Book Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Divergent by Veronica RothDivergent by Veronica Roth
Also by this author: Insurgent, Allegiant, Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories
Series: Divergent #1
Also in this series: Insurgent, Allegiant
Published by HarperCollins on 2012-02-28
Genres: Action & Adventure, Dystopian, General, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, Science Fiction, Social Issues, Values & Virtues, Young Adult
Pages: 576
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

Paperback features over fifty pages of bonus materials, including a sneak peek of Insurgent, an author Q&A, a discussion guide, a Divergent playlist, faction manifestos, and more! 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 have a confession to make. I thought Divergent by Veronica Roth was going to be terrible because of the cover. Don’t hate me, but I think the cover is a bit cheesy looking. Then everyone started reading it and tweeting about how great it was and I learned an important lesson. YA’LL THIS IS A BOOK YOU SHOULD NOT JUDGE BY THE COVER!!! Is that in your face enough? Seriously, I am in LOVE with Divergent. Okay, so you know how some long books take like forever to read, unless they contain Harry Potter magic inside? Well, I’m pretty sure there is something magical inside Divergent because I read this almost 500 page book in two days. It would have been one day, but work frowns on me coming in on zero sleep.

HOLY CRAP. I will come out right now and say I liked Divergent more than I liked the Hunger Games. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Hunger Games, but sigh, Divergent. First off, kids aren’t in an arena fighting each other on the t.v. Instead, the book takes place in the exotic land of Chicago. Hey, I am from NY, Chicago and the midwest are exotic to me. Anyways, in this society one comes of age at 16. Instead of getting a driver’s license one chooses which faction they want to join. Society is divided into five factions: Abnegation – the selfless, Erudite – those in search of knowledge, Dauntless -the brave aka Gryffindor, Amity – the peaceful aka Hufflepuff, and Candor – the honest. So anyways, Beatrice is raised in the Abnegation faction which kind of sucks because you just wear plain grey clothes, eat boring food, have no cake, and don’t get to care about yourself. You spend all day caring about others. SO, on her choosing day, she goes to a cooler faction, one that involves awesome things like tattoos and piercings and weapons. AND I WON’T SPOIL YOU FURTHER.

Okay, so there is so much for me to prattle on about with Divergent. FIRST: NO LOVE TRIANGLE. Flail it out with me: NO LOVE TRIANGLE. Oh, Veronica Roth, you rock my face off with your lack of contrived love. Now, what this book lacks in love rivals it makes up for in the swoons department. Straight up, there is kissy time, and it’s AWESOME. Once you read Divergent, you won’t think of 4 as just a number. I mean, forget the boy with the bread, straight up, it’s Four.

THEN this book will stomp your heart into a million billion little pieces, and not over some lame romance crap. OH no. It’ll stomp you because of the betrayals. Yes, there will be double crossing and you won’t see it coming and you will be like NO NO BAD CHARACTER NO, with a rolled up piece of newspaper, of course. Then you will be like WAHHHHH but I love that character and was just coming to terms with their BAMF-ness. And you will be full of the sads.

THEN you will be like me and want to steal Beatrice, now Tris from the book, and put her in your passenger seat and drive around singing music at the top of your lungs, because she deserves better than her current world. Seriously, Tris is spunky, intelligent, kind, and dogged. I mean, girl does not give up. She’s little, like me, and a scrapper, like me. I think we would get along perfectly in real life, if she were really. Anyways, girl goes through hell and back, and survives without losing her humanity. I love that. I love that she wormed a little place in my heart, that if she were real, I’d throw down for her. I love that she begins a bit vulnerable, yet she’s courageous, she will fight for what she wants, literally and figuratively. I love that Tris is not perfect by any means. I love that she has questions. I love that she has fears.

ALSO, Veronica Roth’s writing straight up flows. I was never WTF is going on, mate? Plus, she’s not BFF with the thesaurus, so mad props there. None of the prose felt out of place. And, see I was really impressed by this because Veronica Roth is young, and well, I’ve been burned by younger writers with beautiful covers. GUYS, age is nothing but a number. Divergent does not feel anything like a first novel, it feels like something written by someone with years and years of life experience. I mean, okay this isn’t Harry Potter, but it has the same gripability. You can’t just pick this book up and set it down and then NOT THINK ABOUT IT. I mean, I had to set this down while at work, and my fingers itched so bad to read it, that I read under the desk. I know, I know, that’s not the most brilliant thing to do, but AH, I could not set it down and had to see if Tris would make it to the next stage.

Really, all I can say is if you want to still be my friend or in the circle of trust, you better read Divergent, or you are cut off. Seriously. I kid you not.

Disclosure: Received for review.

Other reviews of Divergent by Veronica Roth:

Pure Imagination
GreenBeanTeenQueen
Bookalicio.us
The Compulsive Reader

Books by Veronica Roth:
Insurgent

five-stars
About April (Books&Wine)

April is 30 years old and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and baby, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

Comments

  1. Your praise might tip me over the edge on this one. I know everybody’s been all lovey dovey about it already, but it wasn’t calling to me so much….but if you liked it more than Hunger Games, I might just need to check it out. Plus there’s that whole ultimatum thing.
    Melanie recently posted..If You Like Environmental StoriesMy Profile

  2. YES YES YES. (My mantra throughout the whole book, and while reading your review) Divergent is just plain awesome. I liked Tris so darn much. And her love interest. And everything about the book. Great review!
    Lauren recently posted..Warm Bodies by Isaac MarionMy Profile

  3. I love it SO MUCH MORE than The Hunger Games as well. And that is say something.

    I love this review. You’ve managed to sum up my feelings a lot better than I did myself. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Katie recently posted..Three Way Interview Of Epicness with Kendare Blake &amp Michelle Hodkin! PLUS giveaways!My Profile

  4. I wasn’t going to read it because of the cover as well. That, and the description didn’t really catch me.
    I really enjoyed it as well. And totally agree with you about Four!
    Page (One Book At A Time) recently posted..Its Monday! What Are You ReadingMy Profile

  5. SO glad to hear someone else judging on the cover a bit. glad to hear you love it though! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Awesome review, totally agree with the love for 4 and not seeing the betrayals coming. Also couldn’t believe how fast I read through this giant book. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Becky B. recently posted..Sentence Sneak Peek – HoundedMy Profile

  7. YAY! There is not one person I know, or come across their blog that hated Divergent, or gave it four or less stars.

    I loved this book so much and it’s by far THE BEST book of 2011 so far. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Great Review!

    You can find my review here:

    http://www.goodchoicereading.com/2011/04/review-divergent-by-veronica-roth.html
    Damaris @ Good Choice Reading recently posted..Its Monday! What are you readingMy Profile

  8. Miel et Lait says:

    I want to be in the circle of trust!

    This is the funniest review that I’ve read! Divergent sounds worth the read, even though I haven’t experience Harry magic or Hunger games. (Please don’t throw anything at me!)
    Miel et Lait recently posted..The benefits of subscribing to your own blogMy Profile

  9. Wooo! That’s one hella positive review. OK, you got me. I’ll read it. May 3rd it comes out, I believe?
    Sarah recently posted..Top Ten Tuesday- Chick Characters I Cant StandMy Profile

  10. OH SWEET BABY JESUS, THE BETRAYALS.

    I know we talked about this on Twitter, but F:LSJDLFKJ. I wanted to throw shit. I loved this review and I LOVED THIS BOOK!
    Jen recently posted..Your Makeshift Bookmarks 2My Profile

  11. Sad but true, the cover does matter, a lot. I try to look past it, but when there’s shitloads of books to choose from, it’s much more likely I’ll grab one with an interesting cover.

    Added this to my TBR pile now though. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Katja recently posted..Six Moon Summer by SM ReineMy Profile

  12. I’m not a fan of the cover either, but so many people have been raving about the book itself. Good thing I pre-ordered a copy, because I don’t want to be kicked out of the circle of trust!
    Liz recently posted..Review of Heist Society by Ally CarterMy Profile

  13. Girl, I am so with you. I couldn’t put it down. It would be in my purse at work and I would just be eying it all day like, “Lord help me, it’s so close but so far away.” Let’s discuss Four! So cold, but so hot. Very enjoyable (especially as a Chicagoan).
    Anna recently posted..Waiting On Love Story by Jennifer EcholsMy Profile

  14. Ahhh! Love it! I am absolutely dying to read this book. I have been itching to get my hands on an ARC but by the time it gets here, it will already have been released.

    Thanks for the review!
    Elizabeth recently posted..Just Finished Reading- City of Fallen Angels The Mortal Instruments 4 by Cassandra ClareMy Profile

  15. I’ve preordered Digergent – so excited it’s finally out next week! I’ve been guilty of reading at work too when a book is so addictive like it seems Divergent is. Glad to hear there is a great love interest and no love triangle!
    Awesome review.
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  16. Just finished this one, and I also LOVED it. It earned a spot on my favorites shelf, fo sho. Awesome review!
    Jessica Secret recently posted..Here Lies Bridget ReviewMy Profile

  17. Oh wow!
    I’ve been away from blogging for a couple of months and I’ve read a few great reviews of this book since yesterday!
    I’m especially glad it is not to be judged by its cover, since like you, I thought it to be a bit cheesy.
    kay @ Infiniteshelf recently posted..Review – MatchedMy Profile

    • You know, I am so glad I’m not the only one who thinks this about the cover. Everyone else seems ga ga over it, but I don’t love it.

      And yes, you should return to blogging and read Divergent!

  18. You had me at “no love triangles”! I’ve been on the periphery of wanting to read this one for a while now and that definitely sold me on it! Thanks for the review!
    lisa ๐Ÿ™‚ recently posted..Jane Eyre A Weekend to ReCOVERMy Profile

  19. Haha, you’re review sums up my feelings exactly. I loved this book and this review. Read the entire thing pretty much in one sitting.
    I work at a bookstore and they let us borrow books for up to two weeks… they almost didn’t let me take this out because they don’t think we’ll have enough copies so I had to promise I’d have it back quick times… I think one day is sufficiently quick.

    Ahhhh! I wan’t to go read it again.

  20. laurrra :) says:

    2 days…. seriously? its like 400 pages long :/

  21. Okay, so this is now my favourite review for DIVERGENT yet. That’s saying a lot too because I think I’ve been stalking the blogosphere for them… I’ve only read the first 100 pages (those that were posted online) (I can still be in the circle of trust, right?) but I AM going to order the book (TONIGHT. I keep forgetting). I’m glad that you like Four so much! I didn’t get to see too much of him but I did like what I saw ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the review!
    Sonia recently posted..Fall For Anything by Courtney SummersMy Profile

  22. I must say – I struggled with this book. I felt very conflicted as if I was betraying Suzanne Collins! Divergent is soo much like Hunger Games – the strong, yet vulnerable 16 year old girl, the big choice, the government, the hub/hob, the factions/districts, the family – ughhh! I struggled to get lost in the book without comparing it to Hunger Games.

    And I struggle to admit that I liked it because I feel a certain loyalty to Katniss! I will say that I read Divergent in 2 1/2 days – staying up past 1a.m. because I just couldn’t put it down! I

    And I feel like your blog gives me permission to admit it: I LOVED THE BOOK! ahhhhhh – I said it. I meant it! Forgive me Suzanne – I love you! lol And to prove how much I loved it, yet still conflicted, the only reason I found this site is because I’m looking for the date part 2 is set to be released.

    And I must agree – I would take Four/Tobias over Peeta any day! lol

    • Yes. There is no judgement here — you are free to love both The Hunger Games AND Divergent. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Glad you could stumble across my site and find the answer for when Insurgent is released. ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. When I decided to read this, I was really new to Dystopian. I mean, The Hunger Games was such an amazing series, that for months (a year to be exact. . .) I didn’t want to read another Dystopian novel, because I felt like I would betray the awesomeness that is The Hunger Games, and other books just wouldn’t live up to my expectation.

    Then I had bought this book, purely out of boredom, and I was like staring at it, like if I opened it, It’d release Pandora’s Box. I just went for it, and when I did. . I could not put it down. I had to find out what would happen next. This is a VERY close second to The Hunger Games. I think it made me realize that I can totally read Dystopians, and still hold a torch for THG.

    I just loved this book. and I am waiting so impatiently for Insurgent.

    btw, Four > Peeta. I Four was like Adrian and Dimitri for me, mixed into one BAMF character. and That is full of so much WIN!

  24. Awesome! I was just googling a cover for this book as my next to read… and then read your review. Oh yeah… you just made this my #1 book for 2012…. this is what I will be reading on January 1

  25. Glad you injoyd it but i hope you woud still like the hunger games i think its possible to like both books in the same giniur unfortunatly i didnt like divergent it had some realy exiting moments but it didnt hold me on the edge of my seat if i can recomend a book it woud be blood red road its also full of action and suspence though isnt as political as the hunger games or divergent Ps. i dont realy like love intrests in ya giniur i prefer the grownup ones .

  26. I read Divergent a few months back, loved it (obviously,) recommended it to a friend’s reading group and tonite I will be joining them for discussion. So, since it’s been a while, and I’m new to the blogging game and haven’t reviewed it yet, glad I could re-read your review today as a refresher for tonight! Thanks:)

  27. This has got to be the most epic book review I’ve ever read in my entire life. You’re an absolute star!

  28. Hey its me again glad you injoyed Blood red road i thought about making a review on it but im not as good at it as some people . If you liked thous books I think you are going to injoy Angelfall by Susan Ee its more postapocaliptic Paronormal than Distopian . But realy good and not expensive and if You are fan of Katniss and Tris you might Injoy the main charecter shes realy fan to folow.

    • I’ll definitely check out Angelfall, I actually purchased that one for my kindle awhile ago.

      You should definitely write a review of it. I think most people get better with more practice. ๐Ÿ™‚ We all have to start somewhere.

  29. I loved this book as well…but I also wasn’t keen on the cover! It surprised me that a lot of people were saying they loved the cover…I thought it was a bit lame. I am so excited for Insurgent…JUST. A. LITTLE. BIT. LONGER. ๐Ÿ™‚ x
    Anna Clare recently posted..Review: Uglies by Scott WesterfeldMy Profile

Trackbacks

  1. […] no secret that I was a huge fan of Divergent and Tris and Four. I am so so so PSYCHED that one of the publicists at Harper Teen shared this news […]

  2. […] totally cannot wait! Also a cover hasn’t been released yet. Hopefully this is as thrilling as Divergent was.2. Endlessly by Kiersten WhiteSo, I totally LOVED me some IPCA and Evie and Lend and absolutely […]

  3. […] by Veronica Roth: I bought this because April was a little bit pushy about it. But for good […]

  4. […] tales to hone my world-building craft. Hereโ€™s what I discovered:Like Tris in Veronica Rothโ€™s DIVERGENT, Sara comes to realize that many other people are invested in the outcome of her actions.Like Lena […]

  5. […] Opinions: S. Krishna, It’s All About Books, Dear Author, Good Books & Good Wine, The Book Whisperer, Presenting Lenore, YA Reads, Book Addiction, Book Monkey, Steph Su Reads, […]

  6. […] debut Starters. Like, I hate to compare books, but I feel like Starters might be 2012′s Divergent. The two books aren’t alike plot wise, but they both have that up all night quality. I mean, […]

  7. […] Faction Promo and y’all should totally just click this link to help DauntlessSeries Order:Divergent (Book One) Insurgent (Book Two) Untitled (Book Three)Also, I already posted this, BUT my faction is […]

  8. […] This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is book covers and summaries that were TOTALLY deceiving.1. Divergent by Veronica Roth DivergentWhy?: Confession: I did not love the cover of Divergent. I actually […]

  9. […] Reviews: The New York Times, Good Books and Good Wine, The A.V. Club Like this:LikeBe the first to like […]

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