And just like that, I am addicted to yet another young-adult series. I think it was a fellow Cannonballer who first recommended Divergent (2011) by Veronica Roth, so I dutifully found it in the library and started reading. And I found an exciting, violent story that kept me from doing more productive things this weekend.
In some ways, Divergent is very comparable to The Hunger Games. There is a dystopian society, threatening rebellion; there is a young woman, kicking some ass; and, of course, there is a love triangle. Beatrice is sixteen years old and lives in a post-war world that has split itself into five separate factions. These factions include: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite. Beatrice grew up in Abnegation but is now of the age where she must choose where she will live for her adult life. And if she doesn’t make it through the initiation process for her chosen faction, she will be stuck homeless between factions.
Roth creates a pretty exciting story that follows Beatrice into her new faction and her struggles there. A number of things about Beatrice I could relate to personally or reminded me of our world. In the beginning of the book, the separate factions felt very much like high school cliques. In addition, most everyone can understand the yearning to belong, the feeling that you don’t, and the urge to find the right path in life. I also appreciated that even though Beatrice is small and a girl, she is one of the toughest characters in the story. Apparently the second book comes out in May, and I will definitely be picking it up to see what happens next.
However, even though it was an easy and exciting read, I still had some problems with the story. I guess I’m kind of picky about consistency and realism in whatever world an author creates. I find it difficult to believe that a world would set itself up in factions, although I can overlook it since it was an intriguing idea. Where I had more problems was what seemed to me a lack of consistency with the characters, a lack of consequences for some of the action, and what sometimes felt like a manipulated plot in order to hit some specific dramatic points.
Read all the spoilers in the rest of my review here.