The Divergent series. It’s so hard to put down. I just started the series on Friday and I’m about halfway through book 3. Here’s a synopsis of Divergent from Goodreads.com:
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.
The books are similar to, but better than (in my opinion) The Hunger Games. They are also similar to the series Uglies and The City of Ember. All of these series are about the end of the world as we know it, due to some type of world war destroying most of civilization. They are about mini societies that are created as an attempt to solve the problems of the world. These societies include a controlling government, which the heroic main characters (teenagers) attempt to change or outsmart. I can see why teens and pre-teens like them–who doesn’t like a story in which the adults have it all wrong and the teenagers are solving the problems? Even Harry Potter is a story about kids taking charge and making things right.
I don’t adore these books, but they are pretty good. They are hard to put down (all of the series I mentioned are actually). I do like them better than the Hunger Games. They are just not my style, really. I love books like Wonder and Okay for Now and The Secret Life of Bees. Of all of the futuristic, end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it books, the Divergent series is my favorite. If you like this genre, you will LOVE this series.
In Googling some images for this post, I came across the blog of Veronica Roth, who wrote the series. She has some really great blog posts for aspiring writers! I plan to share some of these with my students, who get frustrated when writing isn’t always easy and when editing isn’t fun. There is a whole list of her writing posts at the bottom of her FAQ page. If you are an aspiring writer or a teacher of aspiring writers, you must check them out!