I had checked out the first book in this trilogy, Divergent, several times before I finally decided to give it a chance. While the publisher’s summary peaked my interest as a fan of dystopia, something about it just kept pushing me away. I partly blame some of the reviews I read. I mostly check reviews to make sure the narrator isn’t awful but it was impossible to avoid those that said the main character needed a boy to dictate her every move blah blah blah. Finally, after the first movie came out and everyone was talking about the books, I asked about them on Twitter and several people said they really liked the books. Thank goodness I dove in! Can we say love? I can’t say I loved the books as much as the Uglies trilogy by Scott Westerfeld but this trilogy is certainly up there. I also learned some new words by looking up the names of the factions.
Factions you say?
In this dystopian Chicago, when kids turn sixteen, they must choose their faction. Either they stay with their family in the faction they were raised, or they choose a new faction, forever leaving behind they’re old one. (Quick question: Why is sixteen the all important age in young adult novels? I purposely made my heroine in my YA novel fifteen, just to be contrary. My YA novel? Shhh. this post is about Veronica Roth’s world.
Back to the factions. So these kids start in a mixed school but when they’re sixteen, school seems to have ended. There is never any mention of graduation or anything, school just suddenly stops.
The five factions are:
Abnegation: Primary trait – Selflessness)
Erudite: Primary trait – Intelligence
Dauntless: Primary trait – Bravery
Amity: Primary trait – Peace
Candor: Primary trait – Honesty
As the series goes along, we learn that the factions were created long ago as a way of keeping the peace. By segregating the personality types it was thought that people would get a long a little better. But who do you know that is only brave, or honest, or peaceful, or intelligent or selfless? Don’t we need all sorts of human personalities to keep a balance? That is what this series explores. I’m not sure I’ll watch the movies. I hear there are some things that were changed and left out that would be a bummer, but then again it would be nice to see Four again. What is it with me falling in love with teenaged characters? Ewww I feel dirty.
The narration was pretty good. In the third book we get the addition of a male narrator since we’re sometimes in a male’s head. Some of the scenes in the books are unsettling like The Hunger Games trilogy. Such violence. Luckily they are important parts of the story and not just stuck in for shock value. There are some really disturbing scenes when the characters are in their fear landscapes. Those are like computer generated hallucinations. Like the Star Trek TNG holodeck but terrifying. I bet they look pretty cool in the movies.
Series rating: So good!