Wednesday, 28 November 2012

[book review] Divergent by Veronica Roth

Series: Divergent (1)
Kindle Edition: 501 pages 
Published by: HarperCollins, Children's (May 3, 2011)
My Copy: Amazon UK (November)

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.

Before I start I just want to say, that yes I may compare this book to 'The Hunger Games', and yes I know they're totally different books but the sad truth is 'THG' was my first proper experience with dystopia, therefore all novels I read from now on will be compared to it no matter how hard I try not to. Okay so enough of that, to my review...

This is a dystopian novel at its best. Beatrice (Tris) lives in a world where you either conform to the acceptable behaviours of the five factions or you become factionless, living in a wild part of town, having to depend on the kindness of others to get by. Originally from Abnegation, Tris freely admits she's anything but selfless, but can she overcome her fears of the unknown and leave her family behind in order to not feel like a fraud any more.

I'm finding it extremely hard to review this book without any spoilers, so just beware there may be little plot giveaways but I'll try to keep them to a minimum.

Let's start off with Tris. She's got kind of a mixed personality, sometimes she's willing to stand there and save her friends from certain punishments, yet at others she's acting like a complete self-centred thug. She just can't seem to find a balance with her emotions, I don't know maybe its the Divergent in her, maybe its not, I don't really know but I do know it just didn't make me want to like her at all. But you know what for some reason unknown to me, I did find myself empathising her. I liked the way she was always supporting her friends, even if they did seem to ditch her at a certain point, and she's always sticking up for herself, which is amusing because no one really ever takes her seriously except maybe Four. (I have to admit I liked Katniss a whole lot better than Tris)

Talking of Four, now he's your typical dark, brooding guy with a glint in his eye and trouble in his past. Who can really blame me for having a complete book crush on him? Seriously, who doesn't love the whole bad boy angle? This boy has secrets, but I don't really understand why some of them are secrets, they didn't seem that bad to me. Anyways He's described wonderfully and I was literally drooling at the mouth over him. One word. Yum!!

None of the other characters really made that big of an impression on me, they all seemed to be stuck within the typical stereotypes which I'm not a fan of. The only other character who I loved hearing about was Uriah. He's definitely my fav, even better than Four. He should really have received more face time in this book as I'm seeing him as being some kind of underdog in the coming books.

The story as a whole wasn't as action packed as THG but there was a lot of tension and suspicion to fill the void. I felt this book could have focused less on the initiation and more on the events in the final chapters. The way this book totally tops THG though is there's no pathetic attempt at a love triangle. Tris does have some interest from other boys but she quickly shoots them down, which just goes to show there is some girl power left out there. After all the indecision Tris may have over which faction to choose she is totally straight minded with who she wants, which is so refreshing. This book is totally awesome and totally DIFFERENT from other dystopia books I've read. I'm officially in love with this series and I'm currently hunting down the next in the series.


  1. Just stopping by to say thank you for signing up for the 2013 Standalone Reading Challenge! Best of luck :)

    I LOVED this book. I read the second one and loved it to. Although the series has some flaws, I'm okay with forgiving it (keep in mind this is said before the conclusion - haha) because the world as a whole is so consuming.


    1. I'm halfway through the audiobook of the second one but keep getting ear ache from listening to it for hours on end. Can't wait to get started on the third, although I don't want it to end.

  2. I loved it's world building, and yes, the author focused more on the world, and less on the characters but that is fine because it is still the first book. I have high hopes from the sequel. Great review!!!

    1. I can't wait to see where the author is going with this book.

  3. I'm really excited for the third book in this series to come out. :) I actually liked Divergent better than The Hunger Games, but I know not many people agree with me.

    1. Ohh I agree with you... Loved the Divergent world so much more. It could have used more action in my opinion but hopefully there'll be much more in the coming books.