Thursday, January 3, 2013

Divergent-Veronica Roth

Anyone who has read this blog knows I'm on a Dystopian Society kick. This is another one. BUT! Yes, there is a big BUT in there! It is SO different from all the others. It had my mind reeling. Some of my assumptions were correct, more were not. I thought I could trust someone-turns out I was....wrong? Right? Ack!

Here's one of the most refreshing point of difference between THIS Triology (yes, it's a triology and the 3rd one won't be out until next year. Fall I think. So if you want to wait, you can. And Divergent is also being turned into a film and the main character has been cast! I think it's a good choice-the more I think about it, the more confident I am in that casting) is the fact that there is no-brace yourself for it-no love triangle! Yay!!!!!! YES there is romantic interest between protagonist and another character. But there is no one else to fog up the MAIN POINT about the book and that is whether or not humanity is being treated correctly and freedoms preserved. As you know, I LOVED The Hunger Games and Matched. But I was always concerned that the biggest thing a lot of people were/are worried about is Peeta vs. Gale, Ky vs. Xander. That's nice. But that's NOT THE POINT people! The point is: DOES THE HORRIBLE GOVERNMENT GET OVERTHROWN?? What happens to humanity?

So anyway, I enjoy and like the fact that there is romance without a triangle. The main character is Tris, near her 16th birthday. This Society is weird. It took me till the end of book 2 (Insurgent) to even feel like I had a grasp on it.

People are divided into 5 factions based on subconscious aptitude and personal choice. However, once you choose-and you really have only around 24 hours to formally decide-you cannot go back. The slogan is "Faction before Blood" meaning that if you choose a different faction from the one you were born into, your loyalty forever changes to be to your faction instead of your family. The 5 factions are appropriate named based on what that group of people value the most:

Candor-Honesty (to the point of lacking tact)
Amity-Friendship and Peace
Erudite-Absolute Knowledge
Abnegation-Putting all others above oneself

Oh...and then there are the factionless. Those who did not choose a faction or who failed-or decided not-to complete initiation into their chosen faction.

It is a futuristic society in which the Erudite have developed very sophisticated technologies and medication. At 16 you have an aptitude test-it's not one you can prepare for, since it's all based on your subconscious decisions. The facilitator of the test then tells you which of the 5 factions you are most suited for-you are not allowed to discuss the results with anyone, even family-and then you have overnight to think about it and decide whether you will go with the faction you were born into, the faction your aptitude test said you fit in best with, or one of your choosing. Which could all be one and the same depending.

Beatrice, or Tris as you get to know her is born into Abnegation but has a lot of inner struggle. She is very complex and doesn't let anyone-even the reader-fully into her head. But I also feel like part of the reason is because she doesn't really know herself. Growing up in Abnegation means that she is always supposed to put others before herself and I think that upbringing suppressed the ability for her to truly know who she is. But I also think she is private because that's really who she is, and she likes to keep new discoveries about herself to herself until she's absolutely sure of them. I think she wants to be genuine and wants to make sure that what she does is true to her self. She has an older brother-less than a year older-Caleb whom she is pretty close with.

The "perfect" peaceful society is in unrest, because all of the government is run by people from Abnegation (in order to make sure you don't get a tyrant as a leader is to give power to the people who don't want it) many decisions are made that the Erudite don't agree with. This is the rift that is paramount to the series. The Erudite have published some pretty salacious reports on Abnegation leaders. Based on these, several Erudite believe that the Abnegation leaders are becoming corrupt. Of course, the Abnegation deny these allegations-and as the reader, you have to wait for the facts to unfold and be sifted from fiction via what Tris learns.

Violence wise, it's on the very low end of PG-13, so more so than Matched, but much less than Hunger Games. I liked how much it makes you THINK. And then QUESTION what you think. And then make you wonder WHY you think the way you do.

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