Book Review: Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth

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. 

Release Date: May 3, 2011
Age Group:  Young Adult
Publisher:  Katherine Tegen Books
Source:  Purchased

So, I know that I am probably going to get some hate for this, but, I've got to come clean.  I had Divergent built up in my mind as this awesome book, better than The Hunger Games, better than any other YA dystopia.  The longer I waited to read it, the more I built it up.  I had it set to be the best book I've read in months.  The ultimate.  As good as, say, Neal Shusterman's Unwind.  Gasp!  I can't even write that!  I'm sorry, Neal, I'm sorry!  I take it back!!  Nothing is as good as Unwind.  I really cannot think of another dystopia that I continually think of and compare other books to.  Except for maybe The Giver and 1984.  

Anyway, I digress.  Every time I sit down to review a dystopian novel I start comparing it to the greats in the genre.  Which is really not fair to the novel in question, but I just can't stop myself.  I did like Divergent, I liked it a lot, but I just was not crazy in love with it.  It was no Wither, that's for sure.  But I did like it.

The breakdown of society into factions was very unique and welll-done.  I enjoyed that aspect of the book.  I had no idea Tris was really going to choose Dauntless and was taken aback by some of their practices.  Wow...the careless way they handle major issues such as life and death was so, well, dauntless.

Divergent loses a star for a slow start and for a rushed ending.  I did not like the way Roth started killing people off so quickly there at the end.

Overall, I enjoyed Divergent and am definitely looking forward to the next book in the series, Insurgent.  I plan on reading it before I read too many reviews hyping it up.  I tend to do better forming my own opinion on a book---reading it before I read any other reviews. 


  1. I just did a review on this one, too! Looks like we're on the same train of thought, except I didn't have my expectations as high, haha!
    Thanks for the review.

  2. I got suckered into the hype too and had really high expectations. In the end, I had a "meh, been there and done that feeling". I did enjoy it enough to pick up book 2 but I'm not biting my nails and tapping my toes until it comes out.

  3. I had that experience with Delirium. Everyone told me how much they looooved it and I thought it would be the greatest thing since sliced bread. I ended up enjoying it, but only gave it four stars.

    But Divergent, that one I really did love. :)

  4. That's the problem with hype. It can make good books seem not as good because they don't meet high expectations. That being said, I've caught onto the hype and really want to read this one.

  5. I really need to try this one on audio.

  6. I read it without hearing too much about the hype so I guess that weas a good thing. To Juju I can recommend the audiobook it really works. As for the slow start perhaps but it is better than the Hunger Games experience of the first book being the only one truly worth reading. I am eagerly awaiting the second book in this series. I was shocked by the deaths at the end but I also think there is nothing wrong with a book occasionally shocking you.


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