Divergent

Author: Veronica Roth
Lexile Level 700L
My recommended reading age: 14 and up

The turning point in Beatrice Prior's life has finally arrived, the day she will choose which of the five factions in her society to spend the rest of her life with.  For each faction values the characteristic that they believe maintains peace in the community.  But when Beatrice's aptitude exam labels her as "Divergent", she is warned to keep it a secret for her own safety, which makes her faction choice even more difficult.  After "the choosing", Beatrice starts her initiation, which pushes her to the limit.  Not knowing which of her friends to trust, and what a relationship with an unpredictable boy will mean, Beatrice struggles to find a new identity.  Her life becomes even more dangerous when she uncovers a plot that could mean the end of the peaceful society which she has always known. 

I had been itching to read a great series that would capture my attention, so I started Divergent on an airplane headed on a weekend get away trip with my sister.  This might not have been such a great idea, as I was quickly sucked into the story, which distinctly inhibited my ability to make small talk on the metro since I couldn't quit reading.  I enjoyed the book, and while it was a bit predictable, it still kept me going right up until the end.  There are several things I think readers need to be aware of, first, this is definitely not a book for early teens.  There is tons of violence, along with stunts that are just plain idiotic, yet made to be cool.  Tattoos and body piercings are shown as a mark of bravery, and even attempted murder isn't reported because it would be seen as weak.  The faction which Beatrice joins is pretty much anything goes, with no adult supervision, and nothing is off limits in order to win.  There was also cussing and mild intimacy.  Personally, I feel that anyone under high school age won't have the maturity for this book.  Overall, this was an entertaining read, but know what you, or your teen, are getting into before you start.

Enjoy!
Becky   

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