Anyone who loves reading YA knows that right now dystopian novels are hot. Like the YA vampire novels, they will continue to grow and add to the genre for the next couple of years, and then we will start to see it tapering off. Until then, I am loving it! For me, there is nothing like a great dystopian novel.
Divergent is going to make a strong showing in the world of YA dystopian lit. Roth's debut novel really packs a punch, pun intended, and offers readers a typical dystopian novel; however, her strength lies in the pacing of the novel. I've read other reviews that complain that Roth spends too much of her plot on the training of initiates, but I disagree. I felt it was necessary to serve her purpose: set up the second book.
A few things I love about this novel: female heroine; H-O-T male counterpart; fight scenes; trials of the mind, body, spirit; engaging plot.
The overall plot is simple: stop "the man" from corrupting the utopian way of life that was developed to end corruption in the first place; however, there is more to the story than just that. The story itself is told from the viewpoint of a sixteen-year-old girl, Beatrice. Since she is at the ripe old age, she must decide which faction she will devote her life. Her choice sends shockwaves through the crowd, and through her. She soon discovers that there is more to her than she realized, leading to a nice coming-of-age development in the plot.
But male readers, do not be fooled by the perspective of this sixteen-year-old girl. There is plenty there for you as well: blood, guts, and glory. Sometimes in that order and sometimes not. But overall, this is a novel that will appeal to readers of all ages and all sexes. That is the beauty of the book. As a matter of fact, I had my husband read it while I was reading another book. When I finished this one, we had a nice discussion about the many statements that Roth is making with this novel and where we think she will take it next. See, it becomes a conversational piece, quickly.
This is the type of book that I, as a teacher, would recommend to my students, especially reluctant readers. I think it engages the reader and keeps them wanting to turn the page for more.
Now, if you love dystopian novels, here are a few others that I recommend as well:
The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer (really like this one)
The Giver by Lois Lowery
Matched by Ally Condie
Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Feed by M.T. Anderson
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Candor by Pam Bachorz
Do you have a suggestion for a dystopian novel? List is below!