“Becoming fearless isn't the point. That's impossible. It's learning how to control your fear, and how to be free from it.”
Since I have a short story ("Allured" in Fangtales) bloggers are helping me promote, I should help new authors, right? Besides, I’ve read over 90 books so far this year. I had plenty of books to choose from! I chose:
Divergent by Veronica Roth.
I read 487 pages in less than 48 hours - it was that good.
Here’s the description on Goodreads:
Beatrice "Tris" Prior has reached the fateful age of sixteen, the stage at which teenagers in Veronica Roth's dystopian Chicago must select which of five factions to join for life. Each faction represents a virtue: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite. To the surprise of herself and her selfless Abnegation family, she chooses Dauntless, the path of courage. Her choice exposes her to the demanding, violent initiation rites of this group, but it also threatens to expose a personal secret that could place in mortal danger. Veronica Roth's young adult Divergent trilogy launches with a captivating adventure about love and loyalty playing out under most extreme circumstances.
Here’s my review:
At first I wasn't sure how I felt about Beatrice. First I thought she was too secretive, then too cold, but she grew on me as she grew as a person.
Beatrice lives in a world of factions. When you turn 16, you join one. If you chose a faction other than the one you're born into, it's scandalous. Beatrice doesn't feel comfortable in the ones she's in where's she's expected to be selfless. Once she decides, her allegiance should be faction over blood.
Then she trains.
In her training, she must figure out who she is, what she fears and how to deal with them, whom to trust, and how to survive. At the same time, she has to wrestle with feelings she has for one of her trainers. If this all weren't enough, when Beatrice realizes there are secrets that may jeopardize those she loves, she must figure out what to do to protect them.
It's got a lot of action, reminding me of second half of The Hunger Games. I thought the characters and scenario were realistic. The less we know of one another, the easier it is to demonize the other. That's an important theme of this book. I couldn't put it down and I can't wait for the next one to come out.
My biggest gripe was the level of violence in training. It didn't seem realistic or everyone would be walking around with rearranged faces and useless bodies. But it made more sense near the end. Sort of.
I like Tris’s strength as well as her realizations of her own flaws. The romance is realistic.
I’m looking forward to reading the next one.