Thursday, March 21, 2013

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent by Veronica Roth
Divergent #1
Published by Katherine Tegen Books; February 27, 2012
Paperback, 487 pages
Borrowed from library

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, 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 alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating 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 unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

- Description from

I am ashamed of myself. I had gone into this book with my expectations so low. I really expected to dislike this book but I did not. I actually really, really liked it! I thought it was a wonderful, fast-paced story to read through, and the idea of having factions intrigued me. I thought it was very realistic and I certainly could imagine our society heading down this path.The only thing that really bugged me was the role Chicago played in this. Really, I think Ms. Roth would have been better off just creating an imaginary world, because, to be honest, Chicago is insignificant and supplies nothing to this story. 

I'll admit: I had to imagine quite a bit pre-Dystopia Chicago because there weren't many details given as to how this came to be. This didn't really affect my overall thought of the book, because I enjoyed it! I loved Dauntless initiation and every single page left my heart pounding. It was intense and I was so caught up in it. The romance with Tobias was also extremely intense, and is probably the cause of all my hyperventilating.  I wanted to rip the tension at the beginning in half, because everyone knew where this was going. Get on with it, Veronica! I'm tired of waiting! 

The pacing was awkward, and I felt myself starting to become less excited towards the end (though that could also have been because of this other thing...). I found the end came about all of the sudden, it didn't feel complete to me. 

Next, I've noticed that this book has been compared to The Hunger Games a lot, and I will not say anything on this because The Hunger Games has nearly left my mind. I really can't remember anything, but I can say that Mockingjay was really bad. I'm happy to say Divergent wasn't THAT bad and hopefully, the third book in this series won't be either. I know many people preferred The Hunger Games more, but for me, I thought Divergent suited my tastes better. Note here I'm only going by my feelings, and Divergent definitely made me feel more, although it may not be the best literally.

I'm making my final decision based how I felt when I first picked up this book. Divergent is definitely not an amazing book, but considering how amazing I thought it was, I think it deserves all the rave it's getting. If a book has the ability to let me forget about criticizing later on on my blog, if a book can make me lose my senses, if a book is able to make me forget everything and let me simply enjoy the story, then I would say that that book is well worthy of praise, even if it there were many flaws. It's not often you come across a book capable of doing this, and I think you should give it a shot despite some harsh criticism it might have gotten. Hey, a book doesn't win a Book of the Year award because nobody liked it! Chances are, you will too.


  1. Yeah, I forgot this was set in Chicago because the setting was so vague to me, ha. I hated Mockingjay too but Divergent was fun! Glad you liked it overall.

    1. It was very hard to remember it was set in Chicago, just because it didn't seem very clear! I agree, Divergent was so much fun! I loved reading about initiation - that was the best! :)

  2. Can you believe I have not read this?
    Hmm, that's too bad about the setting. I love it when dystopians are set in recognizable worlds and we get details about what things were like before and the events leading up to a totalitarian government, but when the setting isn't relevant? Not so much.
    I agree that a book that allows you to get caught up in the story is worthy of praise! I can often be nitpicky about writing and I definitely appreciate developed characters and symbolism and such, but any book that makes me REALLY want to read it is fantastic in my mind.

    1. You should drop everything and read this. Certainly, it's not the best book ever but I loved the intensity of the story and the plot moves relatively fast. Divergent made my heart pump ten thousand times faster than it ever did during gym!