Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Book Description via Goodreads:

Paperback, 487 pages
May 3, 2011, Katherine Tegen Books

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.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

Source: Gifted by my mom (Thank you!)

My Thoughts:

In Divergent, there were five factions: Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Erudite and Dauntless. It was fascinating to know that the people who started the factions aimed for a peaceful society, eliminating one of man’s weaknesses in the process. However, it was saddening to know that the factions came first before family. It was like ripping apart yourself into two, leaving behind the half and learning to live and cope with the other. My favorite faction was Dauntless. Aside from doing parkour-like things, the elimination process drew me in. It reminded me a bit of the Hunger Games because the initiates were out to get one another. But I guess it was more violent in Divergent because they weren’t in a game and it was not a matter of life and death. I liked Roth’s way of presenting values.

Tris was very easy to like. Brave and selfless to some extent, she was one of the strongest heroines I’ve ever encountered. I liked how true she was to herself. Meanwhile, throughout Divergent, Beatrice learned to accept her dauntless side while tapping into her abnegation values once in a while to balance it out. But in many ways, she was still a ‘Stiff” (the slang term for Abnegation.) As the initiation became more and more intense, dangerous and difficult, the former values of the initiates were slowly being chipped away by the desire to survive.

Four, the mentor of the non-dauntless initiates, was an intriguing character. He had two sides: the cold, strict side and the warm, concerned side. His attention on Tris clearly showed that he cared for her. I found him to be the kind of character who was reliable. The romance simmering between him and Tris was gradual, building-up until it reached its peak. I liked how the attraction between them bloomed slowly.

The writing was smooth-sailing, allowing me to take in the world, urgent and intense at times, putting me on the edge of my seat. I found myself reading fast. The action scenes were movie-like, raw and exciting. It made my heart pound double time. The narration was peppered with musing about the world. It made everything more personal, more colorful. Roth’s ending was a breath of pain and relief, after the rollercoaster of events and emotions.

Divergent is ecstasy to booklovers with its well-developed character, fast-paced, intriguing and tension-filled world. Strong, agonizing and gasp-inducing, Divergent will open your eyes to a world of choices and consequences. I highly recommend this to dystopian and science fiction readers!



  1. So glad you enjoyed this! I have the book, and am trying to get to it! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Fantastic review!! The ending... all the action and intensity was insane. I was on the edge of my seat! I really enjoyed the relationship that built between Four & Tris too - solid, strong and sweet! <3 I agree that the action scenes were movie-like, which excites me to imagine them on the big screen when we eventually get the movie!

  3. Divergent was one of my favourite books of the year, I'm so glad you liked it! Dauntless was my favourite faction too - some of the things they had to Thanks for the review :).

  4. I looooved Divergent like SO hard!

  5. Great review, Precious! I loved this one too! The idea of factions especially the initiations are just insane! Glad you loved it! I'm so excited for Insurgent!