Divergent: Book Review

Divergent book coverBook: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Publisher/Year: HarperCollins/2011

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Who’s going to be in the movie?
Shailene Woodley (The Secret Life of the American Teenager and The Descendants)
Theo James (Underworld: Awakening)
Miles Teller (That Awkward Moment and 21 & Over)
Kate Winslet (Titanic and unfortunately Labor Day)

When can I watch it?
It comes out in theaters March 21!

What’s it about?
Tris (Woodley) lives in a society divided into five factions, each dedicated to a different virtue: Abnegation (the selfless), Amity (the peaceful), Candor (the honest), Erudite (the intelligent) and Dauntless (the brave). Now that she’s 16 she has to choose which faction she wants to join — she can either stay with her family in the Abnegation faction or go to a faction that better suits her. Once she decides she and the other initiates must go through a physically, emotionally and mentally grueling initiation. But there’s hot guy named Four (James) who helps make everything better because it’s a YA novel and there’s always a hot guy. (I don’t hate it.)

What did you think?
This is yet another YA dystopian series with an all-powerful regime and two brave, young, beautiful people falling in love who want to lead a revolution. So, I loved it. Of the many books I’ve read in this genre this is one of my favorites. Although, a lot of the other series started well and then disappointed me as the series went on, so we’ll have to see how this story unfolds.

One thing that separates Divergent from other YA dystopian novels is that there’s no love triangle (yet). So, three cheers for semi-individuality (hip hip hooray! x3). But since tween/teens/college students who refuse to accept their age need a swoon worthy character that will set their expectations for real life guys way too high…there’s a love interest. And, obviously, he is perfect.

Another good thing about Divergent is that Tris is a strong character. She’s strong and brave, but not perfect. Unlike Bella in Twilight or Juliette in Shatter Me, Tris isn’t weak or whiny. She knows what cards she’s been dealt and is ready to play the game. Bellyaching and crying in a corner won’t get her anywhere, so she works hard and does what she needs to do to survive in her faction. Even though she’s a boss, she still has her flaws. Just like everyone she has fears and shortcomings, which make her more believable and easier to relate to. A hero who lacks imperfections is boring (*cough cough* Superman *cough cough*).

It was fun and exciting following Tris through initiation with her fellow comrades (and rivals). Without giving anything away, I loved and was surprised how Divergent differentiated itself again from other YA dystopian novels; it didn’t follow the same plot progression as many of the series I’ve read. Based on other books I thought I had a general idea of what would happen and when it would happen, but Divergent has already departed from the general story line I had mapped out in my head. I can’t wait to read Insurgent!

Should I read it?
If YA series are your thing then I don’t know what you’re waiting for, buy it here or here right now. But if you’re too cool for YA adventures and romance then I recommend you pass on this one.

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2 thoughts on “Divergent: Book Review

  1. I loved this book! Like you, I was glad to see a strong woman leading it (even Katniss in Hunger Games whinged a bit too much for my liking). I liked the film too, but I’m really reluctant to see the next two, as I really didn’t like the way the story pans out in the next two books.

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    1. I have to agree with you about the rest of the series…I saw Insurgent (writing a review right now) and I wasn’t thrilled. The series really went downhill after the first book, but I’ll probably still see the rest of the movies to satisfy my curiosity (and see the beautiful cast).

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