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!
HOKAY, I read Matched and Crossed by Ally Condie. I’m a little late to the party (anyone else?).
Synopsis via Goodreads:
“Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander’s face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate… until she sees Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.
The Society tells her it’s a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she’s destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.”
Le sigh. Can we agree that the best love stories take place in dystopias? Nothin’ like Society royally messing with your plans. Give ’em the ole 1-2 punch, Cassia! Both Xander and Ky are great. The love triangle reminds me of the Hunger Games (Team Peeta, anyone?).
I like this story a lot, *but* it seems like so much of it was taken from The Giver, which isn’t a bad thing (who doesn’t like The Giver?)…I would just love for a YA author to do a completely fresh take on the dystopian world. With that rant out of the way, I do love the bird’s eye view of the general plot: the Match ceremony, which intrigued me from the get go. That hasn’t been done (that I know of). Plus there were enough twists and turns to keep me flipping pages like a madwoman. And just….Ky. And Xander. *swoons*
Then there’s Crossed:
Synopsis via Goodreads:
“Rules Are Different Outside The Society
Chasing down an uncertain future, Cassia makes her way to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky–taken by the Society to his sure death–only to find that he has escaped into the majestic, but treacherous, canyons. On this wild frontier are glimmers of a different life and the enthralling promise of a rebellion. But even as Cassia sacrifices every thing to reunite with Ky, ingenious surprises from Xander may change the game once again.
Narrated from both Cassia’s and Ky’s point of view, this hotly anticipated sequel to Matched will take them both to the edge of Society, where nothing is as expected and crosses and double crosses make their path more twisted than ever.”
Oh, Crossed. I’m just gonna throw it out there and say I didn’t like it as much as I liked Matched (Please let’s still be friends!).
Maybe it’s a common problem with trilogies…there’s a tendency for the middle book to be like a bridge between the first and third. Sure, there are a couple new characters that appear will have a big role as the third book plays out, and more secrets about the Society and the Rising are revealed, but this one just seemed a little lacking in substance…like there was a lot of “fluff” with the internal dialogue. Did anyone else feel that way? Am I making this up?
Ally did a really cool twist with the narration for this one, though: The POV switches between Ky and Cassia each chapter, which I thought was super cool since they start out on separate paths in this book!
Don’t get me wrong, I finished this book in like 1.5 sittings (I started it before bed then woke up 5 hours later to finish it). I liked it, and you know I’m going to be on edge until Reached is published, but I just didn’t think it was *quite* as strong as the first.
But I still love Ky. And Xander.