BOOK READ RECENTLY:
Author: Veronica Roth
Other books in series or Standalone: First in a trilogy. Look for the second book, tentatively titled Insurgent, in spring/summer 2012.
First Impressions: I had almost grown tired of dystopian novels since every author out there is trying to replicate the wild success of The Hunger Games, but the premise of this novel (not to mention the stellar reviews) piqued my interest. It’s set in a futuristic Chicago where all citizens are split into different factions based on what they value: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Erudite, and Amity. When kids turn 16, they can choose to stay with the faction they were born into, or they can switch. Beatrice was born into Abnegation, who value selflessness. But when her test marks her as a Divergent who doesn’t truly belong to any one faction, she chooses to switch to Dauntless, where courage is valued above all else. There she must learn to function in a group that is totally different than what she is used to and discover what it truly means to be fearless.
Last Impressions: Of all the dystopian YA books that have come out in the wake of The Hunger Games, my favorite is definitely Divergent. This is probably due to the fact that Beatrice (who goes by Tris once she becomes Dauntless) is a really cool, tough girl who is more like Katniss than any of the lovestruck girls in the other dystopian tales I’ve read lately. In choosing Dauntless as her faction, and going through with all the trials involved in becoming Dauntless, Tris proves that she’s worthy of being called brave and self-sufficient. There’s also a love story, but like The Hunger Games, it’s not the main focus. It’s much more action-based, and figuring out who you are is the core of the story. Divergent was an exciting and interesting read, and I’d definitely recommend it!
Favorite Moment (POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT): Tris gliding along a wire off of a 100-story building on a Dauntless adventure. I’m scared of everything and could therefore never be Dauntless, but this sounded so cool!
Thoughts on the bookcover: I know you’re “not supposed to judge a book by the cover”, but the cover is one of the reasons I picked up the book. The big fiery symbol is a great depiction of what Dauntless is all about, and it’s always nice to see the Chicago skyline.
People who should read this: If you liked The Hunger Games, I’m pretty confident that you’ll like this! It’s really got a little something for everyone. There’s lots of action, a new world to imagine, a love story, and more.
If you like this book, you may also like: Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi, The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, The Maze Runner by James Dashner, Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, Matched by Ally Condie