Divergent is the debut novel of American novelist Veronica Roth, published by HarperCollins Children’s Books in 2011. It is a young-adult dystopian novel set in the so-called Divergent Universe that features a post-apocalyptic version of Chicago. Veronica Roth is best known for her trilogy of novels: Divergent, Insurgent, and Allegiant. She is the recipient of the Goodreads 2011 Choice Award and the Best of 2012 in the category Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction and also Best Goodreads Author in 2012
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 love or it might destroy her?
Power, family, values, identity and choices are considered to be the main theme of the book. Divergent gives us a look at a society that believes that a person need only have a single trait but in the end we see that a society cannot function with different fractions all dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue. On a whole i feel the book is a must read as it shows us that people are not just one thing and that being true to oneself goes a long way to facing one’s obstacles.
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The Maze Runner
In recent years, a slew of young adult fiction has been successfully adapted for the box office; The Hunger Games and Divergent being the most noteworthy franchises. Reasonably unknown prior to its adaptation for the big screen in 2014, The Maze Runner by James Dashner, the first in a trilogy of the same name, is now a highly-acclaimed block-buster. The Maze Runner bears many of the features of Collins’ The Hunger Games and Roth’s Divergent. All three are set in a post-apocalyptic world under a controlling, authoritarian regime, with a teenage hero or heroine fighting against the rulers and tested in a life and death struggle.
Thomas, the sixteen year-old protagonist of The Maze Runner, remembers nothing of his past except his name. His memory has been removed, along with the memories of all the other boys in the ‘Glade’- a refuge from the terrors of the night deep in the heart of the ‘Maze’. Thomas, new to the Glade or a ‘Greenie’ as he is called amongst the Gladers, has a compulsion to solve the mystery of the Maze before time runs out for everyone in the Glade. Out of all of the boys a small group of the fastest and bravest risk their lives each day running through the Maze trying to discover an escape route and returning before dusk falls when the entrance back to the Glade closes for the night. The Maze is a living organism, with walls that move and re-arrange each night to create new paths- making it almost impossible to find a way out. As if that wasn’t demanding enough, dangerous monsters called Grievers prowl the Maze at night, slaughtering any children unfortunate enough to have been left behind.
The Maze Runner is unique among young adult fiction in that there is very little of the usual formulaic romance between the adolescent protagonists. Instead, the boys of the Glade form close bonds of friendship and trust. For them, friendship is a necessity, as without a strong sense of community and order the Gladers would not survive their threatening environment. The brutality of their fight for survival is harshly present when a boy is thrown to the Grievers for execution because he was driven insane by an accident in the Maze and had become a threat to the order of the community. The central dilemma of the novel is how best to survive in this extreme situation… a schism divides the boys into two opposing groups- those who stubbornly maintain the status quo of clinging to the protection that they think the Glade offers againstthose who risk venturing into the unknown with no certainty of survival.
For those who enjoy their young adult fiction peppered with a little William Golding and a few pinches of mystery, The Maze Runner, which asks far more questions than it answers, offers a delectable treat- reason enough to read the second installment “The Scorch Trials”.
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Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer
Theodore Boone is an average 13-year-old, except he is obsessed with the law and can’t decide if he is going to be a great lawyer or judge. He lives with his parents, Marcella and Woods Boone, who are lawyers. His Uncle Ike lives nearby; Uncle Ike was a practicing lawyer before he was disbarred. Theodore’s friend and classmate April is in the middle of a custody battle but doesn’t want to live with either parent. Theodore tries to comfort April and explain divorce custody laws to her. Theodore explains the law not only to April, but also to many of his classmates. One needs advice because his parents are behind in their mortgage payments and may lose their house. Another has a brother arrested for the possession of marijuana. Animal control has picked up the dog of a third classmate, and another may have information that could change the verdict in the biggest murder trial that has ever hit Theodore’s small town.
In the Pete Duffy trial, Pete is accused of murdering his wife. Both the prosecution and defense lawyers in this case are good, but the prosecution’s case is based on circumstantial evidence. Pete had access to the murder scene, and he had a motive, but the defense is able to get the jury to doubt Pete’s guilt. In the middle of the trial, Theodore tracks down a classmate’s cousin, who saw Pete go into his house and leave it at the time of the murder. The cousin won’t testify, though, because he is an illegal immigrant and doesn’t want to be sent back to El Salvador.
Theodore must rely on the advice of Uncle Ike, and eventually both his parents, to figure out his next step. The whole Boone family finds a way to help the illegal immigrant work toward getting his legal residency and tells the Duffy trials judge what they know. To the relief of Theodore and his family, the judge declares a mistrial just before closing arguments.
The book is very imaginative and nothing about the plot is given away easily I would definitely suggest reading it as it has mystery adventure and even some drama it’s a great book to read it is one of those books you cannot put down once you start.