Thursday, April 10, 2014

Divergent, by Veronica Roth

Veronica Roth. Divergent. New York: Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins, 2011. 487 pages. ISBN 9780062024039.

Beatrice lives in a world defined by the citizens' prevailing characteristics. There are five factions that include Abnegation (to which Beatrice and her family belong), Amity, Candor, Dauntless, and Erudite. At the age of 16 every citizen undergoes a personality test that predicts which faction they will most likely fit. Whatever the outcome of the test, however, each person has the right to choose their faction. Beatrice turns out to be an aberration in that she is a fit for not only Abnegation, but also Dauntless and Erudite. However, she follows her heart and chooses Dauntless, leaving her family and friends behind.

It turns out that Beatrice, or Tris as she's now known, is Divergent. The government doesn't recognize Divergents, and to be one is to live in danger. Tris has to hide her Divergent tendencies, and focus on passing the trials she must undergo to complete her Dauntless initiation. But trouble is looming, in some factions' plans for civil war. As Beatrice completes her Dauntless initiation she's faced with trying to protect her family and friends from the violence.

Divergent is the opening book of a series of three dystopian novels that address a corrupt, authoritarian government in a future world based in Chicago. I enjoyed the book, but not as much as the hype led me to believe that I would. I wonder if I'm nearing the end of my interest in YA post-apocalyptic dystopian fiction? I ran out of steam on vampires a few years ago, and now the dystopias feel like "been there, done that." Of course, since I'm a glutton for punishment, I'll probably read the rest of the trilogy, but I'll give myself a break first!

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