Monday, November 19, 2012

Divergent Trilogy

I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend.  Mine was excellent, complete with book club Friday night, an evening of spoiling my now 70-year-old step-dad on Saturday and watching the conclusion of the Twilight saga on Sunday (which is fabulous, BTW). 

This week marks the beginning of my favorite holiday of the year, Thanksgiving.  David and I have had a hard time deciding where we're going this year, but I think we've finally figured it out...with only three days to spare.  I might be just a tad bit of a procrastinator...

On this fine Monday afternoon, I wanted to share with you the newest trilogy sweeping my book club: the Divergent series.  The first two have been out for a little while and the third (and final) installment is scheduled to be released some time in 2013...that's as specific a date as you can get from the author and publishers.  I did look at Roth's blog the other day and she stated that she's finished the first draft and is going through her first edit.  So, at least the publishers aren't just sitting on it and letting us readers snarl in anticipation...that's always a plus.

OK, so you want to know what these books are about, right?  This is a young adult series with characters focusing on the teenage demographic of 16-18 in the book.  The setting takes place in a dystopian future and your heroine is 16-year-old Beatrice (Tris, for short).  There are five factions within society (Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, Erudite and Candor) and each faction provides a certain purpose to the community as a whole.  For example: government, security, technology...etc.

Children are brought up within the faction of their parents (adults can only marry within their faction) and at the age of 16 are "tested" to see which faction best suits them and their abilities.  However, at their "choosing" ceremony they're allowed to pick their faction...most of the time they pick the faction that their test indicates.  If they choose a faction they did not grow up in, they are no longer allowed to live with their families and are told to begin severing ties...the big motto is "faction before blood."

Tris tests Divergent...which, is a big deal.  It means that you are equally suited for more than one faction.  This is where the "dum de dum dum DUM" sound might strum in a movie or on television.  It's highly, highly, highly frowned upon in society to be Divergent.  It actually scares most, most Divergent keep it a secret.  Even from their family and very best friends.  Usually Divergents just pick whichever faction they've tested for that they feel best suits them...and go from there.

The first book focuses on Tris and how she deals with this, what faction she chooses, how she keeps her Divergent status under wraps...oh yea, and her love interest starts to blossom.  Gotta love that last part.  The second book focuses on the fact that there's a growing revolution within the community and, of course, Tris (and her love interest) participate with this in a big way.  There are a few bombs dropped in the second book and the ending...big ol' cliffhanger.  But, it wasn't a cliffhanger I was completely and totally irritated with, like some series.  I'm thankful for that.

When I finished the first book, I'll admit that I really liked it, but thought the similarities with the Hunger Games series were pretty monstrous.  Dystopian future, strong female lead, there's quite a bit of violence and there's a revolution beginning that said female lead partakes in.  Hmmm...sound familiar?  But, the circumstances and storyline are very different and get their own more distinctive twist in the second book.  I still say that if you liked the Hunger Games series, you'll love this series.  But, I also say that if you're into this type of storyline in general, you'll really enjoy this series.  I really liked it and can't wait for the final installment to be released in 2013...hopefully it won't be December of 2013 though...cross your fingers with me!

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