I finally finished The Two Towers! However, I was at work when I finished, and needed something else to read. I opened up the Kobo app on my iPod, and stumbled upon Divergent by Veronica Roth. And I finished it that day. And then started the sequel, Insurgent. And now I can’t wait for the third book to come out. And I’m really excited for the movie. Basically, I fell in love with the series, the characters, and the story.
It’s late, so I’m not going to give a whole synopsis or anything, but basically Divergent and Insurgent are based on a dystopian future located in a broken down Chicago, where people are seperated into factions. The factions are Candor, whose members value truth and honesty over all, Erudite, who value knowledge, Abnegation, who believe in selflessness, Amity, who value kindness, and Dauntless, who value bravery and fearlessness over all. Beatrice, or Tris, grew up in Abnegation with her parents and brother. The year she turns sixteen, she must take an aptitude test, along with all the other kids her age. This aptitude test is based on simulations designed to determine which faction she would be most suited for. Beatrice discovers she has an aptitude for not just one faction, but three. and is labelled Divergent. However, the person administering the test warns her that being a Divergent is dangerous, and she must not tell anyone. The three factions she has an aptitude for are Abnegation, Erudite, and Dauntless. After the aptitude test, the young adults attend a “Choosing Ceremony” in which they announce the faction they have chosen to join. Beatrice chooses Dauntless, and her brother chooses Erudite. And from there, you are going to have to read the book. Just do it. Seriously guys, seriously. (Beyak, if you happen to read this, I should have taken more classes with you.)
Now Beatrice, or Tris, as she renames herself, throws herself into Dauntless initiation. She is immersed in a competition with the other Dauntless initiates based on fighting skills, fearlessness, and the ability to control oneself in the face of fear. Tris finds herself exceeding her own expectations, and this makes her a target for other initiates. However, she also finds herself attracting the attention of the initiate instructor, Four. Four, so named because he only has four fears, and Tris get to know each other, and Four plays a large part in protecting Tris not only from other initiates, but also from people searching for Divergent individuals. And he teaches her about the Dauntless way of life. Not just the cutthroat, reckless,danger seeking way that is the current trend, but the ideal way of the past. The ideal Dauntless, those who “believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.” Throughout the initiation process, Tris comes to term with her Divergent status, comes to love her Dauntless community and way of life, and makes friends with other initiates and Dauntless members. She learns that she can be Dauntless and Abnegation, that she can be brave and selfless, that the two aren’t really that different. She realizes that sometimes one must be brave in order to be selfless, but that it is okay to be selfish sometimes. That she can be brave and selfish. And I love that. Sometimes I struggle with the idea of selfishness. Sometimes I think that I am too selfish, that I spend too much time saying the word I. And reading Divergent has helped me understand that one can be selfish and selfless, on the same day and in the same situation and sometimes at the same time.
By Insurgent, Abnegation and Erudite are at war, and most Dauntless have sided with Abnegation. This is where I really fall in love with Four, who by this time we have discovered his real name is Tobias. He is also Divergent, with an aptitude for Abnegation and Dauntless. Please forgive me as I fan girl for a moment… He and Tris are just perfect. They are so willing to make sacrifices for each other, for people they love, and for the greater good. And Tobias is so devoted to keeping Tris safe, and to keeping her from destroying herself. And I’m a little bit in love with him.
Alright so now that I’ve shamed myself just a little bit, I’d like to talk about one quote from Insurgent. “Cruelty does not make a person dishonest, the same way bravery does not make a person kind.” This was really important for me to read, mostly because I am quite quick to judge. I’m always open to second chances or changing my opinion, but I will readily admit I am a judgmental person, so that sentence really reminded me that people are not always as they seem, that there is more to everyone than what is first presented.
Now that I’ve shared my weaknesses with you, I’m going to tell you one more time to read these books. Just do it. I’m ridiculously excited for the third book to come out, as well as the movie.
Unrelated to this discussion, I counted the books that haven’t been read or were started and never finished that currently reside in my bookcase, and I came to a total of fourty. Fourty books that I have yet to read. And yet I keep buying books. I went shopping with my little sister last week (I know you read this, you lemmontard. Also, I love you.), and I spent $65 at Chapters. That’s four books to add to my list. I think I have a problem. If anyone has a suggestion for keeping me from buying books other than not going in to the book store, please let me know. For the sake of my bookcase and my wallet.
Also, if you have any books you think I’d enjoy, or have any other thoughts, let me know!