“I have a theory that selflessness and bravery aren’t all that different.”
Beatrice lives in the Abnegation faction of her city, where all the residents are supposed to be selfless. She is only allowed to look in a mirror once a year when her hair is cut. There are four other factions in her city and she must soon choose which one she wants to live in. She loves her family, but she feels out of place in their selfless world. She can venture to Candor where they always tell the truth, Amity where there is peace at all costs, Erudite where the quest for knowledge is held highest or Dauntless where bravery is required. One simple test will tell her where she is best suited, but those results prove she belongs nowhere and everywhere. She’s Divergent.
I had heard of the Divergent series here and there, but didn’t know much more than it was a series that hooked its readers. I knew a movie had been made, but really knew nothing much of the plot. I found a copy at the library book sale and bought it, but it sat on my shelf for a while. I recently went on a road trip and wanted to get an audiobook and saw Divergent was available, so I checked it out through Overdrive. I found myself listening at every opportunity until I was done with all three books in the series and then the Four series, too (stories from the point of view of the character Four).
To everyone’s surprise, Beatrice choses to join Dauntless and has to fight her way through initiation and show her bravery. Knowing she’s Divergent has her being careful and watchful so she doesn’t reveal who she truly is. At first, she thinks she is just keeping herself safe, but as she learns more and more about the world around here, she finds out they are all in danger. They are living in a world controlled by many forces. Can she risk it all to try and save everyone – even those hardly worth saving?
I really enjoyed this series. The story moves along quite nicely and kept me guessing as to what was really going on in their world. The book brings up many topics for discussion – human nature, power, friendship, bravery, loyalty, right vs. wrong, a class system and messing with genetics. It would be a good series to read in a book club. I would recommend it to high school age readers and older due to the seriousness of the issues, death, violence and romance.