Review of 'Divergent' by Veronica Roth

Monday, February 24, 2014

Divergent (Divergent, #1)Divergent by Veronica Roth

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Suggested Age: 16+
mild language/violence

Genre: Dystopian

This book was “alright” I liked it well enough but I thought there were a lot of gaps in the story line.

What happened to the rest of the world? What’s the true point of the factions—how did it get to that point. These are questions that should have been addressed.

I felt there were times where the story relied too heavily on the "hot-factor" of Four and less on the story line.

This isn’t the worst book I’ve ever read but after hearing a spoiler of how it ends I think I’m ending with this one and saving myself the book angst.

This book follows Beatrice Prior as she learns that she is a Divergence, as she chooses a faction and her reinvention as the edgy dauntless Tris.

Being dauntless means that she must learn to have courage, how to face her fears and essentially, how to survive initiation if she wishes to avoid being factionless.

During her initiation she meets an interesting guy named Four. Why is he called Four? Well, that is for Tris to discover. I assure that his presence in the story is what makes this book worth reading. Tris is rather boring, to be honest. In my opinion, Four is the story and without him there’s no point in reading. I don’t say that because I’m some crazed fan-girl desiring after a book-boyfriend. I say that because I really think there wasn’t much of a story to tell without him.

Passing initiation is only half the problem. Shortly thereafter is when the real story begins to emerge and the factions are plunged into war. The first book pretty much ends at such point so I will leave off at this point and point out just a few note-worthy things

  • This book is YA genre but it is geared more towards the upper end of the YA bracket. There’s a bit more innuendos and violent situations are a bit more graphic in my opinion than something like The Hunger Games which I would say is fine for the younger age brackets of the YA genre.

  • Where is the rest of the world and why exactly are there factions. This wasn’t explained well enough. I want to know why only Chicago exists and how did it get to the point of having to have factions? Yes, I know the spiel about qualities and traits but what initiated this train of thought?

  • There seems to be an age discrepancy as the author states that Caleb is a few months into being 16 and Tris is turning 16. If they have the same parents, how are they only a “few” months a part. Pregnancy lasts 9 months typically so even if their mom became pregnant again right away, if he is 16 for a couple of months then how is Tris also turning 16 at the same time? I totally get the “irish twin” thing but she totally didn’t explain it well. Shoot, she might as well have just made them twins so it would be less confusing for everyone reading.

This book was an okay read and I liked it well enough. From what I hear about the ending, I don’t like this book well enough to continue the series.
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Veronica Roth is from a Chicago suburb. She studied creative writing at Northwestern University, and wrote DIVERGENT (Katherine Tegen Books, May 2011) and INSURGENT (May 2012). The third and final book in The Divergent Trilogy, ALLEGIANT, will come out on October 22, 2013. In the meantime she will spend endless hours browsing Wikipedia in her pajamas as she eats corn flakes. (Or some other kind of bland breakfast cereal.)

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