I've lost count of how many friends have recommended this book to me. For a while I had a long to-read list and I didn't seem to have room for it, plus when I learned the third book of the series wouldn't come out till October 2013, I decided I'd wait till all the books were out before starting the series. Then, last Tuesday night happened.
I was hot, tired, in a bad mood, and had a raging headache. My husband could sense my bad vibes from across the room. He wisely suggested my two favorite things: "read" and "bath." But I got grumpier because I didn't have a book to read!
(That's a blatant lie. I have several books that I've never cracked open. It is like standing in my closet and saying I have nothing to wear. I have plenty of clothes, but none that I want to wear, just like I had plenty of book but none that I wanted to read.)
Then a rush of instant-gratification washed over me and I decided to download the book onto the Kindle app on my phone. I don't do ebooks very often, but it was only $3.99, so with that special one-touch purchasing option (thanks, Amazon!), I was reading in no time.
All my friends were right, I loved it! It paralleled "Hunger Games" and "Matched" in the fact that it's a future version of our culture after a societal collapse, and they've restructured in a way they believe will induce peace among themselves. This story unfolds in Chicago. As "Hunger Games" had the reaping, and "Matched" had a matching banquet, "Divergent" has a choosing ceremony. There are five factions that the people have divided into, each focusing their way of life around a virtue to balance and serve one another: Abnegation (the selfless), Candor (the honest), Amity (the peaceful), Erudite (the intelligent), and Dauntless (the brave). The year the youth turn 16, they are expected to choose to remain in the faction they were raised in, or leave their families and way of life forever and align with another faction. This story follows Beatrice, who was raised in Abnegation. Before the choosing ceremony, the youth go through an aptitude test to determine their strengths to help them decide which faction they'd succeed best in. Her results were "inconclusive," which is a rare (and as she discovers, a dangerous) result. She was advised to tell no one she is Divergent, leaving her to determine her fate at the choosing ceremony on her own.
That's how it starts, in a nutshell! I loved this YA book. I can't wait to get my hands on the next in the series, "Insurgent." Roth's break-through novel left me anxious for more.