Worldbuilding Oddities

Last week, Kelly said

If the story is well-told and fully-realized, then perhaps we don’t mind as much if the world is just a bit off.

This was timely because I just started reading Veronica Roth’s Divergent, which I’m enjoying and which is bugging me. In it, society is divided into factions based on personality: honesty, bravery, and so on. At 16 everyone takes a test that tells them what faction they’re best suited for. During the test, the main character (this is not a spoiler) gets inconclusive results, which she has to keep a secret because very bad unspecified things will happen if anyone finds out.

Here’s the part that bugs me. The next day, all the 16-year-olds *choose* which faction to join. They know their test result, but they don’t have to choose the faction that the test said they should. So…why is it dangerous to be divergent? If your test says “choose one of these three factions” then you choose one of those three factions. End of story. This doesn’t make sense to me.

I’m hoping my questions will be answered, but even if not, I’m enjoying the story. The world is interesting, but the focus is on the characters. As long as they make sense, the occasional oddity in the world won’t make me quit reading.

It helps that no one’s used a blender to make a sandwich yet.

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