Age Appropriate

Parental Reviews Of Non-Parental Books



Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Number of Pages:  576 (paperback)
Advertised Age Level: Young Adult

Age and Grade of Main Character(s):  16+

Language:  no profanity
Sex: kissing
Drug/Alcohol Use:  some characters drink alcohol, characters are injected with a serum that causes hallucinations
Violence: extreme violence, fighting, characters are wounded and/or killed
Social Issues:  government conspiracy, dystopian world, death of a parent
Suggested Movie Grade:  PG-13

Premise: In a futuristic Chicago, society has divided into five factions, each faction representing and embracing different human virtues and characteristics as a way of life. Beatrice Prior was born into the Abnegation faction, a group that values selflessness and serving. However, when children turn 16, they undergo testing to determine which faction they have an aptitude for, and they select which faction they will devote their lives to, forsaking even their own families if necessary. When Beatrice undergoes her testing, she learns that she is a Divergent, a person who has the ability to function well within three factions. Told only that she must keep her Divergent status secret as it could endanger her life, Beatrice leaves her family and chooses to join the Dauntless, a faction that values bravery and requires its members to face and overcome their deepest fears.

Beatrice – renaming herself Tris – begins the training and initiation program for the Dauntless. She learns to shoot a gun, to fight, and to face her own fears. All the while, she struggles to figure out where she really belongs – with her new friends and the people of the Dauntless faction, including one of her mentors, Four, or if she should have remained in Abnegation where all is familiar and safe. When Tris learns that the Erudite faction plans to use the Dauntless as warriors to make war on Abnegation to gain control of the government, she knows that she must do whatever is necessary to protect those that she loves.

Potential Points of Concern: 

Tris learns to fight, and as part of the Dauntless initiation process, she is forced to fight against fellow trainees. She is beaten very badly. Other initiates also suffer severe beatings as part of their training.

Competition amongst the trainees is very high, and one initiate – Peter – is very violent towards those who are ahead of him in rankings. He stabs one competitor in the eye to remove him from the program. Peter and two other trainees kidnap Tris and plan to drop her over a ledge to her death before they are stopped by Four.

The Dauntless are forced to face their fears by going through simulated “fear” landscapes, during which they experience their fears as realistic events that they must overcome. Tris fears being attacked by crows, drowning, being kidnapped, and being forced to kill her family.

The Erudite leaders use a serum to gain control over the Dauntless by putting them in a trance-like state and then make the Dauntless kill Abnegation members. Tris is forced to shoot people in self defense, injuring and killing those who try to kill her.

Both of Tris’s parents are killed during the attack on the Abnegation faction.

Tris and Four share a few kisses.

Age Appropriateness:  13 +

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7 thoughts on “Divergent

  1. katherine on said:

    the movie sounds really sad or depressing!!!

  2. Keyana on said:

    I loved divergent!Its a really good book my fifth grade teacher read it to use and we couldn’t wait for the account one!I say give it a try!

  3. I read hunger games when I was seven, I am ten now.

  4. Ashley sydney smith on said:

    I am 11 i read Divergent and my friends are to u read about prople being killed i kmow how people can get killed so i think it is just how mature u are because in the movie u see it happening so it is worst. There is spne inapropiate stuff but it is fine

  5. lalala on said:

    i loved divergent. i am 12. I thought it was fine. The only thing that might not be good for kids 10 and under (spoiler) would be the couple of kisses Tobias and Tris have, nothing really beyond Tobias taking off his shirt to show Tris his tattoo. Then as far as drugs and achool. Some of the characters not the main character get drunk but nothing too bad and they give them this serum to test them. It gives them hallucinations. There is lots of voulice at the end of the book and people do get killed and shot. Nothing gory at all, main character gets shot in the shoulder. Good book for ages 11-adult

  6. idk personally read it at 10 and it was perfectly fine. The fighting isn’t for sensitive readers but other than that the only point of concern would be the scene where Marcus abuses Tobias/Four in his fear landscape.

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