I just yesterday finished reading Divergent by Veronica Roth. What can I say? My YA dystopian kick continues.
Set in Chicago in the future, society within this once great city has been split into five factions. The Abnegation are supposed to be the selfless civil servants. Amity stresses friendship, Candor will only tell the truth, Erudite searches out knowledge, and Dauntless are the warriors who guard the rest. When a child turns 16, he or she are given an aptitude test to see which faction they best fit in. Then they make a choice. If they stay within their faction, they can continue to see their family. If they leave to go to a different faction, they'll never see their loved ones again. The rule in this dystopian Windy City is "faction before blood."
That's what makes Beatrice Pryor's choice so difficult. She's been raised in Abnegation for her whole life, but it would appear that she could also fit in with Dauntless. It's a hard choice that she has to make, but make it she does. Now she finds herself caught up in a whirlwind, what with training, making new friends and new enemies, and a political Gordian knot that only she can untangle. Because Beatrice has a secret, one that could save the day.
If she can survive that long first.
This was a really good read. At least, I thought so. It was interesting to see how the factions interacted and how they all fit together. I also appreciated some of the thoughtful comments that Roth snuck into her story. What really surprised me was how much I kept nodding and thinking, This all sounds familiar.
Then I understood why. There's a reference to an infant baptism at one point (full immersion, no less!). And Roth's acknowledgments certainly explain why I found myself in agreement with her overall worldview.
So upside? I enjoyed this book. It was a fun ride while it lasted and if there are future books in this series, I'll be sure to check them out.