Divergent by Veronica Roth

January 14, 2015 Reviews 22

Divergent by Veronica RothDivergent by Veronica Roth
Narrator: Emma Galvin
Series: Divergent #1
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on May 3, 2011
Genres: Dystopia, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 487
Length: 11 hours 11 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtueโ€”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 isโ€”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 areโ€”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 seriesโ€”dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

I expected to like Divergent more than I did, especially since I seem to be on a YA Dystopian kick lately. It was pretty good, but didn’t blow me away.

The truly weak point in Divergent – for me – was the romance. I don’t know if I was just in the wrong mood or what, but I didn’t connect with it at all. Beatrice and Four just didn’t have any sizzle moments that made me FEEL a special connection. I don’t think I’ve ever moved beyond seeing them as friends – really good friends who just so happen to kiss maybe? LOL I don’t know why, but I found myself not giving a rat’s ass if they got together or not. *shrugs*

I do really like Divergent‘s concept though. A world where people must choose one virtue – out of Abnegation, Candor, Dauntless, Amity, or Erudite – is the stuff of dystopian utopia… In that you can see how people might THINK something like this could be perfect. People embrace a virtue, and though they can’t be perfect alone, by each faction (what each group or people following a virtue is called) the other virtues create a natural check on the others. People are able to focus on that one quality that makes them good.

Of course, there are many problems with this. One – there’s a very thin line between most virtues and their related vices. Two – who do you know with just one good quality? I felt like Divergent did a pretty good job recognizing these problems and exploiting them for an interesting story line. There’s lots of little details that I think will be important as the trilogy continues – some I picked up on and probably others that I missed. But I really liked all the layers and possibilities that the things I did pick up on may lead to and I really hope they will.

Not just a good dystopian, I felt Divergent was really appropriate for a young adult audience. Trying to find one’s place in the world is one of the most basic teenage challenges, and for Beatrice its complicated by this messed up world she lives in. She has to prove herself on many levels – to others and finally to herself. I think this challenge, and the way Beatrice must ultimately deal with it is incredibly relatable and timely for teenage readers.

I like the message and would be happy to have my teen reading Divergent. Even though it didn’t blow me away, I really enjoyed it and look forward to reading the rest – and watching the movie, since I wouldn’t allow myself to until I read Divergent.

3.5 stars pretty good

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About Veronica Roth

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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About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

22 Responses to “Divergent by Veronica Roth”

  1. sophie

    ok I am seriously in love with your blog. There are tons of reviews… looks like I am going to have so much books to read for my summer vacation, that I might stay most of the time in my hotel room reading haha.

    quick question : have you watched the movies? and do you think the movies are better than the books?

    sophie recently posted…Beauty quotes to enjoy Part 2My Profile

    • Berls

      Haha thanks so much! I wouldn’t mind a super vacation filled with reading books ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve seen the first two movies, but not the third one yet. I’d say the movies are pretty good – not better of worse than the books really… Just different. They’ve taken some liberties that would make someone who adored the books angry I think. But since I just liked the concept more than anything, I have enjoyed the movies. If that makes sense.

      • sophie

        Hi berls, yeah I 100% agree with you.
        The task of a filmmaker is not an easy one…
        I guess when reading a book, we all have our own way to depict things depending on our own culture, experiences etc.. It is a very personal experience so I guess it is not always easy to make a movie ( which often is the vision of one person) that will appeal to all of us haha.
        sophie recently posted…Beauty quotes to enjoy Part 2My Profile

  2. Bookworm Brandee

    Well, I haven’t read Divergent yet despite it collecting dust on my bookshelf since its release. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m glad that you liked it a lot, Berls. I really like all the things you pointed out as having liked – the dystopian elements AND the teens figuring out who they are. <–I really like that last one. ๐Ÿ™‚ You've made me excited to pick up the book…even if it didn't blow you away and might not blow me away either.

    I apologize for the flood of comments you're about to receive from me. ๐Ÿ™‚ I'm playing catch up after having taken Sky on a few college tours in Washington/Oregon. I've been home for 3 days and I'm *still* playing catch up! *sigh* I hope you're having a fabulous week!!
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…Release Day Blitz & TWO Giveaways ~ Strange Magic ~ Michelle MankinMy Profile

  3. Red Iza

    That’s what I loved about Divergent, not so much the romance but especially the worldbuilding and the questions it brings, how it can make you think about the world you’re actually living in.
    Red Iza recently posted…Hottie of the weekMy Profile

  4. Rachelle

    Divergent has been on my TBR for over a year now, ever since my Best Friend told me how much she loves the book. Our tastes in books are usually the same, but not always, so I’m glad to read a good 2nd opinion from a fellow blogger ๐Ÿ™‚
    Rachelle recently posted…Review: The SunkenMy Profile

  5. Angie F.

    I’m glad you liked this one, even though I didn’t! I looove this idea of people picking one faction, and being in nice, neat, easily controlled boxes. But I didn’t believe them, since the world building was really weak and questionable. And I can’t remember anything about the romance, which probably means I wasn’t sold on it either. ๐Ÿ˜›
    Angie F. recently posted…Wishlist Wednesday #72: Hold Me Closer by David LevithanMy Profile

    • Berls

      LOL yeah, that romance wasn’t too good IMO. I thought the world building was pretty good- but I do understand where you could have problems with it. I’m looking forward to reading the next one to see what happens with it.
      Berls recently posted…2014 Book of the Year | FinalsMy Profile

  6. Sara L.

    Like you, I loved how Roth exploited the problems with her faction system. I won’t give anything away, but you’ll see that continue in Insurgent. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    And again, like you, I wasn’t blown away by the romance in Divergent when I first read it. IMO, though, Roth improves on that in Insurgent, so maybe you’ll be more satisfied with what happens next between them.
    Sara L. recently posted…Recent Reads: โ€œEonโ€ by Alison GoodmanMy Profile

    • Berls

      Oh good! I’m glad that continues! It’s funny because everyone seems to have really different views of the romance in these books, so I’m really curious to see what I think of Inusrgent ๐Ÿ™‚
      Berls recently posted…2014 Book of the Year | FinalsMy Profile

  7. Stormi

    I haven’t read this book yet but I did watch the movie (as we talked about it) I do think I need to read the books. (I think I might like it more than HG as I didn’t care for that series..lol)
    Stormi recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday #2My Profile

    • Berls

      So far I liked book one of Hunger Games better than this, but I see potential for liking this better in the long run. We’ll see. The book is better than the movie (IMO), though the movie is pretty decent.
      Berls recently posted…2014 Book of the Year | FinalsMy Profile

  8. Ramona

    I think it’s because you listened to rather than reading it that you didn’t feel the romance between Tris and Four. I’m no longer an audio-book virgin ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m just about to finish The Retribution of Mara Dyer, and I have to say that I’m not feeling it. Considering that I LOVED the first two books, I had to conclude that I’m a visual reader, that is to achieve maximum effect, I have to actually SEE the words. Maybe you’re the same?
    Ramona recently posted…What Makes A Successful YA Novel?My Profile

    • Berls

      Definitely a possibility – though I don’t remember disliking the narration (and I didn’t say anything about it in my review like a dummy, so I can’t remember for sure). I’m glad you gave audiobooks a try, even if it’s not working out for you. It’s not for everyone for sure, though I just love them. How’s the narrator? An amazing narrator makes a big difference and some books just work better in print (and vice versa IMO).
      Berls recently posted…2014 Book of the Year | FinalsMy Profile

    • Berls

      I saw the movie and it wasn’t as good as the book, but it was fairly faithful to it. So your impression is probably right, I know I liked Hunger Games better, but then the second and third Hunger Games books weren’t as good for me, so we’ll see how the rest of the trilogy stacks up!
      Berls recently posted…2014 Book of the Year | FinalsMy Profile

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