Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Gaby Rodreguez' mother got pregnant for the first time when she was 14 years old. Her older sisters were pregnant in high school; her older brothers were fathers before they turned 21 years old. Although she was a straight-A student and a member of the leadership class at school, and often lectured her peers about the need for safe sex, Gaby was often told by family, friends, teachers, and others that she would very likely end up as a teen mother. In 2011, 18-year-old Gaby decided to study what being a pregnant teen was really like--by pretending to be pregnant, and taking notes on how other people responded to her.
This book is an excellent quick-read for students and adults interested in the topic. Interspersed with the narration are plenty of statistics about teens, pregnancy, and education, and the description of life for teens Toppenish, WA is spot-on. Recommended.
Although raised by the Abnegation (self-denying) faction, 16-year-old Beatrice "Tris" Prior has never felt that serving others is truly the right "fit" for her. At the Choosing ceremony, then, she selects Dauntless (courage) as her new faction...and immediately, she is told to jump off the side of a building. This is only the first of a long series of frightening and usually dangerous initiation and training exercises intended eliminate those who do not embrace the new mission of the Dauntless faction.
Tris' suitability for Dauntless is somewhat questionable--her secret aptitude test results show that she is Divergent, and not suited only for a single faction. This could be a strength...but Dauntless leaders are convinced that it is a fatal flaw, and Tris must hide her true nature in order to survive.
The narrative is quick-moving, thought-provoking and at times quite violent; Tris is attracted to one of the Dauntless trainers, but one aspect of her personal "fear landscape" (which I won't reveal!) puts this book onto the Sex in the Library list. Great characters, fast plotting, and a sequel due to be released on May 1st, 2012.
Violence, sexual situations, on-page kissing, no cussing. The film company that brought us Twilight has picked up the rights to Divergent and its sequels.
Highly recommended for ages 13 to adult. This is Aarene's review of this book. To read Mary Jo's review of the same book, click HERE.