4 1/2 STARS
In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprise everyone, including herself.
Beatrice Prior doesn’t belong. In her faction of society, everyone is selfless and Beatrice feels like she is missing something in this way of life. So on her Choosing Day, she opts to become a Dauntless, the faction she has admired from her schoolyard for their bravery and freedom.
Becoming Dauntless is not a walk in the park. As a matter of fact, it is quite the opposite. Since there are only some openings in the Dauntless, the trainees have to fight for their places.Beatrice changes her name to Tris and is beat up in competitive fights with her peers, learns to use weapons and becomes strong and agile. She is strongly attracted to Four, her trainer who runs hot and cold towards her unlike Peter, her sworn enemy who even goes so far as to try and eliminate Tris from the competition.
After facing her worst fears in a simulation, Tris is accepted into the Dauntless faction and the next morning all hell breaks loose.
Tris is brave and clever and smart. She is fearless in her determination to become a Dauntless. I liked that she kept some of the traits of her former faction and her ties to her family because of it. I could just imagine her, a tough little thing, fighting for her place and figuring out who she really was.
Four is an enigma that any young girl would want to investigate. He is dashing and brave and seemed totally fearless. His relationship with Tris is intriguing from the beginning.
Her fellow trainees are believable teens and I liked the bond some of them formed through their trials during training. I also understood the enmity that was bred with some of the other trainees since violence is such a part of their world.
I would have liked to learn more about Tris’ parents, who are both mysterious in their own ways. I would have liked Tris to get a chance to investigate her parents’ past.
*I felt disappointed that Tris didn’t get the opportunity to really be a Dauntless for a short while. I felt like we all got cheated when war broke out the very next morning after Tris became Dauntless.
Sometimes all the violence got to me but under the circumstances it was inevitable. Nobody wins a war without it.
If you don’t mind the violence of war, Divergent is a good read. You should try it.