Imagine having one choice - one choice directing the rest of your life, who you will spend it with, and how you will live it.
In Beatrice's dystopian society, once members reach the age of sixteen, they must choose which of the five factions they will live - permanently. Factions are separated by their service to the society as a whole and their character traits determine their service: Candor~they deliver honesty, Abnegation~the selfless servants, Dauntless~the brave protectors, Erudite~the brains, and Amity~the peacemakers. The hardest part is deciding to stay in the faction you were born in, or follow your heart and leave your family forever. Beatrice, from Abnegation, has always found it difficult to be what she's been taught is "truly selfless" and chooses to redefine the meaning of a selfless life - one of bravery and protecting the weak.
This book needs an award just for its cover - it has the swamp, the defunct city, the darkness with a tiny glimmer of light just above the skyline and the storm brewing. Even the title had two different colors dividing it but not equally, more on a tilt. Best of all is the flaming faction symbol. I've never seen a cover reveal so much about a story.
At first Beatrice seems really sheltered and bland, but she's got a spark in her that once fueled with freedom and challenges becomes a roaring flame when she chooses to be 'Tris from Dauntless. She continually accepts challenges, drawing strength from her inner duel between faction traits. Overall, her selflessness shines through chapter after chapter. There's so much to her and hints of so much more just waiting to be tapped. The entire book feels like doors just waiting to be opened to different elements of the society - what have the intelligent been up to? What are the dauntless protecting the factions from? Is the gate there to keep them in or keep others out? Is Tobias' tattoo right - would their society be better off uniting and interweaving the traits and factions?
Insurgent and the cherry on top was the family bond and the strength that it gave her - a rarity in YA fiction. My only reservation was that very, very end of the book. I don't mind that its a cliffhanger, but the very last two and a half pages felt a bit deflated compared to the other fantastic writing. It did, however, tie in motivation and goals for the characters for the next book. I can't wait to pick the story back up in Insurgent! Hastings - hang onto your bookshelves 'cause I'm on my way....
I give Divergent 5 stars!
What faction would YOU choose? What if you could create factions - what would they be?