Tuesday, May 3, 2011

BR: Divergent

by Veronica Roth
Divergent trilogy; book I

Book of the Month for May

My lovelies, I don't think this needs an introduction. One of the most hotly anticipated debuts books of 2011... I have been dying to read this, especially after all the praise it's gotten. Hav

Summary (goodreads):

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.

My Expectations: Aly really loved this, so going in, I had some incredibly high expectations.
Delivery: Man, see review below. Loved it.
Put-down-ability: low! 2/10, because it's kind of long but sooo addicting.

My Thoughts

Divergent… Wow. I was quite simply, blown away. Entertainment-wise, this is the best book I’ve read this year, hands down. A 500 page beast.

However... as I finished the novel, I just had this feeling like something was missing. It took me a while and a lot of pondering when it clicked: I was never emotionally invested enough. To me, it was all very suface-y, it was a mile wide and an inch deep. At the surface, I loved it. I was head over heels. I could not put down the book and I loved everything about it.

But below the surface, I couldn’t connect with the characters. I liked Tris—a lot—and I think she’s Katniss material, I loved her character, but not her. I know I’m inching into crazy territory, but I don’t know how else to put it. Despite all the unpredictable plot twists, I was nowhere near shedding tears for any character deaths. There were a few jarring instances that kept me glued to the pages, but not ripping up my heart, especially at the very end.

In relation back to my thoughts on Wither, I thought the world-building was exceptional (I’m serious. I can’t even scrape my jaw off the floor) but the premise, the logic behind it all failed me. I love the idea of the five factions.. but my main thought was WHY? Why is any of this necessary? How is separating the entire population into five characteristics the logical way to run a city? The aptitude tests at the beginning were, simply put, perplexing. Does the entire city depend on a series of 5 or so tests to determine what 16 year olds (teenagers!) will be for the rest of their lives? It’s so black and white and unrealistic, which left me feeling lost.

But these misgivings aside, I can’t compliment this novel enough. There is no love triangle! Yay! There is romance, violence, action, mystery, and all in all-- it’s freaking exhilarating, it’s addicting, it’s an adrenaline-filled ride and based on that alone, I can say I loved it.

Book in HP Terms: Exceeds Expectations
Recommended for: Everyone! Well, unless you hate dystopian books with cool stuff going on. Which is nobody.
Acknowledgements: none in ARC :(

9.1/10 - because I don't feel I can change this rating because of just how much I enjoyed this book. While thinking back, there are definitely some issues with the premise of Divergent and how I could have been more emotionally connected. Nevertheless, there is no doubt in my mind that I loved the reading experience, and I will leave it at that. =)

source: won in contest from Writing Jewels (thank you!)
author twitter / blog
series fansite
BrowseInside: Read the first 100 Pages!!


  1. Superb review, Audrey! I've been offered a copy of Divergent from another book blogger and I'm super exited about it. I actually didn't know that it was a brick with 500 pages. OMG I better love it then.

  2. I've seen all the buzz about this book, but your review was enough to make me add it to my to-read list. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    Erin @ Quitting My Day Job

  3. I'm so glad that you loved it Audrey. I completely see where your coming from, it's highly entertaining and a pretty fantastic read if you don't look to much into it. Strangely looking back now I didn't contemplate over the fact that sure I liked the character of Tris but not sure if I connected actually with "Tris" I was so sucked into her story that I didn't contemplate really looking into her character. I also never thought about the dynamics of the society I was pretty drawn in so I just went with the flow. Thanks for bringing some insight about the book I hadn't contemplated before :)

  4. Really great review! I agree. I didn't have an emotional connection to the characters either. I wanted to though; it was what I wanted the most out of the book. But it just never happened.

  5. LOL, I see what you mean now about us having such a similar reaction to this one! I was totally nodding to myself as I read your review - lack of explanation for factions, check; not emotionally impacted by deaths, check; didn't entirely like Tris, check; adrenaline-filled reading experience, check. It's kind of uncanny! :D Awesome review.

  6. Ahh, I feel like everyone has read this one already and I want it SO BAD -- can't believe it's already here!! I just need to resist the temptation until AP's are finished, but woooow *wants*. I'm glad you liked it so much as the dystopian aspects sound AMAZING (yes, I've read Aly's great rave too), and I completely agree with your rating. I give ratings based on reading enjoyability since looking back, we almost always see more flaws... hm. Anyways, awesome review! :D

    And here's to hoping we both love A Monster Calls~

  7. No love triangle?!?!? OMG! I might have to read it just for that ;P I'm not even joking, though.

    Okay, so I shouldn't keep my expectations too high? :P We'll see... thank you for the review, though, girl.

  8. Whoops, that comment^^ was supposed to be mine, but my sis was logged in to her Gmail too... yeah. That's my comment. *snatches words back*

  9. So good to hear this is awesome and love triangle free. I plan on reading it soon. I really need another good dystopia series. Love the review :)

  10. I'm very glad you have your honest perspective on this one Audrey because I can now anticipate the same with the logic behind the world building and maybe I won't be as frustrated by it as I was with Wither.

    I've only read a few review for Divergent, hoping to avoid spoilers, and all have been full of praise, as you said. Looking forward to tackling this beast as soon as school is over.

  11. Yay! I'm so excited to read this! After all, you don't always need realistic, but exhilarating never fails. ;D

  12. Woohooo! Brilliant review! It makes me so excited to own this book. I didn't know it was 500 pages woow. I guess it all becomes worhth it huh!! I must read this soon!!

  13. I've been noticing that a lot of reviews of Divergent that complain about the emotional connection to the characters. This is probably because the rest of the novel, the world, the factions, the fighting, the insanely-fast plot, just lends itself to a surface-level connection to character.

    For me, everything worked perfectly together, and I was definitely invested in Tris, Four, and Christina! :)

    - Alyssa of Redhead Heroines
    Book Review of "Divergent" by Veronica Roth


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