I love dystopian stories. They are even more fun to read during tropical storms…this I promise you.
Beatrice “Tris” Prior lives in future Chicago, where all 16-year-olds must choose which faction they belong to. The choices are Abnegation, Candor, Dauntless, Erudite, and Amity. They undergo tests to see which faction would best fit, however Beatrice’s results are inconclusive. She is Divergent. Still, she must choose one of the five factions. She decides to leave her family in Abnegation and join the Dauntless faction, which is a big deal, since her society lives by the phrase “faction before blood.”
The majority of the story takes place during her initiation ceremony, where she learns that being Dauntless isn’t just about bravery. The faction is brutal and cruel and she is just hoping to survive. She quickly learns that being Divergent is dangerous and the faction leaders are on the lookout for Divergent rebels, so she must try to fit in as seamlessly as possible, which proves difficult in her initiation trials. Because I don’t want to give too many spoilers, let’s just say Tris becomes privy to confidential information that may or may not endanger her family, and chaos ensues.
I read this in a couple of sittings. Veronica Roth writes with such gripping magic. Her style does in fact remind me a lot of Suzanne Collins in all the good ways. It’s descriptive without being so embellished, and the focus is much more on the fast-paced action of the plot. Best of all, no love triangle. I repeat, NO LOVE TRIANGLE. And I loved Tris, you guys. She’s a total badass. Rose Hathaway is my queen bee, but still. I can’t wait to see who they cast in the movie!
I tend to measure post-apocalyptic fiction on a scale of 1 to Hunger Games and I must say this went beyond in my book. Or maybe tied HG. I don’t know yet. It was excellent.
I’m off to read Insurgent…review to follow!
Apparently The Hunger Games is the gateway drug to dystopian lit. I’m now living in the future and not looking back.
From the back cover:
“Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait. Not for her license–for turning pretty. In Tally’s world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there.
But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to be pretty. She’d rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world–and it isn’t very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.”
Tally lives in a post-apocalyptic city where everything is contained, controlled, and isolated. She has spent the past four years in Uglyville and is looking forward to finally joining her best friend Peris in New Pretty Town. Until she meets Shay, that is. Shay shows Tally that there is a world outside of their own, one that is unregulated by the authorities, and when Shay tells Tally that she’s not going to turn pretty, Tally has a tough choice to make.
She can either turn pretty and spend her life devoid of original thought, partying all day and looking gorgeous just like everyone else, or she can escape with Shay and find freedom in the unknown land that lies beyond, called “the Smoke”. But then there’s Peris, waiting for her back in New Pretty Town, and he reminds her of the promise she made to him. The day of Tally’s operation does not go as expected, and Special Circumstances sends her out as a spy to retrieve Shay and the others that escaped.
I really, really enjoyed this book. Not only was I totally engrossed in the plot, I felt really connected to Tally and torn with the decisions she had to make. Westerfeld does a supreme job of building a sci-fi world. I loved how he made connections to contemporary society (i.e. the rollercoaster in the Rusty Ruins) and coupled that landscape with the futuristic hoverboards, bungee jackets, and other gadgets. It made the story that much more believable, like Tally’s city was really constructed on top of our world.