Book Review: DIVERGENT

Author: Veronica Roth

Number of Pages: 487 pages

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Release Date: May 3, 2011

“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.”          –

I’ve read a lot of dystopian/futuristic/science fiction novels. I’m familiar with the action-packed, fast-paced writing style that often accompanies those types of stories, and I’m no stranger to the end-of-the-world theme. With that being said, I have to say that this one didn’t really stand out to me. Was it a good plot? Yes! Were the characters alright? Yes! However, I felt sort of like I was reading a variation of all of the dystopian novels I have ever read. The idea that humans are separated into different categories by personalities isn’t a very original one- just look at the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling with the different Hogwarts houses. Now I’m not saying that they are exactly alike, because they definitely aren’t, but they both have the same general idea. To me, this book has really great potential, but there were some things about it that knocked my enthusiasm for it down a few notches.

First, it seemed to me as though this novel was separated into two separate parts. (Bear with me, because I’m going to try not to give any spoilers away!) The first part focused mainly on plot, describing in great detail the events that took place and where they occurred. The second half of the book, in my opinion, focused mainly on romantic relationships between the characters. Which is fine, but it seemed really choppy while I was reading it. If Veronica Roth had somehow managed to mesh those two halves together throughout the book, then it would have made for a much smoother and balanced read. Also, Beatrice, the main character, sort of bothered me. Her moods fluctuated rapidly and frequently, and to me she seemed like a bit of a hypocrite. For example, she would be like, “Oh, Abnegation frowns upon this!” and then a few pages later she would be doing that exact thing she said that Abnegation didn’t like!!! It was hard to tell whether or not she really meant what she said.

Overall, while I did enjoy reading Divergent, I would not say that it is my favorite dystopian novel. However, I will be reading the sequel and the third book, whenever it comes out.

My Rating: :0) :0) :0) :0) 4 out of 5 smileys

Would I recommend it to a friend?: Yes.




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