Sunday, February 12, 2012

Divergent - Veronica Roth


I know that I said my next adventure into fiction would be Hunger Games.  However, I had put this book on reserve through the library and it became available, so Hunger Games got reshuffled again.  Do not get me wrong; I love the Hunger Games series.  It's phenomenal.  But so is this book.  In fact, it remind me quite a bit of Hunger Games, but still was different enough not be called a copy cat.
Divergent is a dystopian novel that follows the story of Beatrice, or Tris, as she comes of age in future Chicago.  The city is divided into factions, each with a different purpose in society.  As she comes of age and turns 16, Beatrice must choose which faction she will live and work as a part of.  I won't give away her decision or anything that happens in the book beyond that.  I don't want to rob you of the excitement of following the story for yourself.

What I do want to talk about is, is the quality of Roth's writing.  I was amazed to discover that this author is a 22-year old recent grad of Northwestern University (no wonder the Chicago setting!).  She writes with the wisdom of one who has experienced much of the world.  Her grasp of the innate nature or humanity is what makes this a great book.  This book, more than any I have read thus far this year, reminded me that, regardless of story line, what makes a phenomenal story is the story of humanity.  When an author goes straight to the heart of our nature as humans, they are touching something in all of us and anyone can find something to relate to in their writing.  Such it is with Divergent.  Roth has insightful quotes throughout the book.  As I send you off with a strong recommendation for this book and a sinking realization that its sequel isn't due out until May of this year, I give you some such quotes....

"We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another."
"A brave man acknowledges the strength of others." 
"Becoming fearless isn't the point. That's impossible. It's learning how to control your fear, and how to be free from it."

Pages: 576
Genre: Fiction, Science Fiction

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