Divergent, by Veronica Roth.
"Every faction conditions its members to think and act a certain way. And most people do it. For most people, it's not hard to learn, to find a pattern of thought that works and stay that way." She touches my uninjured shoulder and smiles. "But our minds move in a dozen different directions. We can't be confined to one way of thinking, and that terrifies our leaders. It means we can't be controlled. And it means that no matter what they do, we will always cause trouble for them."
I feel like someone breathed new air into my lungs. I am not Abnegation. I am not Dauntless.
I am Divergent.
And I can't be controlled.
When I read a book that I want to review on here, I bookmark a page with a quote(s) I like that I plan to later include in the review (like above). In Divergent, I bookmarked not one, not two, but FOUR pages, which, in my opinion, is the mark of a great book.
Beatrice lives in a dystopian society - formerly Chicago - which separates itself into five factions, and upon each member's 16th birthday, they must choose to stay in their faction, with their family, or leave for a new faction. The choices are Candor (honesty), Abnegation (selfless), Dauntless (brave), Amity (peaceful), and Erudite (intelligent/the scholars). Beatrice lives with her parents and brother and is Abnegation - the selfless. In her faction, people put others before themselves, and she is fine with this. After she takes the "aptitude test" that tells her what faction she most clearly belongs to, however, the results are inconclusive, and the tester, Toni, tells her that she is Divergent - but that she should not tell anyone this, as it's a dangerous thing to be.
When Choosing Day rolls around, Beatrice surprisingly chooses to become a Dauntless, and thus plunges herself into a world of the unknown, which is completely upside down from Abnegation.
This novel was so good because the characters are so well developed. The year that the characters live in was never discussed, but some of the "old" Chicago landmarks are there - they call the Sears (now Willis) Tower "the Hub," and Millennium Park, with its "rusted-out structures," simply "Millennium." The idea of dividing into five factions was established as to prevent war, and the system has been in place for a while; it is the people who are "divergent," though - those who have characteristics of more than one of the factions - who will end up trying to prevent this war.
I read on the author's website that Divergent has been optioned for a movie (yay!) and I think it will make one hell of a film. The next book in the supposed trilogy, Insurgent, is expected to be out in May 2012.
4 stars out of 5.