Divergent by Veronica Roth (2010)

“Wait,” I interrupt her. “So you have no idea what my aptitude is?”
“Yes and no. My conclusion,” she explains, “is that you display equal aptitude for Abnegation, Dauntless, and Erudite. People who get this kind of results are…” She looks over her shoulder like she expects someone to appear behind her “…are called…Divergent.” She says the last word so quietly that I almost don’ thear it, and her tense worries look returns (p 22).

divergentSometime in the future, the people of Chicago are divided into five factions: Abnegation (the selfless), Amity (the peaceful), Candor (the honest), Dauntless (the brave), and Erudite (the intellegent). This factioning is meant to insure peace after devestating wars have left the world bereft.

Like many recent YA distopian novels, this one begins with a ceremony. Beatrice will be tested and then she will select her faction, her future. Will she leave her family in Abnegation and follow her desire, breaking her mother’s heart and disappointing her father, a councilman? Or will she remain and lead a predictable life putting all other lives before her own?

Her test results do no help her. But even more shocking, is the decision her brother makes.

Beatrice does not know much about the other factions and less about the world outside Chicago. What are they hiding from? Why do they need the Dauntless (their army)? Something malicious is brewing and all signs point toward the disgruntled Erudite.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

I went into this novel with high expectations. It was on so many blogger Best Of lists that I felt required to read it. And while it is a smooth read with even pacing and a fiesty main character, the familiar tropes and styreotypical ‘bad guy’ failed to engage me.

As Tris embraces her new Dauntless world, I appreciated her zest and common sense. The cruelty displayed by the other initiates and Tris’s survival logic was very Hunger Games-ish. I thought the divergent issue was downplayed (I definitely didn’t see as much strategy as I had hoped) and I was finding the whole world on shakey ground at times. Perhaps the sequel will round out the world building.

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