Dystopian, Fiction, Young Adult

Divergent

Divergent book cover
Image from siren-indistress. blogspot.com

Title:  Divergent (Divergent #1)

Author:  Veronica Roth

Genre:  Dystopian

In Beatrice Prior’s Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to a particular virtue – Candor (honesty), Abnegation (selflessness), Dauntless (bravery), Amity (peacefulness), and Erudite (intelligence).  Each  sixteen-year-old must choose a faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives.  Beatrice’s choice is between staying with her family and being who she really is.  And her choice surprises everyone.  During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who are friends and who are enemies.  But she also has a secret – one she’s been warned means death.  As she discovers a conflict that threatens to unravel her “perfect” society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves…or it might destroy her…

This actually sounded like a pretty standard dystopian story to me – a seemingly perfect but really messed up society, main character with a secret that only might save her, a rebellion trying to change society…the only thing that really intrigued me about this one was the “factions” idea.

So I was pleasantly surprised.

I loved Tris, but I didn’t really understand why she wanted to stay in Abnegation.  I mean, yeah, her family was there, but she was obviously not cut out for it.  In fact, her selfless side didn’t really start to come through until she transferred to Dauntless.  I could tell even before she transferred that Dauntless was the best fit for her.

Tris was the only really main character.  She had a few people she hung out with, but they didn’t get too much page time.  There was also a romance interest, but he was so mysterious, I don’t think I could write a whole paragraph about him if I wanted.

The absolute best part about the book was the factions, hands-down.  I have no good idea of what being Amity would be like, don’t know anything about Candor except they always tell the complete truth, and the only thing I know for sure about Erudite is that they’re always studying and looking for more knowledge.

I wouldn’t imagine it would be easy to be Abnegation – besides the fact that things like mirrors and nice clothes and good food are considered “selfish,” they aren’t even allowed to talk about themselves.  And Dauntless is all about being brave, facing your fear.

I loved the whole Dauntless idea.  Daredevil stuff like jumping off buildings for fun, catching moving trains to get around, weapons and hand-to-hand combat and facing your fears…it was all so fascinating.  And I loved watching Abnegation-raised Tris try to navigate it.

The general plot itself was a pretty standard dystopian – messed up society, main character with a secret, rebellion, and all.  But the faction idea kept me interested, to the point where I didn’t want a rebellion because I wanted to read more about the factions.

I’m really curious to see where this series is going to go, and I’m going to read the second book in the series, Insurgent, as soon as I possibly can.

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