Friday, May 3, 2013

On my night stand: Divergent

Move over, Hunger Games. There's a new book in town: Divergent. 

The book, Divergent is also a trilogy and is also for young adult readers. It shares the same genre, protagonist (girl) and plot. 

In terms of imaginative storytelling, I'd say Hunger Games is still a winner in my book. But Divergent has won me over its pace, character development and cheesy love story.

That said, I was hesitant to read it at first. I didn't want to compare it with Hunger Games and be dismayed. But my friend Erika said it's actually a good read. And that I'd be hooked, too. 

True enough, I read it in one sitting. It was that enjoyable to read. It's not a gripping novel but it does give you that feeling to root for the lead characters. 

It is a story of a girl (Beatrice) who lives in a society (distant future of Chicago) that categorize its people. In the book they were called factions based on virtues. Think: tribes. There are four factions: Abnegation (selflessness and giving), Dauntless (brave), Erudite (intelligent), Amity (peaceful), and Candor (honest).

The story begins with the introduction of the characters leading to the Choosing Ceremony. It's like voting. They do it when their 16 years old. On this day, they choose who they want to be associated with in the factions. And develop those characteristics or virtues once they've joined their chosen faction. 

Beatrice Prior and her brother Caleb Prior come from the Abnegation faction. Interestingly, the Abnegation faction are government people. Leaders in fact. They were appointed because of the fact that they are incorruptible as they are selfless and giving. 

On the day of the Choosing Ceremony, Caleb chose Erudite and Beatrice went to Dauntless. However, in the aptitude test prior to the Choosing Ceremony, Beatrice's result didn't particularly point to any of the factions. What she exhibited was to have a bit of all the factions. And that makes her Divergent. 

But being Divergent is dangerous. So, she was told to keep mum about it.

The conflict arises when those from the Erudite are feeling discontent to the policies and leadership of the ruling Abnegation. A rebellion ensued. In the end, the good triumphs over evil.

I like that it touches on basic issues such as familial love, individuality, friendship, fears and hope. I think that kids would not just be entertained reading it but would also come to terms with how they value their worth in the society. And realize that there is no singular reason, aptitude or virtue that is valued in the world. 

Everyone deserves a place. That each of us can't be fitted into a certain mold. We have different virtues in each one of us. And that community is largely improved by interaction and relationship building. 

Am excited to get started with its next book entitled, Insurgent.

I'd recommend it anytime. A good read this summer. And a movie to watch out for in 2014. (The movie rights has already been purchased and lead stars are already chosen.)

Get your copy now at Fully Booked. The paperback sells at P399. If you're a Book Perks member (like me) you get 10% on your purchase. Yay!

Happy reading!



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