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Divergent (Divergent Series #1)

Divergent (Divergent Series #1) - Check out my review on Smash Attack Reads! http://www.smashattackreads.com/2011/06/review-divergent-by-veronica-roth.htmlThe year is unknown, but the landscape is post-apocalyptic Chicago. Five factions have been created to rid the world of certain personality traits that have been determined to drive mankind toward evil.“Those who blamed aggression formed Amity.”“Those who blamed ignorance became the Erudite.”“Those who blamed duplicity created Candor.“Those who blamed selfishness made Abnegation.”“And those who blamed cowardice were the Dauntless.”Unfortunately, society has tricked itself into believing they are a Utopia. In reality, society is crumbling, and the factions are becoming quarrelsome. This is unbeknownst to our heroine, Tris Prior, as she heads into her aptitude test, which will reveal the faction she best fits. However, it is up to Tris to decide her fate. Does she choose to stay in Abnegation with her family and fellow selfless faction mates, or choose the path that she is destined for? "I settle into their pace. The uniform pounding of feet in my ears and the homogeneity of the people around me makes me believe that I could choose this. I could be subsumed into Abnegation’s hive mind, projecting always outward."I always enjoy a first person POV, as we are able to hear the character’s most intimate thoughts. This worked well for Tris, as her growth throughout this book is like watching a flower bloom in slow motion. She begins her journey quite unsure of herself but chooses what she feels is the right path for her. And, it is. As the book progresses, Tris begins to take faith in her decision, and her confidence grows. By the end of the book, we are face-to-face with an extremely fierce and capable young woman who risks her life to stand up for the principles that have permeated her soul."I can’t answer either question. But the look she gives me reminds me of the look in the attack dog’s eyes in the aptitude test – a vicious, predatory stare. She wants to rip me to pieces. I can’t lie down in submission now. I have become an attack dog too."I very much agree with Tiger Holland, who stated that Four is very Peeta-like. He is an unlikely hero, subtle in his attempts to protect Tris on a physical, mental and emotional level. He does not shield her from the inevitable pain and suffering that goes with living a cut-throat Dauntless existence, as he understands the significance of Tris experiencing life in Dauntless for herself, the good and the bad. However, Four is there for Tris in the most critical moments. He believes in her ability to stand strong in the face of adversity and face her fears, all the while trusting her to do what is right, even if it is the more difficult and/or dangerous choice. I once stated that Peeta was the most admirable character I’ve come across in a long time. Four is now up on that pedestal with him.As for Tris and Four’s relationship, the author’s ability to weave romance into this story was impeccable. She wrote a romance the way it should be: raw, gradual, confusing and subtle. It was one of the most realistic relationships I’ve encountered in fiction, and it was beautiful to watch unfold.One aspect I found pretty fascinating was that the author included a homeless population of sorts. To live factionless is a fate worse than death. People can become factionless if they do not make it through their initiations. Tris reflects on the horrors of living factionless and most of all, without community. I wonder if they will play a role in later books…"To live factionless Is not just to live in poverty and discomfort; it is to live divorced from society, separated from the most important thing in life: community. My mother once told me that we can’t survive alone,but even if we could, we wouldn’t want to. Without a faction, we have no purpose and no reason to live."Some things I thought of while reading:*Why do the Dauntless do such incredibly risky stunts? To me, it felt like they were being extreme in their interpretation of bravery, or just stupid. Why be something just for the sake of being it? I am not sure I understood what those death-defying acts meant to them, other than to show the world that they were brave. Or Adrenaline junkies. But, as Tris and Four show us, there are different ways to show how big one’s cojones are.*The Abnegation are not allowed hobbies yet Tris mentions at some point that her mother knitted. Um, confused?The author’s debut novel is nothing sort of incredible. Her writing is clean, crisp and to the point. There was one scene that involved a zip line and hella tall building. Reading that scene was incredible! It brought me back to my own zip line experience, and I could almost feel the wind whipping around me.Insurgent, the 2nd book in the series, is due out in 2012.P.S. I think I would be in Amity. I was going to go with Abnegation first, since I’m a social worker and constantly think of others, however, I am not selfless – I won’t lie about that. I am, however, friendly and seek peace and harmony in life. So I’m going with Amity. I hope this faction gets a bit more attention in the next book.