Divergent the other day, I was wondering what made me buy it in the first place: I didn’t know it would become a hyped up movie, or even a bestseller. Regardless, I’m glad I did! This book is for boys and girls, for action lovers and romantics, for teens and adults. Many would say it’s the next “Hunger Games” (especially with a movie franchise on the way), and while both are great dystopias, Divergent is no knock-off. The plot is able to hold its own with well-developed and unique characters.
Divergent is the narrative of a 16-year old girl living in a futuristic Chicago. In this society, there are five different “factions” that hold a high regard for a certain personality trait. For example, the main character, Beatrice, is born into the “Abnegation” who value selflessness. They appear as plain as possible, wearing gray clothes and simple hairstyles, all as an attempt to forget themselves as they focus on helping others. The other factions value traits such as honesty, bravery, peacefulness, and intelligence. When someone reaches their sixteenth birthday, they may decide which faction they would like to be in for the remainder of their lives- a choice that may leave their old faction feeling bitter and betrayed.
And while it seems like life is simple enough, initiation can be incredibly challenging and pushes these teens to their limits. The threat of becoming “factionless” – a fate some call worse than death- looms constantly over the initiate’s heads. As faults in the system become exposed, rebellion lurks beneath the surface of a deceptively organized society. Those who are not easily defined by one of these five traits are called “divergent” and threaten the simplicity of this society. Power hungry leaders will do anything it takes to suppress these independent minds in order to remain in charge.
This book is definitely a page turner, and not too out-there for those wary of sci-fi. The characters are very realistic and have their flaws, as in real life, no one can be defined as only good or only bad. Intricate relationships are formed and sometimes-fatal mistakes are made, all of which make for a compelling tale. Roth seamlessly transitions from light hearted and humorous scenes into tense, edgy ones. The climax is gripping, non-stop, and will leave you wanting more. Luckily, Divergent is part of a trilogy including Insurgent, and the recently released Allegiant. The movie starring Shailene Woodley (soon to star as Hazel in The Fault in Our Stars) will be released March 21st, and I recommend reading the book before seeing it!
Interesting side note: The author, Veronica Roth, 25, grew up in the nearby town of Barrington, and attended the prestigious Northwestern University to study creative writing. She started the book during winter break her senior year, and sold the movie rights before she even graduated.
For more info and trailers on the movie, check out http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1840309/?ref_=nv_sr_1
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