Recommended Book of the Week

Divergent by Veronica Roth on Figment.comHappy hump day, figlers! To get you through the rest of the week, we’re recommending: Divergent by Veronica Roth.

I’ve heard this book described as the heir to the Hunger Games throne, and I can see why. There’s a lot to love about both trilogies, but Divergent is only the first of Roth’s planned three books, so it seems a bit early for comparisons. Still, reading Divergent is reminiscent of reading The Hunger Games; it’s action-packed and totally blows your mind.

Beatrice Prior is sixteen (which, in the YA world at least, is when things start to happen) and she’s about to face the aptitude tests of her society. But these ain’t no SATs, y’all – Beatrice undergoes a series of stressful simulations to determine which social faction she best fits with: Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). Everyone in Beatrice’s futuristic Chicagoan society fits distinctly into the single category their personal virtues prescribe. But Beatrice displays qualities of several factions – an unusual and dangerous situation referred to as divergence. Beatrice must choose a faction or end up alone. The choice she makes surprises everyone, and tests her in unexpected ways.

My favorite thing about Divergent is that while each of factions represents a virtue, its citizens are flawed. Some of the Dauntless are brave to the point of recklessness, and the Abnegation has become rigid and unyielding in its quest for selflessness. Also, it’s fun to figure out which faction you’d land in (I’m Amity – and you can find yours by taking this Facebook quiz) – way more fun than imagining which of Panem’s depressed provinces you’d hail from during a fight to the death.

You will like this if you:

  • Want to read about jumping off trains and climbing towers, but don’t actually want to do any of those things yourself because you’re not a moron.
  • Think the choice between a knife and a hunk of cheese is obvious.
  • Would like to change your name to something sweet, like Tris.

You will not like this if you:

  • Are tired of dystopian fiction already (you’re in for a long year, if that’s the case).

 

7 thoughts on “Recommended Book of the Week

  1. I read this book and also the Hunger Games trilogy. Both deal with the collapse of society after some kind of devastating war, and both have gutsy female protaganists. I loved both of them. I cannot wait to read the sequel to Divergant. Once of the things I liked best about this book was how the characters grew and changed during it and how many mysteries there were in Tris’ past with her family and how different things happen within the government due to the ambitions of several people. It was interesting to see that how a supposedly perfect society still has those who are power-hungry and ambitious, even though those qualities are supposedly not ones that are supposed to matter any more.

    I also liked the comparison the author draws between different kinds of bravery and discipline. The Dauntless are supposed to be the soldier caste, but even within them there are factions, and differing ideas about what makes a good soldier. There’s the ruthless, win-at-all-costs, vicious kind of soldier and the soldier who values toughness and teamwork and honor and comradship, as well being a protector. It’s alot like the difference between a Marine and a vigilante.

    I liked this story because it makes you think, while at the same time being filled with action and adventure. There is even some romance in it. I think this book has something for everyone in it, and should be a great read for anyone looking for something different.

    Normally I don’t read this kind of book, I’m more of a Dresden Files, Jim Butcher fan, but I was pleasantly surprised by how good this book was and I think you will be too.

  2. Really interesting! I don’t think it’s necessarily the next Hunger Games except in terms of popularity over a dark book. But the elements of the story are quite different; the Hunger Games is really a war story and more about death and fear manipulation, while this seems to deal more with the issues of class and conforming yourself into one stereotype. Like the Sorting Hat gone WRONG.

  3. I read Divergent the day it came out, and I had extremely high hopes for it- it was a lot- A LOT like The Hunger Games, one of my favorites series’s, which is what turned me off to it at first. But, over time, I began to like it anymore. It’s an addicting read that has a unique premise, even if the plot execution and blatant origins are predictable.

  4. This is an excellent book. The way the author is able to tell tell the story is amazing. For me, it was a lot of suspense and mystery mixed with the dystopian fiction I know and love. Also, just enough romance for the less action/factual reader. While parts of the book were predictable, other parts were totally surprising. I’ve been suggesting this book to all of my friends ever since I read it (and I have read it twice). I actually pulled one of my new favorite quotes out of this book about bravery. It made me think about society and my own behavior and what I value. Have fun, to all those who chose to read!

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