Divergent (Divergent Trilogy)
by Veronica Roth
Published May 3rd 2011
Published by Katherine Tegen Books
From Amazon: In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
Everything that rises must Diverge.
Or so seems to be the philosophy of this book. Divergent poses that as a society progresses, it becomes more segregated, as opposed to more integrated. Likely? NO. Fun? HELL YES.
Does it smell like Hunger Games in here to you?
Check out the video for this
Hunger Games parody
at the end of the article:
Imagine a culture where everyone is separated into groups based on their one key defining character trait.
One of these five traits: Honesty. Selflessness. Intelligence. Bravery. Peacefulness.
We all know that honesty is the best policy and that money is the root... YAWN!! We want to know about those dystopian shenanigans!
Some of the Dystopian Shenanigans in Divergent
- Jumping off moving things.
- Jumping off tall things.
- Climbing tall things.
- Shoot em up, shoot em up dystopian style.
- Making out with a
camp counselor, I mean, another member of Dauntless. Haha, whoops, just got, um, confused there for a second. *clears throat* I wouldn't know anything about making out with a camp counselor. Because, yeah, who does that?
Beatrice Prior is a member of Abnegation, the selfless, but she dreams of another life. One where she can look at her own reflection without being scolded or dress in something other than a gray potato sack (Fine, they don't actually wear potato sacks, but it sounds like they might as well have). So she chooses to join Dauntless, the fearless and brave, and her life, as well as her disappointed family's, is forever altered. Now known as Tris, she gets thrown into a world of speeding trains, speeding bullets, and unusual looking lead male characters.
You want to know about our Dauntless hottie?
Here are a few snippets of description: The corners of his mouth turn down naturally. He has very long thin fingers, a scar on his chin, and eye sockets that are so deep they sound like a deformity when described by Tris, with eyes so dark blue they're almost black... and a light blue patch in those eyes.
So basically, he looks like.....this?
Regardless of the less than stellar description of our love interest, named Four, I still managed to imagine him as a hottie toward the end. However, I just wasn't all that interested in him, which seems to be a common occurrence for me lately. Color me blinded by Barrons, I guess. Nearly every love interest I have read since, just doesn't live up to my expectations.
Now, a love interest who would have been intriguing and a major shock: Peter. This douchebag was the Dauntless nemesis of both Tris and Four; however, he was way more interesting to me than Four. If he had turned out to be the other Divergent and had been just acting like a jerk the entire time, it could have been different for me. There was an instant where I thought, "Maybe?" But alas, no. He was still just being a douche.
I have to say that, although the world itself doesn't make much sense, since when does any oppressive society make SENSE? At least to those of us who have common sense. Horrible and ridiculous things happen all the time and there have been many ages of oppression throughout history. None of them make a hell of a lot of sense. Slavery? The holocaust? Genocide? Nope, I don't get it. But that doesn't mean it can't and won't happen.
If you are one for analyzing the politics and economics of the world you are reading about, then this one may fall short for you. If you are someone who can easily suspend your disbelief in favor of action and new experiences, then you just might love this. Me? Well, I fall somewhere in between, but definitely more toward LOVING it.
For nay-sayers who claim that dystopian fiction is unrealistic because those kinds of societies would never work:
I think that is the point these books are trying to make, isn't it? It doesn't work. That's why those types of government either self-destruct or are deconstructed by others, and those who initiate those governments either fall apart or are taken apart. That's one reason that I think books like this are so important; they exist to remind us what humans are capable of: the good and the bad.
Humans can kill and be killed, give life and have it taken from them, love or hate, help others or help destroy them.
Even though this book concentrates on just 5 important characteristics, there are so many more traits that are important. So, what character trait is your strongest? Are you brave? Helpful? Funny? Creative? A good listener? What trait can you use to help transform others? Or the world? That's a question that can be found in between the lines of this book, and it's an important one. One that we should all ask ourselves.
Divergent was one of those books that just consumed every corner of my mind while I was reading it. As much as I love The Hunger Games, the subsequent deterioration of my interest in the sequels still weighs heavy on my mind. Here's to hoping that this is a series that only gets better with age.
And now a bit of Bonus Material:
Check out how I really pictured Four in this My Book Boyfriend segment!
Here is a fan made trailer that is pretty fantastic:
Below is the official trailer, which I didn't care for too much. It seemed underwhelming and awfully vague.