So once again it’s time for me to pick a book and give y’all the sneak peak I know you’re dying to read. This week, I’ve chosen the novel Divergent (which is on my to-be-read pile….which is massive..). Hope you enjoy!
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 sun’s heat is still coming off the pavement at one thirty in the morning when I leave the Dauntless compound. I can feel it on my finger tips. The moon is covered in cloud so the streets are darker than usual. But I’m not afraid of the dark, or the streets, not anymore. That’s one thing beating up a bunch of Dauntless initiates can teach you.
I breathe in the smell of warm asphalt and set off at a slow run, my sneakers slapping the ground. The streets that surround the Dauntless sector of the city are empty. My faction lives huddled together, like a pack of sleeping dogs. I find a steady rhythm, squinting at the street signs as I pass them to keep track of where I’m going. I know when I reach the ring of buildings the factionless occupy, because I can see their shadows moving around behind blacked out and boarded windows.
I move to run under the train tracks, the lattice wood stretching out far ahead of me, and curving away from the street. The hub grows larger and larger. My heart is pounding but I don’t think its from the running.
I stop abruptly when I reach the train platform and as I stand at the foot of the stairs catching my breath, I remember when I first climbed these steps, the sea of hooting Dauntless moving around me, pressing me forward. It was easy to be carried by their momentum then. I have to carry myself forward now.
I start to climb, my footsteps echoing on the metal, and when I reach the top, I check my watch.
Two o’clock. But the platform is empty.
I walk back and forth over it to make sure no dark figures are hiding in dark corners. A train rumbles in the distance and I pause to look for the light fixed to its nose. I didn’t know the trains ran this late. All power in the city is supposed to shut off after eleven o’clock to conserve energy. I wonder if Marcus asked the faction-less for a special favor. But why would he travel on the train? The Marcus Eaton I know would never dare to associate himself so closely with the Dauntless, he would sooner walk the streets barefoot.
The train light flashes just once as it careens past the platform. It pounds and churns, slowing but not stopping, and I see a person leap from the second to last car, lean and lithe.
Not Marcus. A woman.
I squeeze the paper tighter into my fist, and tighter until my knuckles ache. The woman strides towards me and when she’s a few feet away, I can see her. Long curly hair. Prominent, hooked nose. Black Dauntless pants, grey Abnegation shirt, brown Amity boots. Her face is lined and worn, thin. But I know her. I could never forget her face.
My mother, Evelyn Eaton.
“Tobias.”‘ she breathes, wide eyed, like she’s as stunned by me as I am by her. But that’s impossible. Because she knew I was alive, but I remember how the urn containing her ashes looked as it stood on my fathers mantle, marked with his finger prints. I remember the day I woke to a group of grey faced Abnegation in my fathers kitchen, and how they all looked up when I entered, and how Marcus explained to me with sympathy I knew he didn’t quite feel, that my mother had passed in the middle of the night, complications from early labor, and a miscarriage.
“She was pregnant?” I remember asking.
“Of course she was, son.” He turned to the other people in our kitchen. “Just shock of course, bound to happen with something like this.”
I remember sitting with a plate full of food in the living room with a group of murmuring Abnegation around me, the whole neighborhood packing my house to the brim, and no one saying anything that mattered to me.
“I know this must be alarming for you,” she says.
I hardly recognize her voice. It’s lower and stronger and harder than in my memories of her. And that’s how I know the years have changed her. I feel too many things to manage, too powerfully to handle. And then suddenly I feel nothing at all.
“You’re supposed to be dead.” I say, flat.
Its a stupid thing to say. Such a stupid thing to say to your mother when she comes back from the dead, but, its a stupid situation.
“I know.” she says, and I think there are tears in her eyes but its too dark to say. “I’m not.”
“Obviously.” The voice coming from my mouth is snide, casual. “Were you ever even pregnant?”
“Pregnant? Is that what they told you, something about dying in childbirth?” She shakes her head. “No, I wasn’t. I had been planning my exit for months. I needed to disappear. I thought he might tell you when you were old enough.”
I let out a short laugh, like a bark. “You thought, that Marcus Eaton, would admit that his wife left him, to me?”
“You’re his son,” Evelyn says, frowning. “He loves you.”
Then all the tension from the past hour, the past few weeks, the past few years, builds inside me, too much to contain, and I really laugh. But it comes out sounding strange, mechanical. It scares me even though I’m the one doing it.
“You have a right to be angry that you were lied to,” she says. “I would be angry too. But Tobias, I had to leave, I know you understand why.” She reaches for me, and I grab her wrist, push her away.
“Don’t touch me.”
“Alright, alright.” She puts her palms up and backs away. “But you do understand, you must.”
“What I understand, is that you left me alone in a house with a sadistic maniac.” I say.
It looks like something inside her is collapsing. Her hands fall to her sides like two weights, her shoulders slump, even her face goes slack as it dawns on her what I mean, what I must mean.
I cross my arms, & I put my shoulders back, trying to look as big and strong and tough as possible. It’s easier now in Dauntless black than it ever was in Abnegation grey, and maybe that’s why I chose Dauntless as a haven. Not out of spite, not to hurt Marcus, but because I knew this life would give me a stronger way to be.
Okay, so I know that I always choose crazy long excerpts…but this is such a good read (from the little I’ve read so far). So if you liked that, Know that this is a trilogy and that Divergent will be a movie by March 2014 I believe! And the cast is super hot if that helps(:
- Book Reivew: Divergent by Veronica Roth (urbandystopia.net)
- New DIVERGENT Character Portraits and Bio’s Revealed! (divergentfaction.wordpress.com)
- Book review: Divergent by Veronica Roth (priscarose.wordpress.com)
- Divergent (sorenocrystal.wordpress.com)
- The Divergent Series (nicoledecandia.wordpress.com)
- SPOILER – Divergent by Veronica Roth – SPOILER (priscarose.wordpress.com)
- Book Review Saturday – ‘Divergent’ (sjohart.wordpress.com)
- Exclusive “Divergent” Poster Reveals Dauntless Tattoos (buzzfeed.com)