Book Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Title: Divergent (Divergent #1)
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Source: Purchased
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian
Pages: 487


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.

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//Cover Chat//

When I first saw the cover for Divergent I was drawn to it’s simplicity as well as the obvious sci-fi and dystopian undertones. I also really enjoyed the cool toned background in stark contrast against the fiery…eye? I wasn’t sure what it was but I knew that I loved the design regardless.

//First Line//

There is one mirror in my house.


I will say that the premise of factions and “Divergence” is a very unique take on societal control and mob mentality. However, the sudden insertion into this dystopian world was not as seamless and immersive as it should have been. At what point would humanity decide to split into factions in order to weed out human weaknesses they deemed the most poisonous? It is very far-fetched in my mind so in that regard, it was harder to accept the world building. However the narration propelled me forward and I found myself flying through the pages.


The only character that I connected with at all was Tris because she was the narrator. All the other characters felt very flat to me, especially the other initiates. And even Tris, to some extent, remained static throughout the novel’s progression. The only growth I saw was her acceptance of selflessness as the source of her bravery instead of evidence that she failed her family and her upbringing. But I absolutely loved the unlikable traits that Tris continued to exhibit throughout the story. On the deepest level, I related to her stubbornness, obsession about strong appearances, and her selfish urges.

Four is probably the only other character that I could connect with other than Tris. For most of the story, he was so perfect and untouchable that I really doubted his attraction to Tris. But then his fears were revealed (even though they seemed too clichรจ) and it made him flawed enough to seem human. All the other initiates were almost forgettable and only parroted their original factions, which I kept forgetting…


The first person narration allowed countless insights into Tris’ personality but limited the potential development for the secondary characters. It also lacked any kind of distinction in either sentence construction or vocabulary. Usually I keep a pen and notebook nearby while I’m reading for quotable gems but it went unused because the language was so plain.

//Final Thoughts//

It was very engaging and even though the world wasn’t completely believable, the human aptitude for evil made it real. I will say that there was a lot of unnecessary deaths for the shock factor. Unfortunately, because the characters in question weren’t fleshed out before the end, their deaths didn’t affect me as much as they should have done.


3 Teacups


5 thoughts on “Book Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

  1. Pingback: #ReadingCram Challenge: Top Ten Books 2013 | My Life in Books

  2. Pingback: #ReadingCram Challenge: Wrap-up Post | My Life in Books

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