I LOVED this book. It had everything – inner conflict, war, love, intelligence, etc. It was a good length too, but I admit that I wish I wasn’t already done it. It was brutal with the violent descriptions at some parts though (i.e., someone gets stabbed in the eye!). The writer also did a great job when she was writing about death. I felt like it was someone close to me because by the end, I really felt like I was the main character and I was living her life.
The book focuses on a dystopian society that 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). At the age of 16, everyone must choose which faction they will devote their lives to. Most must choose between staying with their families and choosing where they really feel they belong. Our main character, Beatrice or “Tris,” chooses to leave her faction, but she also has a secret she must protect – she is “Divergent,” meaning that she doesn’t exactly fit into any one faction. She came from Abnegation, but never really fit in there – something that I related to on a deep level. She never really fit in with her family, but she doesn’t know anything else. The book focuses on her trials and tribulations of becoming a member of the “Dauntless,” but even when she’s there, she can’t forget who she was and I think this is something that everyone struggles with in their lives, whether they’re moving to the next stage of their life or entering a new role. So many people never really feel like they belong no matter how hard they try and I think the author’s ability to make all of her readers relate to her character is one of her major strengths. She also wrote mainly from a female perspective, so perhaps I’m generalizing a bit because I loved it and I’m also female. This book reminds me a lot of a book I read several years ago called “The Cure,” but many people have been comparing it to “The Hunger Games,” a series I have yet to read, but may read due to everyone’s comparisons of the two. I don’t want to go into too much detail with my review because I’m really hoping that my readers will read it themselves and I don’t want to spoil the story. Needless to say, if you have any interest at all in Science Fiction or are just looking to think about your life in general, you should pick up a copy of this book.
I also enjoyed trying to think about which faction I would choose. There were five choices but I could only really see myself being able to choose one. It really made me think about myself as a person. I’m not selfless enough to be in Abnegation and I’m certainly not brave enough for Dauntless (I would FLIP out if someone even asked me to jump off a building or onto a moving train). I couldn’t be Candor either because I’m not always comfortable telling people things and the characters were almost painfully honest about some things. I could see myself trying to be in Amity, but I just don’t know how realistic that is – I want peace, but I think I would be too bored there or too frustrated trying to create peace where it was just impossible for it to exist. That leaves Erudite and I will admit that I seem to have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and intelligence sometimes. I will often study random topics for hours on end just trying to find as much information as possible (ask my husband about my 3-hour research session on US serial killers and then my inability to sleep that night!). There was just something about Erudite that I couldn’t put my finger on though at the beginning of the book. It was almost like that unquenchable thirst for knowledge was their undoing – they were just never happy with having learned one thing, they had to keep pushing and pushing and improving everything. I guess in the end, I would have picked Erudite, even though something just didn’t feel right. Who knows, maybe I would have been “Divergent” too. Maybe I could fit partially in Erudite and partially in Amity. I don’t know.
From what I’ve read, the author will be writing at least another two books in the series and I am SUPER excited for them to come out. I can’t wait!
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Long story short: Awesome read; Great writing; Best book I’ve bought so far in 2011;