Sunday, July 01, 2012
This is the first book in the Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth. After enjoying The Hunger Games Trilogy, several people recommended this series to me, so I joined my library's waiting list for the Kindle edition and snatched it up when it came available. I really enjoyed this first book in the series, and the view into a Dystopian world that's based on 5 distinct factions, each with their own specialty that helps make their "perfect society" function most optimally.
Every year, all the 16-year-olds from every faction are administered a controlled simulation Aptitude Test which helps determine which faction they're best suited for. And then at the following day's Choosing Ceremony, they make the ultimate decision which will impact the rest of their lives. Many kids decide to remain with their family, in the same faction in which they were raised, and often their Aptitude Tests will point them in that direction anyway. However, a smaller percentage strike out on their own and transfer to an entirely different faction. This is the case with Beatrice "Tris" Prior and her brother Caleb, who come from the Abnegation (the selfless) faction but transfer to Dauntless (the brave) and Erudite (the intelligent) respectively. During her Dauntless training, Tris goes through a grueling initiation process in which more than half the initiates are elimited and forced to live faction-less, but she also learns a great deal about herself in the process, all while keeping a secret that can threaten her life.
If you like books like The Hunger Games, then you should enjoy Divergent as well. The writing is crisp and action-packed and the characters likeable but flawed. I found it really creepy how this Dystopian society attempts to pigeon-hole everyone into a particular way of thinking, so they can fit one of their predefined molds, and that those who think outside-the-box or do not follow the norm are a threat to their existence.