A book for all you adventurers

This is one of my favorite adventurers, Erin.

If Erin was an Avenger, her super power would be perfect running form. I know this because we have run many races together, and I’m usually positioned about 10 feet behind her.

Last week, Erin ran 13.1 miles. And, not to brag or anything, but I walked .5 miles in 4-inch wedges to watch her finish. I have more blisters.

Erin makes responsible footwear choices.

Erin is always joining/dragging/nudging me into some sort of shenanigan. Our best adventures have taken place all across the country and vary as radically as the location. However, they hopefully always include frozen yogurt, at least one T-Pain or Flo Rida song, and a viewing of “X-Men: First Class.” I just made us sound real cool.

Besides running races and saving lives (she’s a pediatric nurse – maybe that’s a better super power), Erin is a reader.

And I think I just found a book that Erin might like. A lot.

“Divergent” by Veronica Roth

4 **** = Can recommend; Great; Overall enjoyable

In a future Chicago, 16-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all. (Premise by goodreads)

When I first started reading “Divergent,” my thought was: “This might be better than ‘The Hunger Games’.” I even started recommending it to my coworkers, preparing to spread it around wildly.

As I continued reading, I came to realize that it is not quite as good as Suzanne Collins’ trilogy, but it’s still real good.

The premise fascinated me to no end. Society has been divided into five factions based on five characteristics: Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). The factions were created as a result to differing theories as to how to remedy a rapidly decaying society.

Once a 16-year-old chooses their faction, they cut ties with all other factions based on principle, even if it means never seeing their family again.

Besides the intriguing premise, there are several reasons why I loved this book.

  1. Beatrice Prior is a lead female character that I can dig. She’s strong and brave, but honest and flawed. She’s not whiny and negative like so many other female characters that I read.
  2. It’s adventure-packed. A large part of the book is dedicated to following Beatrice as she learns how to overcome very specific personal fears via simulations. It’s pretty dang exciting. There is quite a bit of violence in it, so beware. Think “Hunger Games,” but less primitive.
  3. This book is begging to be made into a movie. According to the wikipedia (my oh-so-reliable source), film rights were sold in April. I actually don’t know what that means, but it says film, so maybe there will be a movie in the future.

A couple of cautions: It is violent, so if you don’t like that type of thing, you might want to hesitate. There also is a little romance that flirts with going a little too far for my taste. It stayed pretty much PG, but I’m not sure it will stay that way in upcoming books.

I think “Divergent” and its following books have the potential to catch fire like “The Hunger Games.” (That pun was totally on accident. Promise.)

If you like adventure like Erin and me, eating fro-yo, jamming to Flo Rida – you know, living on the edge in general, you might consider reading “Divergent.” It will be right up your alley.


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