Divergent by Veronica Roth is a book I just happened across at our salvage store in Jackson. I don't go there often and it's a rare day that I happen to find book stock in the store. In this case, there were a whopping two tables (each about the size of a card table) full of books and only two of the titles were even remotely interesting. My husband tried to talk me out of buying Divergent, a dystopian young adult novel that was just released in May.
I'm so glad he failed to convince me I should put the book back. In Divergent, society has been divided into five factions: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity and Erudite. Each faction focuses on a particular type of lifestyle. The Candor faction is all about honesty, for example, and those in the Abnegation faction work to be totally selfless. Because of their selflessness, the leaders of this strange world all come from Abnegation. But, not all the factions are happy about that and war is brewing.
Beatrice has grown up in Abnegation but the time is coming for her to be tested and to choose the faction with which she'll spend the rest of her life. If she chooses to leave Abnegation, there's no going back. She won't see her family, ever again. In Beatrice's case, it's a matter of either staying with the family she loves or being true to her nature.
I don't know if it's a spoiler to say which faction she chooses, but I'm going to put a spoiler warning up, just in case.
****WARNING!!!! The following may be a spoiler. I don't think it will kill you, but skip this part if you're worried.****
Having warned you, I'm not going to tell you which faction Beatrice chooses, but I will tell you that she changes her name to Tris and has to go through some very dramatic changes because she does switch factions. What follows is a trial period that is not only difficult but potentially deadly.
****END SPOILER WARNING!!!! You can come out from under the dresser, now. Or, wherever you were hiding.****
Here's the plain-talk version: There's this teenager who loves her family and has to make a big decision. She chooses the difficult path and is challenged both mentally and physically, meets a totally cool guy named "Four" -- who is just mysterious enough and flawed enough that you can't help but love him in an illogical manner. And, she finds that she has an inner strength that is beyond her wildest imagination.
Divergent is packed with surprising plot twists. It's stunningly violent and massively creative. I really enjoyed the world Veronica Roth created for its uniqueness but it was the fact that I honestly never knew what was going to happen next that kept me riveted. I didn't realize it's the first in a series. Wahoo! I'm going to continue to follow this series.
Highly recommended but be aware that Divergent can be pretty shockingly violent at times. There's a lot of death and fighting and nastiness. But, it's tremendously fun reading. Beatrice is an awesome, butt-kicking heroine and Four is a terrific hero. I can't remember whether or not Divergent contains any bad language.