Beatrice Prior is not happy with her life although she thinks she should be. Her faction, Abnegation, is all about selflessness, which she unfortunately is not. At least not always. Beatrice longs for the rush of running, the total abandon that comes from laughing till your sides hurt and she likes tattoos. She wants badly to please her parents and her faction but she cannot deny who she really is. And turns out, even she doesn’t know.
The book begins with Beatrice taking her aptitude test, which should tell her, which faction she belongs to. Each faction is concerned with the promotion of one virtue; honesty (Candor), selflessness (Abnegation), bravery (Dauntless), peacefulness (Amity), and intelligence (Erudite). Every citizen of the post-apocalyptic Chicago area takes the aptitude test on the testing day that follows their 16th birthday. It tells them which faction they belong with. But Beatrice finds out she is Divergent, which means that her tests show that she is compatible with several factions. She makes a decision that surprises even herself and what follows is her initiation to her chosen faction.
For a YA book this was surprisingly joyous. I WISH I had been as angst-free and confident with myself when I was a teenager. I really liked Tris (Beatrice takes on a new name when she joins her new faction). She did some things that I would like to do and the author did a really good job of conveying Tris’s emotions in a way that made at least me feel like I was doing them.
On the other hand in true YA fashion, the villains were kind of cardboardy and one dimensional. And, like the previous one I reviewed, this one is no literary masterpiece.
But like Soulles, those are not the things that stuck with me from this book. What stuck was a sense of joy. Even though it’s dystopian YA, it’s just fun to read. I’m already anxiously expecting the release of the next part; Insurgent.
YA/MG Science Fiction
Adult Science Fiction
Science Fiction Classic – Pre-1950s
Science Fiction Modern Classic – 1951-1992
Time Travel/Alternate History/Parallel Universe
Mad Scientists/Genetic Testing/Environmental Disaster