Friday, January 11, 2013

Divergent by Veronica Roth

When we were packing for out trip to visit family over Christmas vacation, I had three books and my Kindle in a stack to take with us.  I haven't been reading as much as I'd like lately because I've been so busy, but I was hoping I would find a little down time while the children played with their cousins.  Then I started to look at all I was packing and decided my book stack was a little too tall.  I took one novel that I hadn't started yet and hoped that I would unwrap a few more once we got to our destination.  It was a good bet and it payed off well.  My sister who is a YA devotee, gave me Divergent by Veronica Roth.  She said to me that she liked it even better than The Hunger Games so I was willing to read it.  It isn't that I don't like young adult fiction, it is just that I have such a difficult time finding enough of it that I like very well.  Some of it is fantastic, but some of it is all fluff and very little substance.  Divergent , while a little fluffy, was still worth my time. 
A dystopian novel, Divergent  centers on Beatrice, a sixteen-year-old girl who is of the age of choosing her faction- where she will live, what she will do, what she will believe.  Should she choose the faction in which she grew up and where she can stay with her family or should she choose something different? 
There are five factions:
Amity- values peace, getting along, achieving happiness; believe aggression and hostility are responsible for the world's problems
Abnegation- values service and selflessness; believe selfishness is the root of all evil
Candor- values truth and honesty no matter the cost; believe the world would be a better place if everyone were honest and forthright
Dauntless- values bravery and doing what is right no matter how difficult; believe cowarice is responsible for the problems of the world
Erudite- value learning and knowledge above all; blame ignorance for the world's disarray
The edition of the book that my sister gave me had, along with lots of fun extras, a little quiz at the end to help the reader pick his or her faction.  Interestingly I scored equally in Candor and Erudite, but I wasn't surprised by that at all.  I have always said that I believe that education is the answer to all the world's problems.  Erradicate ignorance and there is no more poverty, no more racism, no more war.  However it is a bit disheartening when I remember that Beatrice did not have fond things to say about these two factions, so maybe I should be worried.
Two quotes that I particularly enjoyed:
"I stare at him for a second.  I can't help it.  To me there's a difference between not being afraid and acting in spite of fear, as he does."
"Becoming fearless isn't the point.  That's impossible.  It's learning how to control your fear, and how to be free from it, that's the point."
I really did like this book.  It reminded me a bit of Uglies  by Scott Westerfeld which I also really enjoyed.  I have already downloaded book two, Insurgent , to my Kindle and I will be starting it tonight.  Now hopefully my sister will read a few of the books I've recommended for her.  Ah, so many books, so little time.

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