In my opinion there are a lot of books that are put into the category of Young Adult in a bookstore that do not belong there. They have themes that are more adult and have a main character that would have an adult struggling to make the right choice. The main reason many are there are due to the fact that there main character is a younger character.
The book Divergent, by Veronica Roth, is just one of those books. The book has become popular and has a large cult following that has led to a movie to be made based on the book. It is due to one of the trailers that I picked up the book and gave it a read. Yes, there are those who will draw parallels to another popular set of books that had readers “hunting” for them, and they just “caught fire” and took off.
The parallels are somewhat obvious, if you look for them, but this type of plot has been done in other books. So people need to go into each book with an open mind and allow the setting the author is painting through their words take shape. This is what Veronica Roth does so well when introducing the reader to a world set in the future using the city of Chicago as its backdrop.
It’s a world where there are 5 major factions that live within the city and each faction has their own purpose. As the children of each faction age they get a test preformed to help them choose how the rest of their life will go. During this testing process the books heroine, Beatrice Prior, finds out she is special. The instructor even will go as far as to hide her test results as the results show her as divergent.
Beatrice must hide those results from all she loves and will have to make her choice on choosing day of which fraction she will belong to. Will she remain with the selfless Abnegation? Join the peaceful Amity or the honest people in Candor. She could go on and join the Erudite and use her knowledge or face her fears and be Dauntless. The problem she faces is her choice will not just impact her life, but those of her family if she leaves the Abnegation.
This is where the book takes off, and goes away from some of those parallels I had mentioned earlier. Beatrice is given a choice on what she wishes to do with her life. As we know, our choice in life is ours to live, and what it brings is not always easy. This is an understatement as Beatrice will find as her new faction has some special tests and things in mind for her. As well as what happens to her after that initial choice, something is happening behind the scenes. Someone, some group, is not happy with the current leadership of the city. They have plans and are working forward to move them forward and possibly bring the city back to the chaos that was before.
Veronica Roth does a great job of setting up the world, and introducing us to the different factions. She helps get you into the characters and makes you care for them, and loathe others. It is a great first installment in her three book series and sets things up for what is to follow. If those making the movie are able to capture much of what Roth does in her book it should be a success. Either way this is a book that will keep someone of all ages entertained and not just the young adult reader. It should be noted that there is violence in this book so those younger readers should be aware.