Beatrice Prior must have turned sixteen. She doesn’t know when exactly, because Abnegation, the faction her family belongs, does not celebrate birthdays. But it’s a fact that she is sixteen, because today she will take her aptitude test. The society is divided into five factions: Abnegation (the selfless), Amity (the peaceful), Candor (the honest), Dauntless (the brave) and Erudite (the intelligent). This day, every year, all the 16 year old teens pass the aptitude test, to find out which faction better suits their temperament. The result of the test is not binding and everyone must take the final decision by himself. The following day is the Choosing Day, a ceremony where the results are announced. What will Beatrice’s test reveal?
As the moments pass, I get more nervous. I have to wipe off my hands every few seconds as the sweat collects—or maybe I just do it because it helps me feel calmer.
What if they tell me that I’m not cut out for any faction? I would have to live on the streets, with the factionless. I can’t do that. 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 told me once 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.
Beatrice lives in a community where the city of Chicago used to be. The city is surrounded by a tall fence! A fence that the Dauntless guard night and day. Her test showed that she has equal aptitude for Abnegation, Erudite and Dauntless. That is extremely rare, because the character of every person must fit in a faction with the analogous human virtue. The exception to that rule is a Divergent and is exterminated.
The test results are vague, and Beatrice must think which faction she should choose. How can you make a decision on which the rest of your life will depend on? A decision that if you regret, you cannot change it? And if she fails the initiation at the new faction, she will become an outcast. The things in that case are burdensome…
This is where the factionless live. Because they failed to complete initiation into whatever faction they chose, they live in poverty, doing the work no one else wants to do. They are janitors and construction workers and garbage collectors; they make fabric and operate trains and drive buses. In return for their work they get food and clothing, but, as my mother says, not enough of either.
I see a factionless man standing on the corner up ahead. He wears ragged brown clothing and skin sags from his jaw. He stares at me, and I stare back at him, unable to look away.
But then he releases my wrist, takes the apples, and says, “Choose wisely, little girl.”
Does she make the wise choice? Will she succeed in completing the initiation? She is a Divergent, how will that affect her immediate and far future? All these questions will be answered with the exemplary writing of Veronica Roth, in her first book of the trilogy titled Divergent. A dystopian novel published in Greek by Platypus Publications in August 2012, translated by Penelope Triada.
The talented author – as we found out reading Divergent, gives her own view of Dystopia. The Dystopian genre is on the rise and the high number of Dystopian novels raises the bar and the expectation too much. Veronica Roth, not only passes, but sets a new record as well!
It’s not that she created some characters and puts them in an oppressive and dreary future. She has managed to place in a fantastic story parts of our real time, and on the one hand this gives realism, and on the other they act as an alert. Ring, ring, goes the bell, think, decide, act before it’s too late. With a few words, this is a captivating, modern and refreshing novel, full of ideas. Divergent is doubtless worthy of all the time and the money you invest to it. Get it and enjoy it!
The synopsis at the back of the book:
In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.
Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the Young Adult scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.