I don’t know about everyone else in the world but ever since I read The Hunger Games I’ve been obsessed with YA dystopian trilogies- I can’t seem to get enough. I’ve read some amazing ones – The Giver (some believe the first YA dystopian novel) and The Mazerunner and some not so awesome ones – I couldn’t even finish Gone….annoying characters although the premise seemed intriguing. I was really excited about Divergent and I’ve gotta say that it didn’t disappoint! Was it Hunger Games good? Well maybe not quite there but it was exciting and left me wanting more….always a good sign.
Beatrice Prior lives in post-apocalyptic America. She lives in Chicago, which was virtually destroyed because of war sometime in the past (they don’t go into much detail). In order to avoid war, people have divided themselves into five seperate factions : Amity (the peaceful), Candor (the honest), Erudite (the intelligent), Abnegation (the selfless) and Dauntless (the brave). Each faction is appointed to a task to keep society running i.e. Abnegation are appointed leaders since they are less likely to seek out power for themselves. On your sixteenth birthday, each member must take a test that will determine what faction they should choose and then a day later, they must choose what faction they will pledge their lives to. If you choose a faction different from your family, you will not see them again (except on Visitor’s day). When we meet Beatrice she is about to take the test and is extremely torn because she isn’t selfless and doesn’t believe she will stay in Abnegation. Her fears are confirmed when she takes the test and the results are “Divergent” meaning she is suited to more than one faction. The test giver tells her this is dangerous and to NEVER tell anyone about her result. When Beatrice chooses her faction (I’m not going to give it away) we follow her in her training and as she learns more about the inner workings of the faction. As she learns more about being divergent, she also begins to suspect that there is something more sinister going on between the factions. Meanwhile, she meets a strange and enigmatic boy named Four….he is at once intriguing and annoying. Will Beatrice do well in her faction? Will she find out what being Divergent is and why is it so dangerous? Is there a secret plot? Is Four part of it? Does Four like her? You’ll have to read it to find out!
Fast-paced and action packed, Divergent really delivers on many of the same levels that Hunger Games did. We have a strong female character, she is sarcastic, tough, yet vulnerable in many ways. We get to know her friends in her new faction as well as her enemies. There is a sense of competition in Beatrice’s new faction and this really adds to the thrilling narrative of the story. The world that Veronica Roth has created is both horrible and wonderful, full of the details of the ruins of the America we all know. While we cannot understand the reasons why this society has chosen to divide themselves, we are fascinated with their new rules and societal regulations. Not to mention, Four seems very hot in a sensitive bad boy way 😉 All in all, this was a really fun quick read that I think anyone who enjoyed Hunger Games would also enjoy. I give it eight shoes – a sweet pair of BCBG wedges that I found on sale at TJ Maxx – both wearable and adorable.
Three Appeals : thrilling and fast-paced, strong female heroine, good dystopian fantasy world
Red Flags: Some violence and gore
If you liked Divergent then try :
1) Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
Often cited as the best book to introduce new readers to science fiction, this is considered a classic. This amazing novel follows Ender, a young exceptional boy who is taken from his family at the tender age of six to train at Battle School. There he must excel at mock battle games while comtending with his fellow students. The invasion is coming and Ender will be pushed to his limits at the school. Can he save humanity? This is an amazing book and I would highly recommend it to anyone – a definite ten shoe book!
2) Enclave by Ann Aguirre
In Deuce’s world, people earn the right to a name only if they survive their first fifteen years. By that point, each unnamed ‘brat’ has trained into one of three groups-Breeders, Builders, or Hunters, identifiable by the number of scars they bear on their arms. Deuce has wanted to be a Huntress for as long as she can remember. As a Huntress, her purpose is clear–to brave the dangerous tunnels outside the enclave and bring back meat to feed the group while evading ferocious monsters known as Freaks. She’s worked toward this goal her whole life, and nothing’s going to stop her, not even a beautiful, brooding Hunter named Fade. When the mysterious boy becomes her partner, Deuce’s troubles are just beginning. Down below, deviation from the rules is punished swiftly and harshly, and Fade doesn’t like following orders. At first she thinks he’s crazy, but as death stalks their sanctuary, and it becomes clear the elders don’t always know best, Deuce wonders if Fade might be telling the truth. Her partner confuses her; she’s never known a boy like him before, as prone to touching her gently as using his knives with feral grace. As Deuce’s perception shifts, so does the balance in the constant battle for survival. The mindless Freaks, once considered a threat only due to their sheer numbers, show signs of cunning and strategy… but the elders refuse to heed any warnings. Despite imminent disaster, the enclave puts their faith in strictures and sacrifice instead. No matter how she tries, Deuce cannot stem the dark tide that carries her far from the only world she’s ever known. (taken from Fantastic Fiction)
3) The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him – something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn’t she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd’s gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is. (taken from Fantastic Fiction)
4) Delirium by Lauren Oliver
What if love were a disease? There was a time when love was the most important thing in the world. People would go to the end of the earth to find it. They would tell lies for it. Even kill for it. Then, at last, they found the cure. Now, everything is different. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Haloway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy. But then, with only ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable. (taken from Fantastic Fiction)
There you go my loyal friends : As always please let me know if you read this book and how you liked it.
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