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Monday, May 27, 2024

“Divergent” dystopian world rivals “The Hunger Games”

After the popularity of “The Hunger Games,” it’s no surprise that other books featuring dystopian societies would be hits.  Despite the similarities, “Divergent” features a world that is unique and exciting.

In “Divergent,” society is split into five factions – Candor, Amity, Abnegation, Dauntless and Erudite.  Each faction represents a trait its people values most.  At the age of 16 everyone is given the choice to either stay in the faction they were born into or to permanently move to another one.

Beatrice Prior, born into Abnegation, the faction that values selflessness above all else, is Divergent.  People who are Divergent do not fit perfectly into any one group.  It is rare, and she is warned to keep it a secret

Beatrice shocks her family during the Choosing Ceremony and chooses to join the Dauntless, a faction of people who value bravery and whose culture is almost the antithesis of Abnegation’s.

After joining the Dauntless, Beatrice goes by Tris and learns that there are a limited number of spots available to fully become a member of Dauntless.  To gain one of those positions she has to compete against the other transfers from different factions and with the 16-year-old Dauntless members who grew up in the faction.

Tris participates in training for this similar to the training Katniss has before the Hunger Games.  Tris makes more friends than she had while in Abnegation, but also more enemies.  Though she is more conservative than most members of Dauntless she manages to integrate into the faction fairly well.  Tris is a likeable character, and her confusion about not fitting perfectly into one place makes her relatable.

When the world of “Divergent” reveals itself to be more complicated and corrupt than Tris expected, the plot picks up.  While the first half of the book establishes the world Tris lives in, the second half is filled with lots of action and twists that made me want to keep reading.  There is even a romantic subplot that is compelling but doesn’t take away from the bigger picture of what is going on.

 Overall, “Divergent” introduces an exciting world that readers will want to see more of, and not just because of the cliffhanger ending. 

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