Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

17 September, 2011 Reviews 5 comments

Review: Divergent by Veronica RothDivergent by Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent #1
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on May 3rd 2011
Pages: 487
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Amazon Good BooksBook Depository
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four-stars

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, 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 to determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating 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 a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series--dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

Whoa.

Breathe, Stephanie. Breathe.

This.Was.Good. It seems like every dystopian book that comes out now is being compared to The Hunger Games. Well, if there was ever a book that might come close to that comparison it would be Enclave and now Divergent.

Veronica Roth’s debut novel Divergent is getting some major hype and you know what? I think it deserves it.

It’s no secret that I have a dystopian society book addiction right now, but Divergent is just what I love in a book. It had loads of action, strong heroine, slow building romance, extremely flawed society, ect.  I mean I could go on and on here.

Now, I know what you are thinking, “B-b-b-but what about your status updates complaining about the world building?!” Yes, kiddies it’s true, I did complain. When I first started reading Divergent I thought the world building left much to be desired. And even still, the faction Dauntless just doesn’t sit right with me (which is why this is a 4 star review and not a 5 star review. Don’t worry, I’ll address that later.). But, even with these world flaws, I still really loved this book!

Divergent thrusts you into a world where society is divided into five factions each representing a particular virtue. You have Candor (the honest), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), Erudite (the intelligent) and Abnegation (the selfless), which our heroine 16-year-old Beatrice is from. In her world when you reach the age of 16 you must choose which faction you want to join. Will you remain with your family in your current faction or risk it for the biscuit learning a whole new way of life?  Thankfully, the government graciously provides an aptitude test to help determine which faction you would most likely belong in. But, you always have a choice (or so they say) to pick whichever pre-determined life you want you want regardless of the results. Awesome! High fives all around for free will!

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So, what does Beatrice choose? Well Dauntless, of course! This would be a rather boring book if it had been any other faction. If I had to describe Dauntless I would say they are a cross between xtreme sports thrill seekers and a blood thirsty gang. Every time I turned around the Dauntless were trying to hurl themselves off another building, moving object, or beat the crap out of each other for the sake of being called brave. None of that is brave. It is stupidity at it’s best.

This was a constant pet peeve of mine. And the worst part is: Beatrice just.accepted.it. Not only that, but she joined in the craziness! And that brings us to the big old negative of the book. There were a few big holes in the world building. Such as, how did the world get to where it is?, what is beyond the walls of Beatrice’s society?, what’s the point of having the factionless? They kinda felt like page fillers to me, and most importantly: WHO RUNS THE TRAIN?! I need to know! It’s bothering me! Now if you know anything about me, you will know I can not stand when an author builds a world and tells me, “This is how it is. Just accept it.” Seriously, it makes my eye twitch.

But, once you get past the sketchy world building the book is good. I think the second half was definitely noticeably better than the first half. The first half was a bit slow, but once the book got going it hooked me and never let me go. I stayed up until 2 am to finish it and that it epic for me. LOL. Like Power Rangers meeting the Ninja Turtles epic.
The plot and characters and pretty solid to me.  I did like Beatrice and her character development. I also felt like the love interest between her and Four was slow developing and not rushed. It provided a nice build up. For a YA book to do that nowadays, you get bonus points.

And I really loved the ending. It left me frazzled and wanting more.

And best of all there was no cliffhanger! I’m growing to hate cliffhangers in YA novels. You don’t need to leave me hanging to keep me reading your series. If your writing/story is good enough, I will continue regardless. So I really appreciated things being tied up nicely in this book even though I can tell things are not over.

So, if you are digging dystopians right now, do yourself a favor and check out Divergent. It’s definitely one of the best out right now.

Steph Sinclair

Steph Sinclair

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
I'm a bibliophile trying to make it through my never-ending To-Be-Read list, equal opportunity snarker and fangirl, YA Books Central editor and co-blogger here at Cuddlebuggery. Find me on GoodReads.
Steph Sinclair
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5 Responses to “Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth”

  1. anasthasha h.

    If you read on page 25 I believe, you’ll find the basic point of having the factionless, that they’re used to supplement the jobs no one else wants to do(operating garbage trucks ect.), and it lets you know that they are in fact the ones who run the trains. As to your other plot whole questions, no idea but those two can be answered!

    • Steph Sinclair
      Twitter:

      WanderlustBooks I really disliked the second book. The characters suffered from regression and the story wasn’t very strong. It was boring. I’ll read the third one, but my expectations are lowered.

    • Steph Sinclair
      Twitter:

      WanderlustBooks I really disliked the second book. The characters suffered from regression and the story wasn’t very strong. It was boring. I’ll read the third one, but my expectations are lowered.

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