Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

23 December, 2011 Reviews 8 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

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.

Today I almost attacked a man in public.  A man who was yelling at and abusing his partner.  Kicking the trolley, shoving her and screaming obscenities at her.   I ditched the trolley I’d been pushing and stormed toward them, my mind blank of anything but ruthless fury.

The next part was like out of some stupid romance novel.  Mr Kennedy pulled back on my arm and said, “No.  There is no way you’re going over there!” He took off the baby sling, handed it to me and sent me to go put the groceries and baby in the car while he handled it.

Usually that’s the part of the novel where the female heroine swoons or something but I only got angrier.  Did he just relegate me to child-minding and packing away groceries?  Because I have a uterus?  To say I was unimpressed would be an understatement.

Never before have I actually wanted to be a man.  I love being a woman and I think being a woman is a fantastic thing to be.  But I wanted to kick that man’s ass.  I absolutely hated myself for being weak and puny.  It’s not fair.  To not be able to fight your own battles, to not be able to stand up for weaker people when you want to.  It’s so, incredibly, painfully unfair.  Why can’t I have big muscles?  Why couldn’t Mr Kennedy wait by the car while I got to go up and play harpsichord with his lower intestinal tract? Why must I swallow my pride and accept that I’m just not as strong or muscular as Mr Kennedy?

Perhaps it’s that drive that made me connect so much with Tris.  I wonder what kind of personality types would enjoy this novel?  I’ve seen a lot of three star reviews and I just can’t fathom why when this book was a solid five stars for me.  Even with it’s somewhat implausible storyline I loved it.

I loved all the characters, especially Tris, for being a hardass, cold motherfucker when other YA protagonists would whither and melt into a gooey puddle of patheticness.

Maybe I connected with it because I could absolutely imagine being Dauntless.  Catching moving trains?  Abseiling?  Fighting?  Sign me up now.  I think I would have loved every minute of it.

The writing was quite smooth and the action sequences were clear, concise and well-explained.  The pacing and the plot never really give up, making this book difficult to put down.

Over all, I thoroughly loved this novel.  I’m hard-pressed to come up with any flaws or issues that annoyed me.

Most of all, it made me wish I really could kickass and take names like Tris does.  Perhaps taking up kickboxing would be a good place to start.

Kat Kennedy

Kat Kennedy

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
Kat Kennedy is a book reviewer and aspiring author in the Young Adult genre. She reviews critically but humorously and get super excited about great books. Find her on GoodReads.
Kat Kennedy

8 Responses to “Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth”

  1. RaeLynn Fry

    I couldn't agree with you more. This was by far one of my favorite books read in 2011. I've lent it out to about half a dozen people already who have all read it (in around 2 or 3 days)and been of the same opinion. Tris is a top notch badass. Love your blog, btw, and your reviews on Goodreads are spot on!

  2. CuddleBug

    Thanks RaeLynn! I absolutely agree. I love it that Tris is morally questionable and can't be pigeon holed into self-sacrificing, capitulating moron like more female MCs. I'll be recommending this to all my friends and reading acquaintances!

  3. Charliee

    I L.O.V.E.D reading this book! When she had to choose between Dauntless and that other one (read it ages ago so can't remember name) I was rooting for Dauntless with so much passion, I almost ripped the book in two. The awesome thing about it is its undeniable uniqueness, its ability to make your blood pump (even though you're not actually there) and of course, Tris and her badassness (badass-ness? Is that a word?) The only thing I don't like about the book is that it points out a LOT that Tris is an unattractive girl. I can't read a book where the main character is constantly thinking/saying how ugly, skinny, boob-less, ect.. she is (that's why I don't read twilight anymore.) And no, I'm not saying that she should be super pretty blah, blah, blah… but what I AM saying is that she should be more neutral. Not ugly, but not outstandingly beautifull either. That way, you can focus more on the plot and personlity, then on what they look like. Obviously, its an amazing book and I enjoyed reading it a bucket-load, but sometimes I swear I have OCD and I can't help but point out the flaws. But believe me, its one of the best books i've read in aggggges!

  4. GraceEvans

    I loved the book. Tris was kickass, but she wasn’t an unrealistic character. She wasn’t perfect, she had to work hard at things, she struggled, and had fears. But the point was that she faced them. She didn’t just give up or wait for someone else to save her. When someone was mean to her, it just pissed her off. I loved her character and I loved this book!

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