Book Review: Divergent

October 23, 2013 Whitney Review 5 Comments

Book Review: DivergentDivergent by Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent #1
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on February 28, 2012
Genres: Young Adult
Source: Library

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, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Veronica Roth is the New York Times bestselling author of Divergent, the first in a trilogy of dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

I originally decided to read Divergent because of the impending film release in March and thus jumped on the Divergent bandwagon.  I am so glad I did.  All the characters are well-developed and the inevitable teen romance between Tris and Four, while predictable was well done and like Eric to Ariel all I could think was “just kiss her already!”Veronica Roth excels in the attraction and the budding young love to these two star-struck characters.

I really liked how the novel was set in futuristic Chicago and was really fun to read the descriptions of The Bean, Michigan Avenue and other Chicago attractions.  I felt it added umph to Veronica Roth’s novel, making the dystopian level all the more realistic.
On another more serious note, when Tris first enters her faction and begins training its quoted:


“My family would never approve of me firing a gun.  They would say that guns are used for self-defense, if not violent, and therefore self-serving.” ~ page 78

For a brief moment the anti-gunner in me thought “oh good we may make a political statement about the stupidity of guns.”  While I felt it was hinted, it was also short-lived as Tris hits her target in training.  By this statement, I am not trying to come off as a Ravid anti-gun advocate I just don’t like the precedent it implies.  I’m not sure why I am surprised by this as it is stated on the dust jacket and I feel it is akin to The Hunger Games.


Other than that gripe, I thought the story was well laid out and had adequate suspense, thus creating an interesting read.


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