Reviews provided by Syndetics
Publishers Weekly Review
In this edgy debut (definitely not for the fainthearted), first in a trilogy, promising author Roth tells the riveting and complex story of a teenage girl forced to choose, at age 16, between her routinized, selfless family and the adventurous, unrestrained future she longs for. Beatrice "Tris" Prior lives in crumbling dystopian Chicago, where citizens are divided into five factions¿Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite¿depending on their beliefs, passions, and loyalties. When Tris forsakes her Abnegation family to become one of the wild, fearless Dauntless, she must confront her deepest fears, learn to trust her fellow initiates, and guard the ominous secret that she is actually a Divergent, with the strengths of multiple factions, and is therefore a target of dangerously controlling leaders. Roth's descriptions of Tris's initiation process are as spellbinding as they are violent, while the tremulous romance between Tris and her protective and demanding instructor, Four, unfurls with heart-stopping tenderness. For those who loved The Hunger Games and are willing to brave the sometimes sadistic tests of strength and courage Tris must endure, the reward is a memorable, unpredictable journey from which it is nearly impossible to turn away. Ages 14¿up. (May).
School Library Journal Review
Gr 9 Up-In the dystopian Chicago setting of Roth's novel (Katherine Tegen Bks., 2011), the population is divided into five factions. Upon declaring allegiance to one of them, 16-year-old Beatrice will decide her future. Beatrice and her brother, Caleb, grew up in helpful, unassuming Abnegation, always putting others first. During her aptitude testing, a simulation probes her suitability for Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless, and Erudite. Rather than getting a clear reading of her strengths, Beatrice's result is disturbing and dangerous: she is Divergent. At the choosing ceremony, the teenager impulsively joins Dauntless, the tattooed "hellions" whose value is bravery, and who protect the community. Beatrice, now called Tris, finds she feels brilliantly alive in Dauntless, even during the brutal training. She enjoys seeing her muscles harden, testing her courage, protecting the underdog, and working her way up the ranks of recruits. Making both friends and enemies, she moves through simulations tailored to trigger her Fear Landscape. Gradually, her Divergence shows itself, allowing Tris to see that the faction-dominated world isn't as wonderful as she has been told. The likeable characters, excellent pacing, and blooming romance will have listeners hooked. Emma Galvin's youthful voice has a twinge of huskiness that lends itself to voicing both young men and women. The audiobook will be very popular, so library patrons will have to be careful considering the packaging: a lightweight box and foldout sleeves. You might want to purchase the audio download instead.-Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TX (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
In the future, you are born into one of five factions, each of which has its strength and focus: Abnegation (service), Candor (truth), Erudite (intellect), Amity (friendship), or Dauntless (fearlessness). But on your sixteenth birthday, you can choose a new faction if you are so compelled, and that's what happens to Tris, who shocks everyone by exchanging the drab gray robes of Abnegation for the piercing and tattoo stylings of Dauntless. What follows is a contest, where only the top 10 initiates are accepted into the final group. This framework of elimination provides the book with a built-in tension, as Tris and her new friends and new enemies go through a series of emotional and physical challenges akin to joining the marines. Roth is wisely merciless with her characters, though her larger world building is left fuzzy. (Is there a world beyond this dystopian version of Chicago?) The simplistic, color-coded world stretches credibility on occasion, but there is no doubt readers will respond to the gutsy action and romance of this umpteenth spin on Brave New World.--Kraus, Daniel Copyright 2010 Booklist
Horn Book Review
In future Chicago, sixteen-year-old Beatrice should have discovered which of her society's five factions--Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, Erudite--she belongs to after taking a sorting test. However, her results are inconclusive, which could get her killed; or she might just save the world. The story's fast-paced action; romance; and strong, intelligent characters facing difficult choices will appeal to Hunger Games fans. (c) Copyright 2011. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Book Review
Cliques writ large take over in the first of a projected dystopian trilogy.The remnant population of post-apocalyptic Chicago intended to cure civilization's failures by structuring society into five "factions," each dedicated to inculcating a specific virtue.When Tris, secretly a forbidden "Divergent," has to choose her official faction in her 16th year, she rejects her selfless Abnegation upbringing for the Dauntless, admiring their reckless bravery. But the vicious initiation process reveals that her new tribe has fallen from its original ideals, and that same rot seems to be spreading... Aside from the preposterous premise, this gritty, paranoid world is built with careful details and intriguing scope. The plot clips along at an addictive pace, with steady jolts of brutal violence and swoony romance. Despite the constant assurance that Tris is courageous, clever and kind, her own first-person narration displays a blank personality. No matter; all the "good" characters adore her and the "bad" are spiteful and jealous. Fans snared by the ratcheting suspense will be unable to resist speculating on their own factional allegiance; a few may go on to ponder the questions of loyalty and identity beneath the faade of thrilling adventure.Guaranteed to fly off the shelves. (Science fiction. 14 up)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.