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Kim Tomsic

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Need a Dystopian Fix?



 [dis-toh-pee-uh]  Show IPA
a society characterized by human misery, as squalor, oppression,disease, and overcrowding.

I'd be willing to bet that dictionary.com experienced a massive increase in hits on that word starting in  September, 2008 when the Hunger Games hit bookshelves.  I stumbled on Suzanne Collin's book, looked up "dystopian", and became an instant fan, which is weird. I'm a Freaky Friday fan, and a How Lamar's Bad Prank Won a Bubba Sized Trophy fan, so to say that I'm also a dystopian fan makes me feel a little divergent.

DIVERGENT by VeronicaRoth (released May 2011 by Katherine Tegen books, a division of Harper Collins) is Beatrice Prior’s dystopian experience in a world where five factions exist as five separate communities. Members of factions believe their sect is superior to the others, that they are part of their faction because they think and operate like fellow members, and that factions are thicker than blood. The five groups include: the Dauntless (fearless, sometimes to the point of crazy), the Amenity (Rodney King would have liked them, “can’t we all just along?”), the Abnegation (always putting others first), the Candor (nothing but the truth), and the Erudite (constantly seeking knowledge).  But there are two additional groups; groups nobody wants to belong to:  the vagabonds known as the Factionless, and the secret handful of individuals who hide within one faction even though they could fit into more than one group—the Divergent.
When a young adult turns sixteen, he/she goes through a series of tests to determine which faction suits them best.  At the choosing ceremony the teen decides publicly, and makes their forever-decision. It they don’t choose the fraction where they grew up, they are permanently separated from their family.
Ah, but that’s just the beginning of this fascinating, well plotted,tense,  faced paced page turner.  Author Veronica Roth has crafted a perfect blend of the Hunger Games with a YA Animal Farm element.  This YA debut novel hit the New York Times best seller's list, as did INSURGENT,  book two in the DIVERGENT series.

  • Reading level: Ages 13 and up
  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books; Reprint edition (February 28, 2012)
  • Editor:  Molly O'Neill
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062024035
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062024039

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