Beatrice Prior lives in a futuristic, post-war world of factions. Factions are groups of like-minded people that take care of different functions within their community. Amity are farmers, the artists, the peacemakers. Dauntless are the faction of the brave—those who are the police, the warriors, the guardians. Erudite create new technologies and medicines: they are scientists, teachers, and doctors. There is also Candor: faction of the unflinchingly honest, the lawyers and policy-makers. That leaves Abnegation, the faction Beatrice was raised in. They are the selfless, those who run the government and make sure that even the factionless are taken care of. Beatrice longs to escape her parents’ world of gray and selfless caregiving. She longs to be free, but there’s just one hitch in the plan—her abnormal aptitude test results. In Beatrice’s world, she has the choice to pick any of the factions she wants, but will her choice bring her the freedom that she longs for?
I found Divergent, the first book in the series, to be fast-paced and action-packed, much like its accompanying movie. It was a fun read that kept me on the edge of my seat, wanting more. I liked Tris and Four. They were the most well developed characters. Some of the humor in the writing falls kind of flat, but overall I still found Tris and her Dauntless crew to be enjoyable. The world of the faction system became much more fascinating to me once I found out that Veronica Roth originally intended this world to be a Utopia, rather than a dystopian world. I have to agree with her, no human being can really imagine the perfect world. What is paradise for one person is absolute hell for another. I also appreciated Tris’s constant inner struggle with leaving behind Abnegation. This struggle is known to those of us who have grown up and grown just a bit farther away from the teachings and philosophies and ideas we were taught in the environment we grew up in. However, I also like that Tris continues to remember her Abnegation beliefs about the world and fits them into her new way of life.
I did not enjoy Insurgent as much as I did the first book in the series. It doesn’t really pick up until about halfway through the book. Tris’s struggle with her loss was very well drawn, but as it usually goes in a dystopian novel—there was a bit too much fighting and sometimes not enough explanation or description. The writing also didn’t feel as tight. However, there were a few really great scenes (the scene between Tobias and Marcus in the Candor cafeteria was very…interesting) and, of course, a cliffhanger ending that makes me itch to read the third (though it will be awhile before I do).
I know it’s been awhile since I’ve written a post, but that is because I have been busy finishing up my Master’s degree! I can’t wait to graduate not this weekend, but the next. I will be sporting my Information Science lemon and burnt orange regalia. Hook ‘Em!