Dystopian novels are becoming popular because people are obsessed with the End of the World concept. What would happen if everything, and everyone, we know suddenly changed or vanished? Veronica Roth takes that idea and pares it down from the whole world to just your world. Your life, your friends, your family. That’s all that changes. Couldn’t that be just as devastating? In Divergent, the first book of its series, Roth forces the reader to think about how his or her surroundings truly influence one’s thoughts, beliefs and actions.
Beatrice has never felt like she belonged. Her community is split up into five factions, each with their own specialty: Candor, known for its honesty; Abnegation, known for its selflessness; Dauntless, known for its bravery and fearlessness; Amity, known for its peacefulness; and Erudite, known for its intelligence. Beatrice and her family are Abnegation, and while she can see the necessity of being selfless, she just doesn’t have it in her. However, she will get the chance to decide her fate during the Choosing Ceremony, where every 16-year-old chooses which faction to live in. However, if the teen doesn’t pass the initiation of that faction, then he or she will be an outcast forever.
Beatrice chooses Dauntless and changes her name to Tris. Being in a faction where fearlessness is key, Tris must now prove her worth. Making friends has never been easy for her, but she soon earns a reputation of never backing down. Things are beginning to look up for her. However, when Tris slowly realizes that things are not what they seem, she must make yet another choice: keep quiet and don’t rock the boat or fight for what’s right, even if that means losing everyone she loves.
Although this book was written for young adults, it’s a story that will touch anyone who reads it. Roth’s imagination knows no bounds, creating a world that is both merciless and hopeful. Tris may be a 16-year-old girl, but she is far from helpless. She has a kind heart, but is by no means a victim. She admires strength, but knows that there is a line between being strong and being cruel. The idea of choosing your fate in one day may seem a bit dramatic, but everyone has those moments in life. This is definitely a must-read.
You can find Divergent in any of Tulsa’s local book stores: Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, The Frugal Bookworm and Gardners.
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