turns sixteen years old and has to choose which faction to join.  
She was born and raised by the Selfless faction.  When she takes stimulation test on which faction she would best fit into, the results aren't conclusive.  She does not excel in one character trait, but three-selfless, brave, and intelligent.  Having multi-character traits makes one divergent.

Tori, the test-giver, deletes the results to protect Beatrice and warns about the dangers of being divergent.  On "Choosing Day", the 16 year-olds have to make an oath by cutting their palms with a knife and allowing the blood to drop into the faction they want to be a part of-kind of like creating an allegiance.  Beatrice chooses the Brave faction (called Dauntless) and leaves her family.  
Her initiation involves three steps.  The first is the fighting round. She lands in the middle of the group in terms of talent, but in the second round called the stimulation round she places first.  The stimulation is a hallucinogen that tests what one would do in certain situations.  Because Beatrice is divergent, she can control the stimulation and escape them quicker than everyone else.  
The boy who administers the stimulation tests deletes her results, again warning her of the dangers of divergence.  SPOILER ALERT: They fall in love and he is also divergent.  Like Beatrice, he is from the Selfless faction.  His dad is also a leader in the faction.  They share a common history in almost everything.
The third round is the fear stimulation.  This round forces you to face your fears.  Most people have fifteen fears.  Beatrice only has seven and her boyfriend only has four which dubs him the nickname Four.  This round is the most important of three.  She is ranked first of all the initiatives.  
After initiation all of the "Dauntless" or Brave faction are forced to have a stimulation shot.  Later on, she wakes up to find all of the other initiatives sleep walking.  She figures out that the shot was for mind control.  She is unaffected because she is divergent and plays along so no one knows her secret.  
The Intelligent faction is using the shot to start a war against the Selfless faction.  By the way, the Selfless faction comprises the government of all of the factions.  The Brave are therefore brainwashed to be used as soldiers.  Because Beatrice and Four are divergent, they are well aware of what is really happening.  Can they stop the war in time?

My Opinion: The book reminded me of Hunger Games which is probably why I loved it.  There is an obvious theme of mind control with a side story of romance.  The writer has a page-turning quality that got me to read this book in two days.  I thought is was ironic that the government was called "Selfless".  Obviously, the book is fantasy.  Nevertheless, I can't wait for the movie and have already downloaded the next book in the series.  I am a teenage girl and recommend this book for anyone who loves sci-fi thrillers and the Hunger Games.  4.5 Stars out of 5

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