In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.
I didn't have high expectations of Divergent. In fact I put off reading it for more than a year because the story doesn't really appeal to me. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of dystopian theme. And recent years, YA or NA dystopian theme were the rage. There are really good books that I liked such as Under the Never Sky, Shatter Me, alien book etc. But it also created a phenomenon where authors tried to jump on the bandwagon and it's really disappointing sometimes to read lousy dystopian books. I decided to read it because the movie is releasing next year.
I don't understand how people can be separated into fractions. But after giving some thoughts to it, I think we can. It's like peer pressure, social norms, culture. We all have it now anyway. Divergent just took it to the extreme. Every fraction can only have one distinct characteristic or personality.
Facing your own fears. This is something that most people don't get to do in real life unless you are on Fear Factor. My greatest fear is to be surrounded by cockroaches, dipped into a bath tub filled with cockroaches. I don't think I can survive that. I can't.
Beatrice is a very likable character because she is not playing the role of damsel in distress like most dystopian female leads. She has weakness, she is tough, she is manipulative, she tries to do good, she has bad thoughts, she is not forgiving and she is vulnerable. Complicated just like an average human being.
Despite having Book 3 in this trilogy, I didn't read most of it. I only read the last 2-3 chapters to see what's the fuss about. It has the most angry reviews online and a lot of 1-star rating. That puts me off a little in finishing the trilogy. I didn't like the ending. It doesn't make sense. I would just take it that the story ends at Book 2.
WORLDS KEPT THEM APART.
DESTINY BROUGHT THEM TOGETHER.
Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie. Her entire world confined to its spaces, she's never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors. So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim.
Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry. He's searching for someone too. He's also wild - a savage - but might be her best hope at staying alive.
If they can survive, they are each other's best hope for finding answers.
Under the Never Sky Trilogy is pole apart from Divergent. The series ended beautifully and I couldn't ask for a more appropriate ending despite some losses. The plot is believable and shows the ugly side of human nature as well as the good side during desperate times.
Humans are balloted to be able to stay in Pods. Pods are high-tech facilities that kept humans away from Aether storm that burns forest to ash. Those that are not selected are called Outsider. They live in the wild, a little like caveman-era I guess. Back to basics.
Small details in the book fascinates me. People in the Pod have perfect skin, nails that don't grow because it's redundant, and females don't get their monthly period! How wonderful! All these are suppressed by the medications they eat.
When Aria is exiled, she met an unlikely ally, an outsider. They met, had the same goal, and somehow Aria fell in love with a man who doesn't groom himself well (think Stone Age). The image of The Flintstones came to mind.
It explores human nature. The cruelty of humans to make it to the top as leader (reminds me of The Governor from The Walking Dead), the sacrifice made for the good of everyone and how happily ever after doesn't happen in stories.
2 dystopian trilogies and only 1 emerged as a winner. I wouldn't say Under the Never Sky blew my mind but it was an enjoyable journey with the characters and I enjoyed it very much. My favorite character is Roar & Cinder. The book has some LOL moments and I really burst out laughing. Mel thought I've gone crazy.