Divergent by Veronica Roth
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This story is set somewhere in the future of our country, although I'm not sure just how far from now it is... where the country is now divided into 5 Factions, Abnegation, Candor, Amity, Dauntless, and Erudite. Each faction consists of people with certain personalitlies and traits. They are raised in their factions until age 16 where they each take an aptitude test to see which faction their true personalities most coincide with. After they get their results they attend a Choosing Ceremony where they make the decision for themselves. Do they stay with their families or set out on their own path choosing a new faction.
Beatrice has never quite felt like she belonged in Abnegation, where the people always put others ahead of themselves. They are brought up to be completely selfless. They all wear grey, aren't allowed many luxuries, appear plain and aren't even allowed to look at themselves in the mirror. Luxuries and vanity make people jealous, so they've eliminated those things making them less selfish. Beatrice just can't always put others first, no matter how hard she tries.
Her aptitude test is inconclusive and sets a series of questions in motion for her. Who is she really? What makes her who she is. Why is she not like the others. She can't even ask anyone. The test administrator warned her that this was not a good thing. Being "Divergent" is dangerous and she should dicsuss it with noone.
When Beatrice decides to leave her faction and join the Dauntless, whose traits are courage and bravery and values are not as strict, her world is quickly turned upside-down. That's not necessarily a bad thing. She feels she fits in more here than she ever did before. Even with that though, she still feels different. She still has questions...
Something big is about to happen and somehow she takes it upon herself to figure things out and make them right. She finds her unorthodox training in Dauntless has definitely prepared her for this task. She is forced to make some very difficult decisions along the way.
Oh, and she meets a boy- Four. Four is two years older than she is and is overseeing her initiate class during training. She can't quite figure him out, but she feels drawn to him nonetheless. They come to learn a few things about eachother and something between them starts to grow.
This book was recommended for those who enjoyed the Hunger Games trilogy (which I thoroughly did), so after hearing several other praise it, I decided to give it a try. I couldn't put it down! Even though the subjects are technically kids at 16, the society in the book considers them adults, so it's easy to forget they are still so young.
It's hard for me to believe this is Veronica Roth's first novel. She is clearly a creatively talented person. She depicts her characters very well and I find them very intriguing, especially Four. This is definitely a story that will resonate with me as the Hunger Games did. I have already pre-ordered the sequel (Insurgent) which is to be released on May 1st and am wondering if maybe there's any fan fiction to tide me over until then...
Looking forward to the next installment!
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