Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The choices we make define us: Divergent by Veronica Roth


Just the Facts:

Overall Rating: 5 stars

Addiction Level: I ignored the hubby and puppy until I finished the book. (The second time I read it I ignored sleep, because I wanted to relive the story. Divergent is one of those books that draws you in and transports you away.)

Believe-ability: I daydream about the created world and wonder how I fit in. (I wonder which faction I would choose.)

Dystopia Factors: The world has been turned upside down and all hope is lost, but maybe our hero and heroine can save it.

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Initially I picked Divergent up because a friend recommended it, and I had just finished another breathless read, Awaken. I did not expect to be left breathless, sleepless, or suffering from a book hangover...again! Needless to say, reading Divergent has left me breathless. It is not just a dystopia. It is a work that questions values, choices, and ideals. What is right? What is true? Whom can one believe?

Beatrice, like other 16 year olds, must choose which faction of society to belong to forever. Her choices are Candor (honesty), Erudite (intelligence), Amity (peace), Abnegation (selflessness), and Dauntless (brave). Her choice is both surprising and not. What would you choose? Regardless of what you choose, I dare you to pick up this book!

On my second read, I found Divergent just as intriguing, breathless, and amazing. It left me wondering and satisfied.

Children become adults at the age of 16. I know this works for England and other European countries. Could this work for America? As I think about some of my students, I wonder if real responsibility would be a wake-up call. I wonder if they would enter the real world, make mistakes, and revisit education when they were ready. On the other hand I know my students are on the verge of adulthood and still need guidance. Do many students grow up parentless or virtually parentless? Is that why so many novels have limited or no parent involvement?

Is it fair to make people choose one path at the age of 16? I am not even sure that today at 33 I would be satisfied being made to choose one path. Divergent’s society disguises slavery as choice. They want everyone to fit into a mold, desiring robotic citizens.

One of my favorite aspects of Divergent was the romance. I am not a big fan of romance unrealistic romance. The author has to make it believable. Otherwise it is “insta!love” and gag worthy. Roth convinced me of the honesty of the characters' love. For me the best part is their love is ongoing and codependent (Thanks Kara!).

In conclusion, you should pick of Divergent, because it is a wonderful story of the importance of choice.

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