Monday, August 15, 2011

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Still on a roll. This is the third review I've written, today. Sorry about that. I have to go with it when I feel like writing, these days.

Divergent by Veronica Roth is a book I just happened across at our salvage store in Jackson. I don't go there often and it's a rare day that I happen to find book stock in the store. In this case, there were a whopping two tables (each about the size of a card table) full of books and only two of the titles were even remotely interesting. My husband tried to talk me out of buying Divergent, a dystopian young adult novel that was just released in May.

I'm so glad he failed to convince me I should put the book back. In Divergent, society has been divided into five factions: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity and Erudite. Each faction focuses on a particular type of lifestyle. The Candor faction is all about honesty, for example, and those in the Abnegation faction work to be totally selfless. Because of their selflessness, the leaders of this strange world all come from Abnegation. But, not all the factions are happy about that and war is brewing.

Beatrice has grown up in Abnegation but the time is coming for her to be tested and to choose the faction with which she'll spend the rest of her life. If she chooses to leave Abnegation, there's no going back. She won't see her family, ever again. In Beatrice's case, it's a matter of either staying with the family she loves or being true to her nature.

I don't know if it's a spoiler to say which faction she chooses, but I'm going to put a spoiler warning up, just in case.

****WARNING!!!! The following may be a spoiler. I don't think it will kill you, but skip this part if you're worried.****

Having warned you, I'm not going to tell you which faction Beatrice chooses, but I will tell you that she changes her name to Tris and has to go through some very dramatic changes because she does switch factions. What follows is a trial period that is not only difficult but potentially deadly.

****END SPOILER WARNING!!!! You can come out from under the dresser, now. Or, wherever you were hiding.****

Here's the plain-talk version: There's this teenager who loves her family and has to make a big decision. She chooses the difficult path and is challenged both mentally and physically, meets a totally cool guy named "Four" -- who is just mysterious enough and flawed enough that you can't help but love him in an illogical manner. And, she finds that she has an inner strength that is beyond her wildest imagination.

Divergent is packed with surprising plot twists. It's stunningly violent and massively creative. I really enjoyed the world Veronica Roth created for its uniqueness but it was the fact that I honestly never knew what was going to happen next that kept me riveted. I didn't realize it's the first in a series. Wahoo! I'm going to continue to follow this series.

Highly recommended but be aware that Divergent can be pretty shockingly violent at times. There's a lot of death and fighting and nastiness. But, it's tremendously fun reading. Beatrice is an awesome, butt-kicking heroine and Four is a terrific hero. I can't remember whether or not Divergent contains any bad language.

©2011 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery and Babble or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.


  1. I'm not sure this is for me, but I bet my husband would like it.

  2. I read this book too and really liked it. It reminded me somewhat of The Hunger Games, but there was a good amount of originality to it as well. I can't wait for the sequel!

  3. Kathy,

    Ha! Gift idea! LOL I thought it was excellent. If your husband's into dystopian novels, he'll probably enjoy it.


    Hey, there!!! It's good to "see" you! I haven't actually read The Hunger Games. Can you believe that? I tried, but it just didn't grab me. I'll give it a whirl again, someday (when I locate my copy, which Kiddo has claimed). Definitely agree with you on the originality. And, now that I know it's part of a series I'll be bouncing in my chair till the second book is published. Bounce, bounce.

  4. I've seen multiple reviews of this book. And it drives me NUTS that the names of the five factions are partly nouns and partly adjectives. Weird, right? I'm anal-retentive like that...

  5. Lexi,

    I tried to just ignore the fact that the faction names were a little on the inconsistent side, but I know what you mean. That did jump out at me.

  6. Yours is the second glowing review I've read about this book. I'm off to add this to my Good Reads TBR list right now!

  7. I will probably read this at some point. Glad you enjoyed it!

  8. Stephanie,

    I've only read one review, myself, but it was extremely positive and since then I've discussed it with several people, all of whom enjoyed Divergent. It's definitely worth adding to your list!


    I think you'll really like Divergent. I thought it was very well-done, never quite as tiring and repetitive as some dystopian worlds can become.

  9. Lexi & Bookfool,

    Great review!

    Just popping in to say that the faction names being both nouns and adjectives was purposeful. The reason why will be revealed at a later date, but...good catch! Not many people have noticed that as I thought they would....

    Thanks for sharing this review on your blog. Love your taste in books!

  10. I have been hearing a lot about this book all over the place, and have just about convinced myself to buy it. After reading your review I don't think I will hold back any longer. It sounds wonderful and like something that I would love. Great review on this one! I am glad you enjoyed it!

  11. Joanna,

    I'd call you a temptress for dropping a hint that makes it even more necessary to continue reading, but I planned to continue the series, anyway. So, instead . . . thank you for sharing!

    And, many thanks. My eclectic taste is a bit of a problem because I pretty much want to read everything, but it sure makes for awfully fun reading! :)


    I suppose I would also have heard a lot about this book if I had the time to blog-hop! Divergent was definitely a lucky salvage store find! It's worth buying. I plan to reread my copy before moving on to the second book, when it's released.

  12. Am I the only person that didn't like this one?! Sheesh! I'm starting to think there's something wrong with me. Ah, well. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

  13. Jenny,

    No, you're not alone! We're discussing Divergent in one of my book groups, right now, and I think 2 out of about 6 or 8 or us absolutely hated it -- mostly because of the violence and the oddness of a society in which different groups of people seem to be not just narrowly but very negatively defined. Plus, you really do have to suspend disbelief to get into it.

  14. I loved this book, but I haven't reviewed it yet. It's so easy to fall behind on writing them with the boys home for the summer. :)

  15. Alyce,

    I remember how exhausting summer used to be with two boys home. I don't think I could have handled blogging in those days!

  16. Oh aren't you glad you read this? I loved this book! I am still plotting who I can bribe or whatever so I can get my hands on the next book as an ARC. I agree - you can't help but love Four.

  17. Amanda,

    Absolutely! It was really a lucky find and I'm thrilled that I happened across a copy. Hope you get your hands on the next book in ARC form. Four is awesome.


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