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Friday, April 13, 2012

[Review] Divergent (Divergent, #1) by Veronica Roth

Title: Divergent
Series: Divergent, #1
Author: Veronica Roth
Pages: 487 (Hardcover)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: May 3, 2011

In a future Chicago, 16-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.


I absolutely loved the idea of factions! It seems like something likely to happen after a major event to put everyone in nice little boxes, and keep order. However, I felt like the factions were just over-exaggerated stereotypes. I had a hard time believing that people would behave that way without brainwashing. For example what does having 37 piercings and jumping out of a speeding train have to do with bravery? Nothing, it's just reckless. If they're the ones who are suppose to protect the people, why are they behaving in a way that's likely to get them maimed and killed? Also, how is self defensive and eating hamburgers self indulgent or selfish? It just doesn't make any sense to me. And I'm pretty sure you don't need hipster glasses to pursue knowledge, especially if you have perfect vision.

Sure bravery and selflessness are great qualities to value, but the level of exaggeration of their actions (or inaction) bothered me. This one-mindedness was briefly acknowledged towards the end, but the explanation just wasn't good enough. I never was able to accept this world and it hindered my enjoyment of the novel.

I did like Tris though. She had her own thoughts and opinions, and didn't follow the one-track mindedness of the factions. But I suppose there wouldn't be a story if she was just another faction member. She was something known as "divergent" but what that means, no one knows, but it might get her killed if anyone finds out. It's a super interesting concept, but we don't get many answers about what exactly divergence is or why it happens. Perhaps in future books?

Divergent does end on a cliffhanger, which is the only reason why I'll probably read the second book. Maybe there will be some more world building that can explain more of why things are the way they are. Plus I'd like to see more of the Amity faction, which seems like it will be a bigger part of the next book.

5 comments:

  1. Oh no! This disappointed you? I'm sorry that you weren't as blown away by this as I was, Angie :( But I definitely understand your quips with the world-building -- I find that it's a common flaw in most dystopian books, and I find that the only one that's even close to perfectly believable for me is The Hunger Games haha. But I'm glad that you liked Tris despite all of that!

    Awesome honest review, Angie! Hopefully the next book will fill in those gaps for you? :)

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  2. Wow, you're the first person i've seen give this book 3 stars. I probably didn't love it as much as most (I read it after most people raved about it so my expectations were quite high). But i did really enjoy it and cannot wait for Insurgent!

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  3. I'm sad to see you didn't like Divergent more :[ Hopefully Insurgent is better for you. And I totally agree about Amity. I'd love to see more about them :]

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  4. Thanks for the honest review. I have heard such great things about it, but it didn't seem like something that would be quite my type.

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  5. I totally agree with you about the jumping out of trains and getting 37 piercings! That was my thought when I read the book too. :) Great review!

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