Thursday, May 23, 2013

Divergent: A Review

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 loved this story. Can I stop there? I don't want to ruin anything. Okay. Thanks. Done. 

No, really, I did really love this story. The bleak world Veronica Roth created and how she made me feel I was there, part of the Abnegation as Beatrice/Tris tries to decide what is best for her, and if that's the decision she should make. Does she do what she wants to do or does she do what she's expected to do? The factions, how it's broken up by "good" qualities and as if no one has any bad qualities or possesses the qualities of all factions. They are not mutually exclusive, these traits, and it shows in the characters. 

The characters. I loved (I really need to find another word... sheesh) and hated characters Veronica created. Their strength, vulnerability, and flaws all felt real, not contrived. I wasn't just being told about Tris' confusion, I felt it. I understood why it was hard for her to let go of some things, to embrace a new part of her life. The way Veronica portrayed some characters (I don't want to give anything away, so I'm being vague on purpose) made me hate them. And not like "S/He's an ass, she should stay away from him," but more in the way of, "I &%#$ing hate them and I hope they die," sort of way. It's a good thing these are characters in a book because I would question my sanity after that thought. :)  

Other characters surprised me in their loyalty and their place in the story. Ms. Roth holds nothing back and has no qualms about where the story takes her. I cried, I laughed, and I loved. Speaking of love, I enjoyed the romantic relationship building as it did. It wasn't insta-love to me, and it was confusing and intense, tentative and tender. It had the real characteristics of a new love brewing, not an obsession. That was nice.

Given the type of book, you obviously know where things are headed as far as a bigger picture goes. But I like the way it progressed, the unexpected twists and turns she took me down. I am anxious to read on.
I am super excited because I got to work today and Insurgent was sitting on my desk. So I get to continue the story! I am nervous because who knows what kind of cliffhanger may await me at the end, but I can't help it. I want to know more about Tris and Four and all the other characters I've come to think of as friends. So I will continue, knowing that I will have to wait until nearly the end of the year to find out what happens after this. Such is my instant gratification nature.

Have you read it? What'd you think?



  1. I've read the first two books in this series. I really did enjoy them and like Roth's writing style, but it isn't my favorite series. What I do like is how fast-paced they are. The books feel like they are flying by and the writing really holds your attention. Great review! I hope you love the second book as much as the first...then you'll be in the same boat as the rest of us--eagerly waiting to find out what happens next!
    -Natalie @Natflix&Books

    1. I really do appreciate the fast paced nature of them as well. Especially given how big they are, it makes it go much quicker than expected. (I've finished Insurgent - review to come next week - and I'm in the same boat as the rest of you! lol)

  2. I've been want to read this series, I allow myself to buy one or two books every pay check so I think this is going to be my next buy when I get paid! Thanks for the review!

    Paradise of Pages

    1. I really enjoyed it... I hope you do, too! :) And Allegiant comes out in October, so it won't be a painfully long wait after Insurgent. :)


Thank you so much for taking your time to share your thoughts! I try to respond to everyone. :)