{Review} Divergent by Veronica Roth

by Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent #1
Pages: 487
Release Date: May 3, 2011
by Katherine Tegen Books (an imprint of Harper)

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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.

I really wanted to love this book.  I really tried to love this book.  I just couldn’t.  And I really wish I could.  I just had too many issues with it, the first being that there was no world-building or explaining whatsoever.  Roth talked about the factions in the beginning, but didn’t explain why there were factions.  She didn’t explain what happened to make the society what it was, didn’t describe the setting, just went right into the book.  She didn’t even explain why Tris had to go through training!  I mean, you figure it out at the end of the book, but for the rest of it before you are completely clueless.  The writing, for me, was okay.  I didn’t really like the story line or the staging because it was all very obvious and lucky.  The romance was also very poorly done, in my opinion, and kind of annoying.  Even the ending was annoying.  Have you guys seen the movie Hanna?  Cuz I was getting flashbacks of that movie the entire ending.  I didn’t like how dramatic it was.
Also, none of the action/fight scenes were very well done in this book.  The one thing that I did like about this book, though, was the beginning, and also the fact that Roth wasn’t afraid to do the unthinkable (like killing some *cough* characters).  Since you all have probably read this book, I think you know what I mean.

My really big problem with this book were the characters.  I absolutely hated Tris.  There wasn’t really any character development of any of the characters, but Roth at least had a go with Tris, and I know she intended Tris to come across as independent and strong, but instead she came across as arrogant and kind of a bitch.

Here are some examples of Tris’s bitchyness:

His feet were just inches from my head.  I should comfort him – I should want to comfort him, because I was raised that way.  Instead I feel disgust.  Someone who looks so strong shouldn’t act so weak.  Why can’t he just keep his crying quiet like the rest of us?

See?  Not only is she being a total snob, but she thinks that, just because this guy is big and strong, he shouldn’t cry.  What?  WHAT?  And wait, it gets better.

“You think I have to pretend to be vulnerable?” I ask, raising an eyebrow.

I’m not sure if it’s smart to forgive her or not…But my mother would tell me that people are flawed and I should be lenient with them.

“I didn’t think it would affect you this way.”  Then he looks down and shrugs.  “Sometimes I forget that I can hurt you.  That you are capable of being hurt.”

Okay Tris we get it.  You're above everybody, better than everybody, stronger than everybody, and everyone needs to come to kiss your feet.

And Tris wasn’t the only character I didn’t really like.  Four was there too.  He wasn’t a particularly appealing, sexy character; he was kind of just there.  Roth didn’t really develop him or give him any personality.

This idea is really so, so good, and I’m so sad that I didn’t like this book, especially since everyone else has.  There was just too much wrong with this book that I couldn’t pass up.  But I will go check out the movie.

And yes, I do realize that it is kind of pointless to post this review because I will probably not get any comments actually agreeing with me because everyone else has loved this book.  I get that, but I still wanted to put this out there.

1.5 pink flowers


  1. I can't believe you didn't like it? I absolutely LOVED it! Maybe you'll like the second book in the series, which was even better then the first. in my opinion!

  2. I very much agree with you, though I did rate this a little higher because I like Four (and will always call him Four because that's way better than Tobias) and for its readability.

    The world-building was the biggest issue for me, too. I just didn't understand it, and for a dystopian to really work, it has to be believable. But the factions made no logical sense whatever, so that kind of fell apart.

    To be fair, if you do decide to read Insurgent, it is way, way better than Divergent, in my opinion. A lot of the problems with Tris were fixed and the answer to WHY everything happened was a little bit revealed, but not quite.

    Anyway, thanks for your honest review! Lots of people would be afraid to post a negative review of such a hyped up book, simply because of the rabid fangirls.

  3. I really loved this, glad you did too! I wish I'd re-read it before reading in Insurgent so you will be find if you've only just read Divergent now!

    Irene Jennings of Photo Booth NC


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