Review: Divergent

Divergent by Veronica Roth
Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins Publishers), 2011

Summary:
Beatrice Prior lives in a society made up of five factions, which each value a different virtue.  The five factions include Abnegation (the selfless), Amity (the peaceful), Candor (the honest), Erudite (the intelligent), and Dauntless (the brave).  Beatrice has just turned 16, and it is time for her to choose the faction which she will commit to for the rest of her life.  Will she stay in Abnegation with her family, or choose a life somewhere else?

My Thoughts:
After receiving inconclusive results for her aptitude test, Beatrice finds out that she is Divergent.  Rather than revealing what faction she is most suited for, her aptitude test shows an alarming outcome.  Beatrice must never tell anyone she is Divergent because it is very dangerous.

After Beatrice receives this news, she is obviously confused and conflicted.  After the Choosing Ceremony, she goes through initiation in the faction she chose, during which most of the book takes place.

Beatrice struggles to perform well during initiation, but she makes progress throughout the process.  Because she is Divergent, she is in danger, but I noticed that it seemed to help her.  She performs better than others because she thinks differently.  She has different solutions to the problems she faces.  So, her secret is not a hindrance (well, it is because it’s a secret), but it is an advantage.

The story takes place in the context of the five factions.  There is unrest between the factions that has increased over time.  Throughout the book, there is a subtle hint that revolution is imminent.  The conflict between the factions is something that is seen throughout the book, until it comes to a point where it can no longer be avoided.

Overall, I preferred Divergent over Matched.  They are both YA dystopian novels, but this one had more depth, in my opinion.  My only complaint is that the wording was confusing at times, and I would be lost for a few moments.  I don’t know if it was just me, or if everyone felt that confusion from time to time.

Also, I was confused by what being Divergent really means.  My understanding of Divergent is that you don’t fit into any one faction because you are too strong-willed.  With that in mind, shouldn’t there be several thousand people who are classified as Divergent?  Or are the majority of people in this society weak-willed?  If so, I find it sad to think most people in this society are too weak-willed to think independently, and are easily manipulated into thinking the way the society wants them to think.

Rating: 3 stars

Divergent is the first book in the Divergent Trilogy.

What did you think of Divergent? Good or bad?

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5 thoughts on “Review: Divergent

  1. Nice review! I’ve had this book recommended by lots of people but I’ve yet to get around to reading it. It sounds a little like an older version of “City of Ember” at least as far as the aptitude test thing goes.

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      1. It’s a pretty good younger-adult read (I think it’s written for a middle school grade level) but that does make it quick. You could probably finish it in a day.

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  2. You learn a little bit more about what Divergent means in Insurgent. Be sure you read it before you forget who all the characters in Divergent are; I got so confused on who was who in it!

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