Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Reading Reflection: Divergent

by Veronica Roth
Published May 3rd 2011
p. 487
Rating: 5/5

In a future Chicago, 16-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.

Alright, I thought I was opposed to dystopian novels because of the first series I read in this genre, Hunger Games, but apparently I just wasn't very fond of those three books.  It made me hesitate to check out Divergent, but I'm glad I did... I liked this book sooo much better. 

The concept behind Divergent is that at the age of 16 everyone must decide what faction they will devote the rest of their lives to: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite.  They can decide to go along with their families, or choose something entirely different.  However, once the decision is made the person is expected to live accordingly for the rest of their lives.

Beattrice, later taking on the name Tris, is from a family originally Abnegation - the selfless group.  Everyone in this faction places others' needs and wants above their own.  They live life plainly with very strict rules always placing others first.  Tris decides after 16 years of being associated with the  Abnegation, she wanted to  join the Dauntless faction -- the brave.

Um, the Dauntless are crazy.  They jump on and off moving trians, off roofs, learn hand to hand combat, shoot guns, throw knives, and are expected to face their own fears.  I thought it was very interesting that a girl who was not allowed to look in the mirror (because it promotes vanity) or speak at the dinner table would choose this type of faction.  But she did, was awesome at it, and has a secret.

Tris is a unique character.  There is something almost cold and rigid about her, but I found her fascinating.  I expected someone from the Abnegation group to be almost timid and mild, but she wasn't.  She excelled in the Dauntless faction.  I enjoyed reading about her bravery and how she simply just seemed to fit in so seamlessly into the group.  The good thing about her was that she wasn't hostile, or brutal, like some of the other characters who joined the faction.  She really encompassed the meaning of bravery.

Of course there is a love interest, Four, who turns out to be Tobias.  He is one of Tris' trainers and always seems to be providing support, however she may need it.  I'm glad they get together because they remind me of one another.  They're are both strong, but compassionate at the same time. 

Along with training to ensure she stays in a faction and dealing with a relationship, Tris has to deal with her secret: she is a Divergent.  I'm still not entirely sure what it means, but if certain people find out she won't survive.  Also, this trait of hers comes in handy at the end of the story, when things go awry and a war begins. 

I really enjoyed this book.  I loved the characters and the plot, they were really interesting and the story was very well put together.  I cannot wait for the next book in the series. 

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