8 December, 2021

LitStaff Pick: The Books We Didn’t Want to End

Divergent
Veronica Rothdivergent

We all worry about the future. While some of us worry about our own future, the rest of us wonder how the world will change – and usually the outlook doesn’t look good. There’s been a growing fascination with dystopian futures and the world described in Divergent may not be that far off from the truth.

Future Chicago has changed, where people are divided up into five factions based on what quality best suits them: Bravery, intelligence, truth, peace, and selflessness. But what happens if you fit into more than one faction? What if your personality is split between intelligence, selflessness, and bravery? Then you are called Divergent, a term never discussed in the open, and you must live in secrecy because Divergent carries a death sentence in the world created by Veronica Roth.

When the story first unfolds, Beatrice takes an aptitude test to find which faction best suits her. She fits into not one but three factions and must make a choice as to where she will place herself. Beatrice joins Dauntless – the brave – but doesn’t fit in. She meets her match, another Divergent nicknamed Four, and falls in love.

When war breaks out between the factions, Beatrice finds herself one of the few immune to a serum used to create sleeper soldiers. She fights alongside Four and watches her family fall into harm’s way as they try to save her. The first book easily melts into the second installment and picks up right where the first left off, with Beatrice and the others fighting for freedom, fighting for truth, and fighting to possibly change their world.

From the beginning I found the concept to be refreshing and novel. It immediately makes you start to wonder just how our world will evolve, what kinds of people will run it, and how we will shift as a society. As Beatrice goes through the motions of a normal teenager – worrying about her looks, her first sexual encounters, how she is going to fit into her faction – she also has to face a war breaking out between the factions in her city.

There are secrets in the book that have yet to be revealed, reasons behind the factions, and what is behind the walled barrier that keeps the city safe. I wanted to keep reading, to keep finding out the answers. I was on the edge of my seat as I turned each page. I didn’t want it to end; I kept hoping for another chapter. Partly because I enjoyed being enveloped into this new world, and partly because I knew there was and end to it and I didn’t want to reach that last page.

Luckily for me, I get to experience the anticipation of waiting for the third and final book in the series, imagine the story in my head, watch Beatrice and Four fight and fall more in love. I know that as I read, I will want the story to continue, to see how once the Erudite is (hopefully) defeated their world will change. But perhaps that is what fan-fiction will be for. In the meantime, I will count down the days until October when the new book is released.

—Kelly Piraino Roberts

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