Reviews on our favorite and newest teen and tween books!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Dystopian By Nature

Divergent (Divergent Trilogy, #1) by Veronica Roth
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Genre: YA Dystopian
Published: May 2011

The world has been able to maintain peace due to the division of people into factions based on the admirable traits of humanity: honesty, selflessness, bravery, peacefulness, and intelligence. Members of the factions focus on that trait and the use of it in their lives. At the age of sixteen, each person must choose which faction they desire to live amongst for the rest of their life. As these factions rarely interact, seeing members from other factions is limited at best.

Beatrice has just turned sixteen and is a member of Abnegation, the group devoted to selflessness. She must make a choice, stay with her family or move to another faction more suited to her personality. Following her choice, Beatrice is faced with a highly difficult faction initiation that will determine her future, but she must hide a dangerous secret that will threaten her life, but also may be her saving grace. Faced with problems that threaten her and society as a whole, Beatrice must find the courage to overcome these challenges and obtain the know-how to do it.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, despite the fact that Roth seems to have jumped on the dystopian fiction bandwagon. I loved the fast-paced nature of the book and the plot. Even though the book is just shy of 500 pages (don’t be intimidated), it only took me a day and a half finish because I couldn’t put it down. There were some things that were predictable, but overall, the plot was engaging. The characters were pretty good and likeable. They did develop over time and were not perfect, which made them seem more realistic. On a more critical note, it is evident that Roth is new to writing. There were several places where the wording was awkward and at times a bit laughable, despite the serious nature of the scene. It was not perfect, but don’t make this a reason not to read the book as it was quite good.

For those who like this book, I would recommend the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins. Personally, I liked The Hunger Games more, but for readers that are looking for more dystopian fiction, I would give this one a try.

---Posted by Lauren G.

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