Ever have one of those dreams where you're falling and falling...and then you wake up? Or a nightmare where you are trapped in a box and can't get out? In the dystopian novel Divergent
by Veronica Roth, 16 y.o. Beatrice Prior faces her worst fears during an intense initiation process that will determine the rest of her life.
"If I always had the sun on me, then I wouldn't be afraid of the dark." - Tori, tattoo artist of the Dauntless faction
Society is separated in five factions — Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless, and Erudite. Each person is believed to possess one personality trait and must undergo an grueling aptitude test that will help them choose Only One. But Beatrice isn't like the plain, simple, selfless citizens of Abnegation; she asks too many questions and thinks about herself before others. Her test results show she's Divergent, a trait so dangerous that Tori, her tester, warns Beatrice to never to say the word aloud! At the Choosing Ceremony when Beatrice is forced to decide her fate ("Faction before blood."), she makes a choice that shocks the entire community and changes her life forever.
Terrifying. That's the best word I can think of to describe some of the things Beatrice (who changed her name to Tris) was forced to do to survive her initiation into the Dauntless faction. Like the teens in The Hunger Games
, the stronger initiates prey on the weaker ones ("We'll see how long you last."). I like the way Tris shows both vulnerability and strength as she struggles to survive, making friends with other teens who transferred from their home factions, like Christina from the brutally honest Candor faction and Will, a former member of the intelligent, knowledge-seeking Erudite faction. While physically fighting for her spot in her new faction, Tris fights her romantic feelings for one of her Dauntless leaders, Four. There are lots of secrets and plot twists in this novel. Some you see coming, some you don't. I can't wait to read Insurgent
(Book Two) and Book Three of this dystopian trilogy.
For another dystopian trilogy I recommend, try The Giver
by Lois Lowry (see link to book review below).