Friday, April 20, 2012

Divergent

Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins, 2011
501 pages

This young adult (YA) dystopian novel has been on my list for several months. After watching the movie The Hunger Games (which as most of you know is based on the first of another YA dystopian trilogy), I decided to jump in. I was immediately hooked.

Beatrice Prior is a sixteen year-old living in a futuristic Chicago where people are divided into five factions: Candor (truth/honesty), Amity (friendliness/peacefulness), Erudite (intelligence), Dauntless (bravery), and Abnegation (selfless). Beatrice's family is Abnegation. They wear colorless clothing, are very modest, and never take more than their share of anything. They're the folks who volunteer, and they're also in control of the government, according to the rules set up by their forebears since their faction is considered incorruptible.

Beatrice and her brother, Caleb, are at the age where they must choose a faction. Everyone expects them to choose Abnegation, since that's what their parents are. But Beatrice has always been a little different in her thinking, and that's a major dilemma. If she chooses another faction, according to the rules, that faction will become her new family. This means she would no longer be able to associate with her parents and brother. I guess you know where this is going. As it says on the book cover: One choice will transform you. Beatrice (who becomes Tris after making her choice) is about to be transformed in a huge way. And there's no turning back.

Of course, in the process of her transformation, Tris will discover her strengths. She'll also learn that her world isn't as perfect as she thought it was. Family and friends turn out to be not what you expect. Things are happening with the factions that were supposed to have been impossible. In fact, it's impossible not to draw parallels to problems in today's society while you're reading Divergent.  For this reason alone, I think Divergent is worth a read if you're into YA stuff.

Divergent appears to be the first in a planned trilogy. The second installment, Insurgent, is set to be released in May in the USA. That one's already on my list for sometime in the near future. :)