Book Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent by Veronica Roth
Divergent by Veronica Roth

Title: Divergent

Author: Veronica Roth

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Fantasy, Adventure

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Published: February 28, 2012

Page Amount: 487 pages 

Blurb From Goodreads: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, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Why Read: For the first time in a month or so, I found myself reading a book based on a recommendation and quick lent copy from a friend. As we discussed new movies coming out, she mentioned Divergent – something I hadn’t read, as I hadn’t enjoyed the Hunger Games quite as much as everyone else. But surprisingly – it wasn’t bad. 

Review: I had my reservations; I won’t lie. I’m not usually the biggest fan of Young Adult Dystopian any more, not just because of the Hunger Games – but in general, the genre has stopped speaking to me. So naturally I was hesitant but figured since the first book was rather short: What was the worst thing that could happen I did read it?

Character-wise, I always have complaints about the main character when it comes to dystopian books where there isn’t as much emotion depicted. Divergent exceeded my expectations in that regard, but not by much. Beatrice or Tris, the main, did show emotions like fear and confusion – but at the end of the day, it did bother me that she didn’t act her age. I couldn’t imagine a 16-year-old taking the actions, which Tris took.

I did actually enjoy the book, despite that. Plotwise, it was something fun that’s out of my usual range. The different depictions of dystopian society are such that each and every one, to me, shows the different facets of society that could be exploited in the future. In Fahrenheit 451, it was thought and expression; in the Hunger Games, it was power and competition; for Divergent – it was choice. I like the idea of figuring out what would happen if choice was taken from us, the idea of a free choice.

Ultimately though, I will not go out of my way to read the sequel, which to me – says something about the book as a whole. If I’m not willing to seek out more knowledge about the story, then I can’t justify giving it a higher rating.

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Review Coming Soon: Lady Anna’s Secret Garden by S. Thomas Kaza

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