Happy 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).