Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on November 22, 2013 | 11 Comments

Review: Divergent by Veronica RothDivergent by Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent #1
Published by Katherine Tegen (2.28.2012)
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 487 pages
Source: I own it
Buy on Amazon

4 Stars

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.

My thoughts

This is not the first time I’ve read this book; I read it back in 2011 when it first came out. I liked it the first time, but it didn’t wow me. I probably would have given it 3-3.5 stars. That was before I started blogging, and I remembered next to nothing, so it was almost like reading it for the first time again. I was never really on the Divergent bandwagon with all of the crazed fans, but with the movie coming out, I was dying to re-read it. I think I enjoyed it a lot more the second time around because I was more gung-ho about it!

I love love loooove the idea of this book. It’s such an original concept! I love the factions and what they represent, and how they each have their own type and style. The separation between the factions is kind of like racism, though. They judge each other for choosing to be a certain way (i.e. to the Dauntless, Abnegation members are ‘stiffs’). Which is kind of ironic, since the point of splitting the population into factions is to create harmony and eradicate the bad qualities. It just goes to show that no matter what, humans will be ugly.

“Human beings as a whole cannot be good for long before the bad creeps back in and poisons us again.”

I would have liked to see a tad more world building, though. What year is it? How did the division into factions come about exactly? Did the government just up and one day say, Okay guys, we need to separate into factions because what we’re doing now just isn’t working? I need more!! World building whore here, haha.

I also didn’t care much for the prose. It was kind of sophomoric at times, and rather dry to me. Thankfully the plot and premise were interesting enough to keep the pace moving! I had trouble feeling much emotion while reading, even in a major part at the end where I should have been crying. View Spoiler »

I do have to say that Tris was a great lead! She is human, but she’s strong. She makes mistakes, but she tries her best to do the right thing. She stands up for her friends. She protects her family. Four was alright. He was stoic, and sometimes I couldn’t get a read on him. The romance moved nice and slow, but sometimes it was hard to tell where they stood with each other because Four was so reserved.

I can’t wait to see this book come to life on the big screen!!

quotes“I’m used to just saying whatever is on my mind. Mom used to say that politeness is deception in pretty packaging.”

I believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.

Overall Assessment

Plot: 4/5
Premise: 5/5
Writing style: 3/5
Originality: 4.5/5
Characters: 3/5
World-building: 3.5/5
Pace: 4.5/5
Feels: 2.5/5
Cover: 4.5/5
Overall rating: 4/5

Jessi (Geo)

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11 responses to “Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

  1. Great review Jessie and you finally got around to reading it! I love Divergent and in the next book you see more of the history and concept of factions being explained. And I agree, can’t wait for the book to screen adaptations!

    Happy Reading
    Patrick @ The Bookshelves

  2. You’ll sort of get all of your world building questions answered in the later books. Like, all the questions you asked get answered, but those answers do kind of lead to a ton more questions lol. You’ll see!

    I REALLY can’t wait for your reviews of Insurgent and Allegiant! I’m particularly curious your thoughts on Allegiant…

    • Oh good! I think I’m starting Insurgent next. I wanted to binge read the series, but I never got Allegiant in the mail before I left for vacation :(
      I’m very curious but nervous at the same time…I’ve been putting off book 2 for so long!

      I can’t wait to compare thoughts!

  3. When this popped up in my Bloglovin’ feed, I was like “Whaaaaaat? She hadn’t read Divergent yet?!?!” But now I get it =P

    I, too, liked it, but didn’t LOVE it at first. I liked the series better with Insurgent, so I’m hoping that I’ll like Allegiant even better than the first two. Hoping. I’ve managed to avoid reading any reviews this far, so I’m hoping to go into it anticipation-neutral.

    • Haha yeah, I’m just a little late to reviewing it ;p

      Anticipation-neutral is always better for me, but I always get my hopes up too high! I think that’s why I’m often disappointed….

  4. This has been one of my favorite books for a long time; so glad you liked it too! While it has been moved out of my “inner circle” of favorites, I guess, it’s still kind of a classic for me. I had some trouble feeling emotion in the book too, because Tris wasn’t an emotional character. I didn’t realize it until now…
    Great review!

  5. I read this book for the first time this summer and liked it overall, but like you I needed more world-building. I borrowed a copy from my library and the blurb didn’t mention that the novel is set in futuristic Chicago so I had no idea where the city that Tris kept referring to as home was, until I looked the book up on GoodReads. Of the series I think Insurgent was my favourite book as we get to see different types of factions and how they work together. I hope you enjoy the other two books in the series!

  6. I just read this series for the first time. The first book is still my favorite, but I agree that the prose was a little awkward. The main thing that bugged me was the lack of contractions… I don’t know if it was just an attempt to create a new sort of dialect to show that this isn’t our world, but it pulled me out of the story a bit.

    Overall it was very good though.

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