Divergent by Veronica Roth

The basics

Title: Divergent


Series: Divergent #1

Divergent (January 2011)
- Insurgent (March 2012)
- Allegiant (October 2013)

Add it: Goodreads

Goodreads Summary:

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, 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 surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Read a full summary of Divergent by Veronica Roth below. If you can’t remember what happened in Divergent and you need a refresher, then you’re in the right place.

This surprise recap was written and submitted by Asti from Oh, the Books! Thank you so, so much!

In short

Tris lives in a world where everyone has to choose to be part of a certain faction: Dauntless, Abnegation, Erudite, Amity, or Candor. She finds out that she is Divergent, meaning that she can fit in more than one faction and pretty much cannot be as brainwashed as everyone else in whichever faction she chooses. Though Tris grew up in Abnegation, she chooses to be part of the Dauntless faction and pretty much kicks butt while learning to be part of the faction, falling in love with the instructor at the same time. The same day she becomes an accepted member of the Dauntless faction, everyone gets brainwashed into Abnegation-killing zombies (except for those who are Divergent) and Tris saves the day by breaking into the Dauntless compound and stealing the program that is controlling everyone. Phew!

What happened in Divergent?

  • Beatrice takes the aptitude test to determine which faction she should go into, but her results are inconclusive with only Candor and Amity being ruled out. She is told she is Divergent and that it’s something she should keep secret. Dum dum dumm…
  • At the Choosing Ceremony, both Beatrice and her brother Caleb leave the Abnegation faction they grew up in. Beatrice joins Dauntless and Caleb joins Erudite.
  • Beatrice quickly stands out in Dauntless, being the first to jump off a roof into a net. She renames herself Tris.
  • Stage one of Dauntless initiation requires physical training. The first day Tris doesn’t fight, but on the second she is paired up with Peter and gets badly beaten up. Even outside of training they bump heads with Peter de-toweling Tris in front of everyone (gasp)! Tris takes her anger out in her next match against Molly, one of Peter’s sidekicks. She has to be pulled away by her trainer Four. At the end of stage one, Tris is ranked sixth place.
  • Tris’s mother comes to Visiting Day by herself because her father is still too upset by Tris’s betrayal of switching factions. Her mother seems eerily comfortable in the Dauntless compound. She warns her to be careful about being Divergent and to visit brother at Erudite to have him research the simulation serum. The Erudite have banned Abnegation from visiting themselves because they are in conflict.
  • Stage two of initiation focuses on the emotional aspect of being brave. The initiates are put in a simulation where they have to learn to control their emotions. As with the aptitude test, Tris’s test results are not typical. She is able to manipulate the simulation when she shouldn’t. Four warns her that she must do better to hide her Divergent nature or risk being killed. At the end of the stage she is ranked first.
  • Tris is kidnapped in the middle of the night by fellow initiates Peter, Drew, and Al. They hold her over a chasm threatening to kill her, and feel up her boobs. (Bastards!) She struggles and fights back, and is eventually saved when Four interferes. Al is so full of guilt over what he has done that he commits suicide by jumping into same chasm the next day.
  • The next day Four shows Tris his fear landscape. It’s a simulation in which each person faces his/her fears and has to try and defeat them or remain calm to move on. Tris learns that Four has only four fears (hence his name) and had also transferred from Abnegation. His real name is Tobias. They make out and stuff.
  • Stage three involves the same fear landscape that Four/Tobias introduced to Tris when they were alone. She is put through it but cannot handle the simulation and falls apart. She gets upset that Four does nothing, slaps him, and runs away.
  • Tris sneaks out to Erudite to find her brother. She gives him her mother’s message about researching the simulation serum. On her way out of Erudite, she is stopped by two guards who take her to their leader Janine. She is evil and questions Tris’s test results, but Tris lies her way to safety so she can be taken back to Dauntless.
  • Four/Tobias confronts Tris about Erudite’s secret plan. He found war plans they had sent to Dauntless. They are attempting to use Dauntless as an army to take out the Abnegation. Oh no!
  • Tris has no time to warn Abnegation because it’s time for Initiation Day in which she faces the fear landscape again and learns her ranking out of the Dauntless initiates. She only faces seven fears (half of what most face) and earns first place ranking. Before she can celebrate, one of the leaders injects her with a serum that he claims is used to track the members of the faction. Oh really?
  • Tris and Four/Tobias kiss some more and show each other their awesome tattoos. Awww..

How did Divergent end?

Once at the Dauntless location, Tris runs into the scumbug Peter again and shoots him in the arm to find out where the computers are that the program is being run on. Once there, Peter, Marcus, and Caleb wait outside while Tris and her father barge in to save the day. Tris’s father gets killed (Sadface again!). The only thing between her and the program is Tobias/Four, who is under the influence of the new serum.

Tobias/Four and Tris face off and Tris gets the crap beaten out of her. She gets a gun and has the opportunity to kill Tobias/Four, but can’t do it. Instead, she gives him the gun so he can kill her. Lucky for her, he is able to take control of the simulation just in time so he doesn’t blow her head off. He proceeds to take the program off the computer, and they escape with Peter, Caleb, and Marcus. (Insert awkward father and son reunion between Four/Tobias and Marcus here).

The last scene of Divergent shows Tris and Tobias/Four on a train to Amity with Peter, Caleb, and Marcus. Tobias/Four tells Tris he loves her, and they make out with each other as the train rides off into the distance…

Any weird terminology?

Factions – Groups created based off their beliefs as to which human qualities they felt were responsible for the world’s disarray. The five factions are Amity, Erudite, Candor, Abnegation, and Dauntless.

Factionless – Those that fail to complete initiation into whichever faction they chose. These individuals live in poverty doing work that no one else wants to do (janitors, construction works, garbage collectors, etc.).

Choosing Ceremony – At the age of sixteen, teenagers get to choose which faction they want to join. They can remain in the faction they grew up with in their family, or transfer to a different faction.

Abnegation – The Abnegation faction focuses on selflessness. They cannot think of themselves at all and instead focus on doing things for others.

Candor – The Candor faction is all about honesty. They are all about telling the truth, and are trained to detect when others lie.

Dauntless – The Dauntless faction consists of the brave. These individuals are pierced, tattooed, wear black clothing, and constantly push themselves to do crazy thing like jumping off buildings and beating each other up.

Erudite – The Erudite faction focuses on intelligence. They are in a constant pursuit of knowledge, surrounded by books and computers.

Amity – The Amity faction is for the peaceful. They like to laugh and play games.

Stiff – Slang term for those from the Abnegation faction

Aptitude test – Test that simulates real-life situations in which each faction trait is tested and ruled out to determine which faction best fits the initiate.

This is a full plot summary of what happened in Divergent by Veronica Roth. Check out our recap list for more recaps. If you can’t find what you need, you can request a recap from us!

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  • Darlene says:

    Great recap, Judith! I’m just about to read Insurgent, and I really appreciated reading this to jog my memory!

    • Dawn Dreamer says:

      I just found this site and found it great. I am always forgetting what happened in the previous book in a series, if I hadn’t read the next book very soon after. This recap is great.

  • Hahaha this is hilarious! Did help me though so I can now go and read Allegiant.

  • Thanks for posting!

  • Thanks so much! I’m just starting Insurgent and I wanted to refresh my memory on Divergent. I love that you guys do this. Soooo great! 🙂

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