Monday, June 13, 2011


A friend of mine recommended Veronica Roth's Divergent to me.  Well, it was more like a command than a recommendation.  It went something like this: 
Awesome Friend: I am reading Divergent.
Me: Awesome!
Awesome Friend: Of course it is.  Have you ordered it yet?
Me: No, not yet.
Awesome Friend: What is wrong with you?  Get it now!
So of course, what could I do?  I read it straight one day.

Divergent takes readers to a dystopian Chicago of the future.  People have organized themselves into factions according to the virtue they think most important in creating a perfect society: selflessness, bravery, knowledge, honesty, and peace.  Ideally, these factions all contribute to the working of society as a whole.  But, you know, we people got in the way and messed up that plan.  We cannot be trusted!

At sixteen people are tested and then able to choose their faction. The test should reveal their general tendencies toward one faction, but do not have to influence the choice.  After choosing, new "initiates" go with their new faction for training.  Those who transfer to a different faction, should prepare to leave their families behind.

This story follows a girl named Beatrice whose aptitude test yields strange results that begin a dangerous chain of events for her.  Triss, as she becomes known, must learn how to mask who she really is and who she wants to become.  Being classified as Divergent is both dangerous and frightening because it is shrouded in mystery. 

This book emphasized the power of choice.  But, just like with many choices we don't know exactly what is involved with making that choice until we're right in the middle of it.  Since the factions don't communicate much with one another, those who transfer to a new faction are headed for a new world. 

This book is packed with action and is a great one for readers who just couldn't get enough of The Hunger Games.  I know I can't! 

I noticed in the author information on the book jacket that Veronica Roth says she used to write the story that would become Divergent instead of doing her homework.  That makes me giggle!  Well played, Roth, well played.

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