Book Review: Divergent – Veronica Roth

Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
ISBN: 9780062024022
Pages: 496
Release Date: May 3, 2011
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: Teen/YA, Dystopian
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary:

It’s the distant future, and the city of Chicago is now divided into five factions, each devoted to a virtue. Beatrice is a member of Abnegation, which means above all, it is her duty to be selfless. But her sixteenth birthday is quickly approaching, and she will soon be able to choose the faction that will house her for the rest of her life. She doesn’t feel like she belongs in Abnegation, but doesn’t want to leave her family either. But what Beatrice doesn’t realize is that there is more at stake than just her future, and her decision will have lasting repercussions that will shake the foundations of the world she lives in.

Review:

I’ll admit it: I went into Divergent expecting not to like it. After all, I have read many YA dystopian novels, and it’s easy for too much of something to quickly become old. Adding to that is this book’s inclusion of factions made it sound a little too much like The Hunger Games. However, I had been hearing good things about it, and I was in the mood for a little YA dystopian fun, so I settled down with it – and could not put it down.

During the first 100 pages of Divergent, I still maintained my skepticism. The novel started off slow, and didn’t explain a lot. There was virtually no worldbuilding, which is one of my favorite aspects of dystopian novels. How did the world get to this point What drastic events occurred to morph the world we know now into the one Beatrice calls home? There was a vague mention of a war, but not a lot of description or history, and I found that disappointing even after the pace of the book picked up.

However, once the faction choosing takes place, the story really takes off, and it doesn’t stop for a breath until the very last page. I was hooked, racing through the story, desperate to understand Beatrice’s situation, wondering how far she could push herself before she broke. She wasn’t perfect – she is hotheaded, with a quick temper, but she grows so much over the course of the book. I was surprised at how much I sympathized with her and truly cared for her. She was a wonderful protagonist for this series – she becomes strong and wise, but the book is realistic in that it takes a lot for her to come to that point.

The book does move a little faster than I expected, and I was shocked by what it came to. In some ways, I feel like it moved a little too fast – I still had a lot of questions about what was left behind. I can’t say more than that without giving away key plot points, but I can say that I was breathlessly reading, unable to even shift my gaze away from the action for a second.

Veronica Roth has me completely hooked on this series – the second I finished it, I was asking about when the sequel is coming out (because, of course, it’s a trilogy). I really enjoyed this book, despite my minor quibbles; if you’re in the mood for a fun, brain candy-esque read that will have you mesmerized, Divergent is a great choice.

Affiliate Links:

Buy this book from Powell’s Books
Buy this book from Amazon.com
Buy this book from your local Indiebound bookstore

Comments

  1. I was reluctant to read this one too and I was so surprised that I loved it. I can’t wait for book 2! Glad to read that you really enjoyed it.

  2. I was reluctant to read this one too and I was so surprised that I loved it. I can’t wait for book 2! Glad to read that you really enjoyed it.

  3. I don’t think I’ve heard anyone say they weren’t a fan. I really do need to get my hands on a copy soon.

  4. I don’t think I’ve heard anyone say they weren’t a fan. I really do need to get my hands on a copy soon.

  5. I am glad to keep hearing this is good. I probably will read it at some point.

  6. I am glad to keep hearing this is good. I probably will read it at some point.

  7. Okay you sold me. My daughter read my copy, and she liked it, but I wasn’t sure I was going to make time for the big chunk of a book. But I’ll try to make sure I’ve read it before book 2 comes out.

  8. Okay you sold me. My daughter read my copy, and she liked it, but I wasn’t sure I was going to make time for the big chunk of a book. But I’ll try to make sure I’ve read it before book 2 comes out.

  9. Hm, this one sounds interesting to me. The world building can get to me if it’s overdone, so I might like this one more than you did.

  10. Hm, this one sounds interesting to me. The world building can get to me if it’s overdone, so I might like this one more than you did.

  11. I have been hearing some exciting things about this book, and I always love a good dystopian when it’s done right. Your review and your enthusiasm really make me stop and think that this is perhaps a book that I would love. I sometimes get hung up on not enough worldbuilding in these types of novels, but from what you have to say about it, the lack doesn’t seem like a huge drawback. Going to see how I can grab a copy of this one right away! Thanks, Swapna!

  12. I have been hearing some exciting things about this book, and I always love a good dystopian when it’s done right. Your review and your enthusiasm really make me stop and think that this is perhaps a book that I would love. I sometimes get hung up on not enough worldbuilding in these types of novels, but from what you have to say about it, the lack doesn’t seem like a huge drawback. Going to see how I can grab a copy of this one right away! Thanks, Swapna!

Leave a Reply

Comment Policy:  I welcome comments and read each one I receive. If your comment needs a response, I will provide it in a timely manner, as I read every comment I receive. Please keep your comments civil and polite! I reserve the right to delete any comments that are rude or inappropriate. Because of spam, I have to moderate comments on old posts. Please be patient - I will approve your comment quickly.

Before the tag in the Genesis footer: !-- Quantcast Tag -->