As I’ve been disappointed by the last two thrillers I’ve chosen, I decided to go back to my reading roots with this month’s pick: Divergent by Veronica Roth. It tells the story of Beatrice Prior in a dystopian Chicago. The population is now divided into 5 groups: Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). Each group works towards their “virtue” and lives only with their own kind. Every 16 year old must choose which faction they want to live with and as, and on Beatrice’s day, she shocks everyone and decides on Dauntless. But it’s not over then. Once in the Dauntless compound, Beatrice (or Tris as she has renamed herself) must prove herself as a true Dauntless through a series of physical and mental tests. However, she begins to uncover a secret plot within the 5 factions and that’s where the excitement really begins… As always, SPOILERS from here on out!
I loved Divergent. I absolutely loved it. I managed to devour it in six hours, only stopping for some snacks and bathroom breaks, which is unheard of for me now! I’m usually way too fidgety to read a book in one sitting. Please take this feat as a testament to just how good Divergent is. I loved the characters of Tris and Four. Tris wasn’t the perfect protagonist and she sure as hell wasn’t sweet. She is such a refreshing, spunky female character that I agree totally belongs in Dauntless. And Four is just so badass. You can sense the tension between him and Tris, but it isn’t glaringly obvious. You also know that he has some secrets and are never quite sure of his motives.
Veronica Roth isn’t afraid to make her characters extremely real and almost evil; there is so much anger amongst the 16 year-olds trying to become Dauntless and also a lot of death. Some parts of the book were difficult to read and got me all riled up, but that’s just the mark of a good book! When words on a page cultivate real emotions in me, I’m impressed.
As I was reading, I kept trying to imagine which faction I belonged in. Despite the fact that they end up being the villain, I think I’d be Erudite. I love learning and school and would be a lifelong student if that was feasible. I’m not brave nor honest and am certainly not selfless, but I could also see myself in Amity, the peaceful faction. What faction do you think you’d end up in? Come on, I know everyone who reads the book picks one, just like every Harry Potter fan has picked their house (Ravenclaw, if you were wondering).
And now for the August pick…The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth Laban!