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Friday, June 3, 2011

Review: Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth

Publisher: HarperTeen
Published: May 3, 2011
Pages: 487
Source: Bought
Rating: 5 Stars - Super Crazy Awesome!

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. 

In short: Just when you think there are no more original ideas left in dystopians, Divergent by Veronica Roth enters the scene with a fascinating new world and concept and a kick ass female lead character.
I just had to go back on my Book Buying Ban to purchase this book because of the intense hype it has received over the past few months, before and after its release. I was most definitely not disappointed! It was like this book was tailor-made for me. It included the most important things that I love in a great dystopian read: original and profound world building and a kick ass main character! I can't believe the author has written such an awesome book at only 22! I'm 22. Jeez, what am I doing with my life...

The initiation process into the Faction of Tris' choosing took up the majority of this almost 500 page book. Hearing about that fact, it does not sound terribly exciting or eventful, and yet I couldn't get enough! There was truly never a dull moment in the entire 500 pages. I would have gladly read on and on about Tris, her Faction, the new people, friends and enemies, that she meets. Divergent was simply addicting!

Tris, as the main character, was definitely one of the novel's strengths. Talk about a strong, independent female lead! Though she starts out as a meek member of Abnegation, she really came into her own throughout the novel and it was such a pleasure to be witness to this change. I really cannot wait to see  how she will further evolve in the next two installments. She has quite a challenge ahead of her.

Another strength of the novel was the concept and world building. Whereas some dystopians might reveal a bit too little or a bit too much about the world in the first book in the trilogy, in Divergent, we were given the perfect amount. Just enough to give us the background information we needed and yet still withholding several key pieces of information that have me dying to learn more about. Most importantly, how did it come to be that almost everyone in this new world can fit perfectly into one of 5 Factions, as most people in our world have combinations of the 5 Faction personalities?

Overall, Veronica Roth, at just 22, has delivered a thrilling new start to a dystopian trilogy that is nearly as good as The Hunger Games. Look out for the second book in the trilogy, as yet unnamed, coming 2012!

Other Reviews:

Stalk the Author (not for serious):

*Read as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge


  1. Thanks for this great review ! I've only heard awesome things about this one so far .. I look forward to have it and starting to read it !! =)

  2. I loved this one, too! The dystopian concept is so unique and Veronica Roth must indeed be an awesome author to have written this while in college. I absolutely can't wait for the sequel. Great review, and glad you enjoyed it. :)

  3. Haha, I know! Veronica makes us all feel inferior with her skillz. I absolutely LOVED Divergent--glad to hear you did, too! Great review! :)

  4. Love what you said about the world building Aylee! I tend to get bored when we're loaded down with information in the beginning, I like being given just enough to make me want to know more and it sounds like this book does such a great job with that. Can't wait to read!

  5. Awesome review! I was completely enthralled by the initiation process, too. I'm looking forward to seeing where the author takes the story. :) 2012 seems so far away.

    P.S. Thanks for linking to my post!

  6. Yikes! 500 pages?! That's scary. Good to hear you don't feel it and that it's an addicting read. I'll try to keep that in mind next time I remember how long the book is. I'm also glad to hear that she gives enough backstory to the world to make it make sense, but not be overwhelming.

  7. I am so glad that you loved this one too! It is definitely my favorite read thus far for 2011! And thanks for adding the link for my review too! The only thing I hate about a series is having to wait SO long for the next book!! :0)

  8. Roth is only 22?! I didn't like Divergent as much as you did, but that is just.... o_o cool!

  9. I loveeee this book!! I haven't seen a bad review yet (crosses fingers). I completely agree that I was never bored, it was like I was in a trance while reading. And hey, that's my review link, thanks ;D

  10. I don't think I've seen a bad review for this one yet! Fab take on it, and I think it sounds incredibly edgy, which sells me, of course! :)

  11. Super Crazy Awesome--the perfect description for Divergent. WIN. =D

  12. I too broke my self-imposed Book Buying Ban to get this one! Unfortunately I haven't been able to read it yet, but I can't wait - it's reviews are all fantastic! Thanks for sharing!

  13. Yep, I loved this one too. It was just amazing and I couldn't believe it either that Veronica is only a year or two than me. She wrote Divergent when she was 21 whereas I'm still trying to figure out what I want to do with my life!

    I was hoping to post my review a few days ago but I've been feeling too lazy to write it so hopefully it'll go up later today.

  14. Never a dull moment in the entire 500 pages. Wow Aylee, that is quite a statement.

    I'm so afraid to try this because, as you mention, all of the intense hype. Leave it to me to be the one person who 'doesn't get it'. Still, I have my eye on it.

  15. OMG I just discovered your blog and I love it :D !
    I love the title and the design. I'm also a Potterholic ;).
    I'm your new follower !

    I loved Divergent ! It's one of the best book I've read this year ! I'm filled with admiration the author is so young ! Her writing really inspired me !

  16. Elodie: I hope you enjoy it (I know you will!)!

    Kat: She has such an amazing talent for someone her age. Just incredible!

    Lauren: Totally inferior! Yet I can't help but bow down to all her awesomeness.

    Jenny: Yes, exactly! I know a lot of people dislike not being given enough information but I also dislike the opposite just as much. Veronica Roth did it so well, revealing bits and pieces throughout the book, instead of all at once.

    Jessica: Definitely looking forward to seeing where she can go with the next book, with the initiation process over. Even though I loved the initiation part of the book, I have faith that she can produce an interesting plot beyond it.

    Small: Don't be scared! I really think you will fly through it, that's how addicting and not boring it is. The world building really was just the perfect amount, I thought.

    Tracy: Yeah, it's my favourite of 2011 as well! The wait is pretty tortuous though, I agree. In the mean time, I'll have to occupy myself with other fab books :)

    Chel: Yup, 22. Just incredible.

    Laura: Heh, a trance, great way of describing it! I was just amazed how I could read and read and still not be bored 500 pages later.

    Melissa: I haven't seen a bad review yet either. It was really just that awesome. And definitely edgy, like you said.

    Amanda: Heh, yeah, it really is.

    Baggins: I hope you can get to it soon! You will love it.

    Zahida: I'm still trying to figure out my life too! I'm definitely envious of her talents... and yet incredibly happy for her that's she's found success at such a young age. She deserves it!

    Missie: And I definitely stand by my statement. Just my opinion, of course :) I'm the opposite of you: intense hype usually makes me want to read a book really bad, not shy away from it. Still, I hope you get around to giving it a try eventually, even if you wait a bit for the hype to cool down a bit.

    Marie: The author is definitely inspiring! And thank you :) I'm following you now too.

  17. Oh definitely want to read this one. I keep passing by it at the bookstore but I am not sure if I should spend money on it. Haha. Great review though, and it made me even more excited than I already am.

  18. I really can't imagine you would be disappointed if you bought it (from the reviews that I've read, no one else has been!)! If you're really not sure, I suppose you could borrow it from the library first and then buy it if you love it. Happy reading :)

  19. "Super Crazy Awesome" is the perfect way to describe this book! Absolutely adored it!

  20. Yup, can't believe we have to wait another year!

  21. I find it amazing that Veronica is only 22. I received this book this week, and it has quickly worked it's way to the top of my TBR. I can't wait to get to it. You're review has only added to my eagerness.

  22. Cool, I hope you love it as much as I (and seemingly everyone else) did!