Michelle's Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

huntress ARC: 487 pages
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Release Date: May 3, 2011
ISBN: 9780062024022

Source of my copy: publisher
Series: Divergent series #1
Synopsis (from 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.
Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.


Michelle's Review:
The synopsis does an good job at giving just enough of what the story is about without giving any spoilers so I'm not going to reiterate the story again. I'll just talk about what I like most about this book and my other thoughts about it. Okay, so first what I like best and that is the romance aspect. It wasn't a central theme in the book which I found refreshing but I just love how the romantic relationship between Tris and Four, one of the Dauntless instructors for the initiates, developed. It wasn't a love at first sight, insta-love. It was gradual borne by mutual respect and admiration and friendship. The world building was well done as well. The different factions reminded me of the different houses (Gryffindor, Slytherin, etc.) in Hogwarts. The faction politics was interesting and I'm eager to see what will happen next because a huge crack has been made in the seemingly comfortable society where everyone was segregated according to the virtue they most value.

Divergent is similar to the Hunger Games series by all the action-filled scenes and dangerous (sometimes bloody) situations Tris and the other Dauntless initiates find themselves in as they fight to be in the top ten (only the best will be welcome in Dauntless--others will be cast out and become factionless or the outcasts of the society). There's more action still at the climax of the book when chaos ensues and one must kill or be killed. But between the action scenes were shocking and heartbreaking scenes. Unfortunately, I wasn't as emotionally invested in the story as I would have liked. For example, there was a big emotional scene toward the end between Tris and her mom and usually I would be bawling or have a huge lump in my throat but while I was sad I felt a sense of disconnect. The same goes for the other emotional scenes in the book. That may be because while I liked Tris and other characters in this book I couldn't care about them as much as I would like.

Ever since the Hunger Games series I have been looking for another dystopian that will make my heart pound with non-stop action and danger, has heart-melting romance and great world building. I have found that in Divergent. Although I was a little disconnected from the characters I thought it an excellent start to what is going to be an addicting dystopian series. I am excited for the next book in the series. 4 out of 5 stars

5 comments

  1. Great review. We enjoyed hearing about the pros and the cons -- and like you, we prefer when romance is "earned" as opposed to "insta." ;P

    We've only read the opening 100 pages of this so far (thanks to HarperCollins's sneak peek feature!) but we want to finish the rest. Just in those 100 pages, though, we agree that we weren't as *emotionally* inveseted as we would have liked. It was an *interesting* world and story, but we didn't fully connect with the characters.

    Who knows, though. Maybe the next 200 pages will seal the deal for us!

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  2. This one has been garnering so many amazing reviews all over the web. I'm afraid to read it with such high expectations- I mean, Hunger Games? Really? That's a pretty high pedestal.

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  3. cool review.
    Im a new follower. found you on filipinobookbloggers

    care to follow me? LALAINE'S FICBOOKREVIEWS
    let me know thanks! x

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  4. Awesome review! I am really looking forward to reading this, I feel as though I'm the only person that hasn't!

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  5. Great review Michelle. I agree that Divergent had my heart pounding in a similiar way to Hunger Games. I also like the romance, but I do understand your thoughts about the connection or lack of with the characters.

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