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Divergent    by Veronica Roth Amazon.com order for
Divergent
by Veronica Roth
Order:  USA  Can
Katherine Tegen, 2011 (2011)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

My first reaction after reading Divergent was simply, wow! Debut author Veronica Roth has penned a tour de force that bring dystopian YA fiction to a whole new level.

Beatrice Prior has never felt that she belonged in the Abnegation faction. She tries to be selfless, but she wants something more out of life. Every day at school she watches the Dauntless kids with their piercing and tattoos jump from the train and do other death-defying stunts. When she is tested to determine which faction she should pick at the Choosing Ceremony that all sixteen-year-olds undergo, her test results are inconclusive, making her a Divergent. Sworn to secrecy, she tells no one about her results, not even her slightly older brother Caleb who has also just been tested.

Knowing how much it will hurt her parents, especially after Caleb chooses Erudite, Beatrice goes with her gut feeling and chooses Dauntless where she becomes Tris. However, she quickly learns that there is much more to being brave than jumping off buildings and being a target for throwing knives. If Tris is going to survive the training to become a full member of Dauntless, she must keep her Divergent nature a secret from the corrupt faction leaders.

The world Roth has imagined is unique and wonderfully planned out. Dystopian Chicago is a gloomy place where everyone wants to believe that belonging to one of the five factions is the best choice for mankind. Tris is a character who finds herself on the outside but, like any normal teenager, still wants to fit in. Her beliefs do not match with the rest of her society's, but she does find a few allies some being the last people she would imagine. The Dauntless initiation is to make her strong, but she grows in ways that she could never have imagined, and this is what makes her such a dynamic character.

Divergent is a masterpiece of this genre. It is a fast-paced, heart-racing read that will keep the reader up until all hours of the night. Veronica Roth has already made a name for herself and hopefully the rest of the trilogy will live up to this powerful first book.

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