Pick a Faction…any Faction…
“In a future Chicago, 16-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.”
I find that these Young Adult Dystopias fall in one of two categories for me: Hunger Games and not the Hunger Games. Yeah, I know. It’s kind of a crappy thing to do to books. However, this book just might break that mold and change my mind into Good Dystopias and Bad Dystopias. Don’t worry folks. This is falls into the Good Dystopias.
From the beginning, this book shows the main character, Beatrice Prior, as someone who didn’t quite fit in with. Not that she was an out and out rebel, but someone who was just slightly different. In the Chicago that Beatrice Prior lives in, society has broken down and five Factions have been developed: Candor (the honest), Erudite (the intelligent), Amity (the peaceful), Dauntless (the brave), and Abnegation (the selfless). Our heroine is form the Abnegation Faction. The first couple chapters explore Beatrice’s life as Abnegation and how she feels towards them. I like how Roth made Beatrice view her family as an outsider, someone that doesn’t really belong.
I liked the progression of the story as Beatrice chooses to be Dauntless, leaving her Abnegation family behind. Looking ahead of her in what it means to be Dauntless, you see the perversion of the Faction’s standards and what it means to be one of them. Slowly, Beatrice and Four, uncover the blot to over throw the Factions establishment. Without going into too much detail and causing spoilers, the action was well balanced with the drama and suspense of the Dauntless initiation. There were a couple spots in the story that I felt were a little slow, but for the most part the story was well paced and didn’t feel too slow or too fast. It was like Baby Bear: just right.
The only issued I had with the book was the romance. Not that it was bad, and it was well written, I just felt that it kind of came out of no where and was a little too up and down. I understand that Four has to pretend to have nothing to do with Beatrice as to protect her, but I felt that if I was Beatrice (or Trice, as she’s called once she becomes Dauntless), I’d just say “forget it” and focus on kicking ass and taking names. But then again, that could just be my preference. Sometime I feel some romances in books are hooky and silly, feeling forced. I prefer some good ol' fashion ass kicking with a tiny side of romance.
I loved that Beatrice and several others in the book are Divergent, it’s a good contrast to the world of Factions. To be Divergent is to belong to more than one Faction. And in this world, you are either in a Faction, or you are Factionless. There is no in between.
The end of this book left me thinking “What the heck?!” So of course, I have to read the second book, Insurgent. How will the world of Factions survive a revolt? Here’s hoping that Insurgent will be just as action packed as Divergent.