Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Divergent

Title: Divergent 
Author: Veronica Roth   
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books – An Imprint of Harper Collins Publishers 
Publication Date: 2011 
Genre/Format: Science Fiction – Dystopic Fiction/Novel 
Summary:  In a futuristic Chicago, the population has been split into 5 factions based on what they blamed on the world's disarray. The Amity blamed aggression, the Erudites blamed ignorance, Candor blamed duplicity, Abnegation blamed selfishness and the Dauntless blamed cowardice. In this world, faction comes before family and at age 16, you are given the opportunity to choose which faction you will join - you can stay with your family or leave. This choice can change everything.
What Jen Thinks:  The spine of this book bears a sticker that reads, “Hot Item”. After reading Divergent, I definitely agree that it deserves such a sticker.  The first time I checked it out from the library I didn’t start reading it until it was almost due back and then didn’t have time to read the whole book before I had to return. These “Hot Items” cannot be renewed because there is such a long waiting list for them. I had to put myself back on the waiting list so I could continue reading the book! I could hardly wait.
Once I found out it was on hold for me at the library again I hurriedly went to pick it up and then spent a Friday night reading the whole book. I was so gripped by Beatrice's story. Can you imagine having to choose to stay in the faction that you have grown up in or to switch to a totally different faction and leave your family behind? What makes things even harder is that when Tris takes the placement to help her decide, the results don’t help her at all.
I love how the author has created these factions and then also developed the friction that goes on within and between the factions. Even though the world in Divergent is so different from ours, there are so many similarities at the same time. I kept thinking about any teenager dealing with junior high or high school might encounter some of Tris’ feelings and experiences.
Another bonus for me is that Beatrice is a strong female main character. She makes a tough choice and then is determined to be successful in the choice she has made. She's a smart cookie while being tough and gutsty. I love it!
I’m eagerly anticipating the next book in this series! I think fans of the Hunger Games would surely enjoy this book.
What Kellee Thinks: This is one of the books where I wish that I hadn't gotten the ARC because it just meant that I had to wait longer than everyone else to read the sequel.  I read the book in one or two sittings and waiting is all I have been doing ever since.  Divergent is one of my favorite reads of the year that was filled with dystopian thrillers left and right.  Now all of them have been pretty good, but I really feel that Divergent is the stand alone star.

What will first grab you in this novel is the factions that the author creates.  With so much turmoil in our nation, many people blame different things.  This novel takes the different blames and shows what happens if you focus too much on one cause for the disarray in the world. The Amity blamed aggression, the Erudites blamed ignorance, Candor blamed duplicity, Abnegation blamed selfishness & the Dauntless blamed cowardice. And what happens when your choice of blame overshadows even your family- that is what Divergent is about.  It is about choice.  It is about selflessness.  It is about strength. 
Read Together: 7 - 12 
Read Alone: 8 - 12 
Read With: Hunger Games (series) by Suzanne Collins, Delirium by Lauren Oliver, The Giver by Lois Lowry, Matched by Ally Condie, Wither by Lauren DeStefano, Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky, The Maze Runner (series) by James Dashner
Snatch of Text: "Peter's mischievious look disappears. His arm twitches and pain stabs my jaw and spreads across my face, making my vision go black at the edges and my ears ring. I blink and lurch to the side as the room dips and sways. I don't remember his fist coming at me.
     I am too off-balance to do anything but move away from him, as far as the arena will alow. He darts in front of me and kicks me hard in the stomach. His foot forces the air from my lungs and it hurts, hurts so badly I can't breathe, or maybe that's because of the kick. I don't know, I just fall.
     On your feet is the only thought in my mind. I push myself up, but Peter is already there. He grabs my hair with one hand and punches me in the nose with the other. This pain is different, less like a stab and more like a crackle, crackling in my brain, spotting my vision with different colors, blue, green, red. I try to shove him off, my hands slapping at his arms, and he punches me again, this time in the ribs. My face is wet. Bloddy nose. More red, I guess, but I'm too dizzy to look down." (p. 110)
Reading Strategies to Practice:  Activating Background Knowledge, Making Connections, Making Inferences, Making Predictions
Writing Strategies to Practice: Personal Narrative
Writing Prompts: Write about a time when you had to make a difficult decision. What helped you to make the decision? Did you feel that you made the right decision? How were others involved?
Topics Covered: Family, Friends, Loyalty, Courage, Taking Risks, Adversity 
Translated to Spanish: Si existe en Espanol: Divergente pero no se donde comprarlo!

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