Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent

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), Dau...

Title:Divergent
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Divergent Reviews

  • Tatiana

    As seen on

    We all know why

    was written. There is no doubt 99% of dystopias published during the last year or so have been trying to at least partially replicate the success of

    trilogy. Public wants to read more dystopian stories, publishers want to sell them, authors want to write them. Everyone is happy.

    I have read a few new dystopias recently and liked or disliked them to various degrees. There are dystopias for any taste, dystopias that emphasize separate aspect

    As seen on

    We all know why

    was written. There is no doubt 99% of dystopias published during the last year or so have been trying to at least partially replicate the success of

    trilogy. Public wants to read more dystopian stories, publishers want to sell them, authors want to write them. Everyone is happy.

    I have read a few new dystopias recently and liked or disliked them to various degrees. There are dystopias for any taste, dystopias that emphasize separate aspects of

    trilogy. There are dystopias that bank on romance (

    or

    ). There are dystopias that take the shock value route (

    ). And then there is

    that caters to the crowd who wants more action in their dystopias. And action this novel delivers!

    In a few words,

    is a one long initiation trial. Beatrice Prior is a member of a society that has been maintaining its peaceful existence by separating its citizens into 5 distinct factions. These factions are formed on the basis of virtues they cultivate in their members - Candor values honesty the most, Abnegation - selflessness, Dauntless - bravery, Amity - peacefulness and Erudite - intelligence. At 16 all citizens take a test that is supposed to help them decide if they want to stay with the faction into which they were born or transfer to another faction forever. Beatrice's test results are inconclusive and puzzling. Ultimately she decides to abandon her own faction (Abnegation) and her family and enter another (Dauntless). But of course, the transfer is not easy. The initiation trials are grueling.

    is essentially a depiction of Beatrice's road to becoming a Dauntless, both physically and emotionally. Beatrice's unusual test results come to play too, and in a major way.

    This emphasis on multiple trials and exercises is the strongest and the weakest part of the story.

    has a special talent for writing great fighting scenes, pulse-raising and adrenaline-pumping scenes. Her imagination in terms of inventing different tests and challenges seems to be limitless. Something exciting happens to Beatrice every day of her trials. But that is also the weakness of the story. About 85% of the book is dedicated to action and exercises. The actual story starts only around page 415 of this 500-page book. Only then stakes are raised and real action begins. If you ask me, 400-pages is a lot of prep to finally get to the meat of the story.

    Don't get me wrong, I liked the book (3 stars means "i liked it" on Goodreads).

    is good entertainment. I liked it, I was engaged in the story, I was even excited quite often. But something was missing for me. The novel has good characters, but they are not

    as interesting and compelling as they could have been; it has a lot of action, but the justification for the amount of violence involved is not

    adequate; it has a cute romance, but it never

    makes your heart contract in that sweet, painful way (you know what I am talking about, don't you?); the concept of factions is a unique one but not

    plausible; the explanation what a Divergent actually is is not

    climactic; finally, except for one plot twist (p 415), the story takes a rather predictable road.

    I liked

    . I liked it more than

    ,

    or

    . I liked it less than

    or

    . It entertained me. It promotes all the good things - bravery and self-sufficiency, friendships, honesty, determination. It is all about girl empowerment. But as the same time it isn't particularly thought-provoking or chilling. It never truly touched my heart. It is a write-by-numbers dystopia.

    The verdict? I guess, you'll have to see for yourself?

    P.S. While I am on the subject of dystopias and have your attention, I want to recommend one of my most favorite dystopias that doesn't get nearly as much acknowledgment as it deserves. Please, check out

    's

    You will not regret it.

  • Emily May

    Okay, okay, I completely understand why people could really like this and also why people could find it a huge disappointment. As for the latter... well, this was one of the most highly anticipated works of dystopian fiction to be released this year and the fact of the matter is that it just really doesn't work as a dystopia. Or, at least, what seems to be the general definition of a dystopia.

    I can highlight the problem really well by referring to a conversation I had with my mum when she saw t

    Okay, okay, I completely understand why people could really like this and also why people could find it a huge disappointment. As for the latter... well, this was one of the most highly anticipated works of dystopian fiction to be released this year and the fact of the matter is that it just really doesn't work as a dystopia. Or, at least, what seems to be the general definition of a dystopia.

    I can highlight the problem really well by referring to a conversation I had with my mum when she saw the book lying on the table.

    mum: ooh, what's this book about?

    me: I haven't started it yet but it's supposed to be a dystopia.

    mum: [blank look] ??????

    me: you know, like

    or

    ? Basically, it's where the author imagines a hypothetical world that's usually set in the future and takes a relevent political or social issue or issues and creates a fictional society that could possibly be what might happen if humanity was to follow a certain idea or movement or perhaps even carry on behaving the way they are. For example, failing to improve the world's environmental problems.

    [okay, that was a load of B.S. and I never talk so lah-di-dah with my mother, but the ideas were all the same]

    ....................................................................................................................

    Anyway, the point is that

    has no political or social relevance and the fictional society is just not going to happen in a million years. If it was marketed as a fantasy, then perhaps you have something here. The world that the author has dreamt up is fantastical and too unrealistic for a truly good dystopian novel, the idea that there would be five factions who all believe the world's problems are down to one main issue that differs depending on which faction you consult is ludicrous... I mean,

    there were just five different opinions of what's wrong with the world.

    And again with the bizarre: Dauntless. This is the faction that is in the limelight here and it has to be the most stupid of the lot.

    1) They think the world's problems can be solved by combating cowardice. That isn't even remotely believable.

    2) They think that the way to prove their bravery is to jump off trains and beat each other up and almost get themselves killed for the sake of proving that they're not afraid to get themselves killed. Stupid, stupid, stupid. What's the point?

    This isn't dystopia, it means nothing, it sends no message, it won't ever happen.

    Alright, here it is:

    I know, I'm ashamed, I'm a traitor to real dystopian fiction everywhere. But I found the story so addictive, the characters so interesting and I was even completely won over by the intricate mysteries beneath this godawful stupid society that would never happen. I

    what happened to Tris and I

    whether her and Four would get it on and I

    what would happen if the factions went to war. I was hooked on this crap and I simply cannot deny it!

    I think they should have just said it was a fantasy and it would have all been alright. I could forgive the stupid pretend world because in a fantasy pretty much anything goes.

    I know... I don't get it. I was reading this book and people were jumping off trains and punching each other in the face as part of pointless activities and I was thinking "damn, that's stupid" whilst my next thought was "gosh, I wonder what's gonna happen next". I had to read on. I still have to read on because somehow whatever happens in

    has suddenly become very important to me.

    I even liked the love story. Not that I don't like love stories normally but I usually give any dystopia or science fiction a hard time for having to squeeze a romance in there to make the book complete. But I was there with it. I liked both characters, I wanted it to work out. It's weird because Tris actually becomes increasingly hard and selfish as the novel moves on... but strangely that's an important part of her coming to understand that you cannot live selflessly in a competitive world and that, though others matter, sometimes you do have to put yourself first. I really liked the changes and development of her character.

    So, there you have it. It's a shitty excuse for a dystopia but I found it an extremely enjoyable read.

  • Elle

    There comes a time in every average, misunderstood, flat chested, never-been-kissed, pre-war heroin, sixteen year old girl's life when she must decide between right and wrong.

    Yes. RIGHT and WRONG.

    Not Harry and Sam. Or Harry and Mike. Or, frak help us, Harry, Sam AND Mike. No no. In Divergent, Good, Evil and Tris are our love triangle. How utterly refreshing.

    Now, don’t get me wrong. You will find your standard amount of PG-rated teen romance in this book. Check it:

    Oh, eh... Wrong book. My bad.

    But

    There comes a time in every average, misunderstood, flat chested, never-been-kissed, pre-war heroin, sixteen year old girl's life when she must decide between right and wrong.

    Yes. RIGHT and WRONG.

    Not Harry and Sam. Or Harry and Mike. Or, frak help us, Harry, Sam AND Mike. No no. In Divergent, Good, Evil and Tris are our love triangle. How utterly refreshing.

    Now, don’t get me wrong. You will find your standard amount of PG-rated teen romance in this book. Check it:

    Oh, eh... Wrong book. My bad.

    But romance isn't the focus. And that makes me super-dooper shiney-whiney happy with sprinkles on top because I find my focus is easily persuaded elsewhere if there isn't enough action happeni....

    ... huh? Oh, right, right. The Plot.

    Imagine: The population of Chicago has been divided into factions based on five standard values: bravery, intelligence, honesty, kindness and selflessness. Once you have chosen which of these virtues is most awesome of all you are placed into a community of like-minded individuals who will then become your only friends, peers, colleagues and the pool from which you will select your husband/wife. And best of all, you will never have anything do with anyone from the other evil, evil factions if you can help it. You see, this way you are safe in your tight little community cocoon and can spend your days bitching about how fucked-up those other factions are for choosing what is clearly a far less awesome way of living.

    And you certainly never have to worry that your batshit-crazy intelligence-loving neighbours are keeping busy by plotting your evil demise. No no. The city carries on in a complete state of peace, love and mung beans.

    o_O

    Bitch please.

    Now, what I would like to know is, which facking genius came up with THAT idea? Who was it that got up and said, "Hold up peeps. I've totally got it. We'll DIVIDE the city by forcing everyone to choose ONE AND ONLY ONE principle virtue and we'll even make it obvious by getting them to wear different colours so that there will be no question whatsoever as to which group they belong. SEPARATION is the way forward."

    Wait. WAIT

    What?

    I'm not ENTIRELY convinced that the dystopian element makes all that much sense. Much in the same way that

    was all 'Love is the vicious cause of all our problems'. But that doesn't really bother me all that much. Me? I'm still cheering over the fact that we don't have to sit through another love triangle. Yeeeeehaaaawww!

    And that's not even the best news! Nuh uh. That's not EVEN what I came here to say! The absolute BEST thing about Divergent is that Tris rates a high BADASS on the awesome-o-meter. Seriously. She's a moody, self indulgent, gun firing, cliff jumping, ass kicking little bitch-faced mole. AND I JUST LAP THAT SHIT UP, YO!

  • karen

    i need to make something perfectly clear. i am well aware that i gave 4 stars to

    . and i am giving 5 stars to this one.

    the world is a tough and inconsistent sphere.

    because

    is a much much better

    book. it's no contest. she is lush and lyrical and there is a gravity to her writing that makes you stop every so often to murmer "well said, laini taylor, well said..."

    this book is just fun.

    fun fun fun fun fun fun fun fun

    this is unexpected pil

    i need to make something perfectly clear. i am well aware that i gave 4 stars to

    . and i am giving 5 stars to this one.

    the world is a tough and inconsistent sphere.

    because

    is a much much better

    book. it's no contest. she is lush and lyrical and there is a gravity to her writing that makes you stop every so often to murmer "well said, laini taylor, well said..."

    this book is just fun.

    fun fun fun fun fun fun fun fun

    this is unexpected pillowfight, marshmallow syrup on strawberry ice cream, kitten in a bag fun.

    it was recommended to me on here by a different karen, and i borrowed it from work almost immediately. before that,i had never even heard of it, which is strange, because it appears to be something of a sensation. and i definitely get why.

    if you are someone who needs your dystopian fiction to, you know, make sense, you probably won't like this. no one is going to read this book and think, "oh, man - that is

    where our society is headed! i can see that becoming a reality in five years' time!!" nope.

    it is more like a board game: there are rules and you accept them and you play. "but why are you a scottie dog and i am a thimble?? that makes no sense!!"

    because that's how that game is played. stop asking so many questions and roll the dice.

    fun fun fun fun violence fun fighting fun fun fun

    superfun whaaaaaaat? fun pow.

    i love this character, i love this book, i love the construct, as little as it holds up to scrutiny. all i know is it grabbed my attention and i refused to stop reading. there was no grilled cheese that night, let me tell you. i want this entire series to be written, now, and i want to climb out onto my fire escape with a package of iced oatmeal cookies and my rabbit and some pink lemonade and not be disturbed for a week or so. depending on how long this series is going to be.

    oh, but bad cover. bad, bad cover. i would never have picked this up without the rec.

  • Kat Kennedy

    Today I almost attacked a man in public. A man who was yelling at and abusing his partner. Kicking the trolley, shoving her and screaming obscenities at her. I ditched the trolley I'd been pushing and stormed toward them, my mind blank of anything but ruthless fury.

    The next part was like out of some stupid romance novel. Mr Kennedy pulled back on my arm and said, "No. There is no way you're going over there!" He took off the baby sling, handed it to me and sent me to go put the groceries and bab

    Today I almost attacked a man in public. A man who was yelling at and abusing his partner. Kicking the trolley, shoving her and screaming obscenities at her. I ditched the trolley I'd been pushing and stormed toward them, my mind blank of anything but ruthless fury.

    The next part was like out of some stupid romance novel. Mr Kennedy pulled back on my arm and said, "No. There is no way you're going over there!" He took off the baby sling, handed it to me and sent me to go put the groceries and baby in the car while he handled it.

    Usually that's the part of the novel where the female heroine swoons or something but I only got angrier. Did he just relegate me to child-minding and packing away groceries? Because I have a uterus? To say I was unimpressed would be an understatement.

    Never before have I actually wanted to be a man. I love being a woman and I think being a woman is a fantastic thing to be. But I wanted to kick that man's ass. I absolutely hated myself for being weak and puny. It's not fair. To not be able to fight your own battles, to not be able to stand up for weaker people when you want to. It's so, incredibly, painfully unfair. Why can't I have big muscles? Why couldn't Mr Kennedy wait by the car while I got to go up and play harpsichord with his lower intestinal tract? Why must I swallow my pride and accept that I'm just not as strong or muscular as Mr Kennedy?

    Perhaps it's that drive that made me connect so much with Tris. I wonder what kind of personality types would enjoy this novel? I've seen a lot of three star reviews and I just can't fathom why when this book was a solid five stars for me. Even with it's somewhat implausible storyline I loved it.

    I loved all the characters, especially Tris, for being a hardass, cold motherfucker when other YA protagonists would whither and melt into a gooey puddle of patheticness.

    Maybe I connected with it because I could absolutely imagine being Dauntless. Catching moving trains? Abseiling? Fighting? Sign me up now. I think I would have loved every minute of it.

    The writing was quite smooth and the action sequences were clear, concise and well-explained. The pacing and the plot never really give up, making this book difficult to put down.

    Over all, I thoroughly loved this novel. I'm hard-pressed to come up with any flaws or issues that annoyed me.

    Most of all, it made me wish I really could kickass and take names like Tris does. Perhaps taking up kickboxing would be a good place to start.

  • Wigs

    What kind of ridiculous mess...

    Oh man.

    So I know I say this in dissenting opinion, as many on my friends list are partial to this book, but I could not stand it. So before I go off on my tirade, I must explain. You may be thinking to yourself why I gave it two stars and not one, if I’m complaining so much. Let me explain that two is pretty low on my scale. Two is “why did I buy this.” Or read this. Or whatever. One star is dramatic. One is “this should not have been written,” which I have given o

    What kind of ridiculous mess...

    Oh man.

    So I know I say this in dissenting opinion, as many on my friends list are partial to this book, but I could not stand it. So before I go off on my tirade, I must explain. You may be thinking to yourself why I gave it two stars and not one, if I’m complaining so much. Let me explain that two is pretty low on my scale. Two is “why did I buy this.” Or read this. Or whatever. One star is dramatic. One is “this should not have been written,” which I have given out as you may know. But no, I don’t believe that of Divergent. Roth has an interesting concept. It had potential. But it’s the execution of the idea that was just awful to me.

    I felt like I could

    what the author was thinking. Regardless of whether or not this is true, this is what I felt the author was saying to me through my copy of Divergent (minorish, and a few obvious spoilers to follow, major spoiler hidden under cut, you’ve been warned):

    I’ve read that she did write it in a month. Whether it’s true or not, I'd certainly believe it in a heartbeat. The whole thing is rushed and just…completely nonsensical and full of trope after trope. It seemed to me that there was little effort put into analyzing the world and zero research done for it, which is a reminder to any of us who are writers to always have a

    for something, and not just because it “sounds cool.” This book is a treasure trove of COOL PEOPLE tropes and activities. Which doesn’t seem to work on me as I really can’t stand that breed of thrill-seeking people who’d rather risk their life doing stupid shit instead of… you know, not. So what is supposed to be super awesomely cool people just, to me, looked like a band of idiots.

    Before I break it down, let’s get one thing out of the way. Wigs, did you like anything about the book though? Yes. Yes I did. Let’s talk about what did work for me:

    -Chapters 24 and 25. (lol, yes, out of the 39, I liked those two. She must have written those on a good night.) I feel like they kind of dropped all of the other outside nonsense and kind of focused on just human things. I think there’s a good writer in her, just not when she’s trying to be all dystopian and… cool.

    -Al’s storyline. And while Tris’s initial responses to Al made me rage, the story arc of Al really did move me emotionally and in a way that I was proud of Roth for doing so. Like cathartically I’m glad I felt these things over it.

    -Some of her little details were nice touches. I enjoyed this particular one where Four was under a blue spotlight in a dark hallway it she described how his eyes were black and shadowed while the rest of his face eerily lit (or something like that.) Just here and there were some bits of description I liked.

    And since I can’t think of anything else, let’s just move on. I like how it didn’t take me forever to read, but big font and spacing isn’t really a pro that counts for this.

    Jeez this is starting to turn into Divergent: The Review, a novel by Wigs. But oh well. You can stop at any time. But I can’t. Not yet. I have to get this out of my head.

    So here’s what I have issues with. And hey, if in book 2 she fixes some of these issues and answers some of the questions, great. I don’t care. Because someone can tell me “oh but we learn about that in book 2!” all they want but that doesn’t change the fact that after book 1 I’m thinking to myself “well that was completely stupid.” If you can’t convince me from book 1 to keep going then we’ve got a problem, right?

    So as you already probably know, this book is about this dystopian society that is divided up into five factions, based on personality traits, point being that you are assigned a career/lifestyle based on what you’re like. And that’s fine. I can believe that. I can believe that a dystopian society would force you into choosing a limited amount of careers based on what you excel in. My issue is that this society is completely dysfunctional. And I know that we’re supposed to be on the cusp of collapse and all, but there is a difference between dystopian and dysfunctional. A dystopian is scary for us, because ideally, it is supposed to be believable. We can believe The Hunger Games is possible because people would totally watch a reality show where people fight to the death. If you put that on tv right now, thousands, I’m sure, would watch it. In the case of Divergent, my issue is that this society is unbelievable. I’m not convinced that there was a way society could get to this point, because the details are so minimal and poorly thought out. Everything is very homogenized and simplified thusly into these factions and these careers (using the information given to us):

    Abnegation (selfless people): healthcare, politics

    Dauntless (brave people): guards, police

    Erudite (knowledgeable people): research, reporting (and one would guess teaching?)

    Amity (friendly people): farming

    Candor (honest people): lawyers, and…?

    Okay so seriously what does Candor even do? 1/5 of this society is lawyers? I don’t think so. I would have thought they would have at least done news/newspapers but we’re told that it comes from Erudite so I don’t even know. They seem pointless. Anything I can think of that might go with them is really better suited to Erudite.

    And wait a minute. Healthcare is given to Abnegation? Wait really? Shouldn’t it be given to Erudite, since being in the medical field requires almost a decade of studying to learn how to do it? Or what, is it like homeopathic healthcare? How helpful.

    You CANNOT tell me that one faction rules the government. There is NO WAY that when they set up the system people were like you know what's a good idea? Putting one group in all the power. That's ridiculous to say that something like that happens in Future America. There's no way they wouldn't have put together a system where there is representation from each faction within a council. (Isn't that what the American Revolution was all about? Lack of representation in government? I cannot see everyone saying 'fuck representation! let's all agree to give the government over to the

    people'....and

    being like OH WHOOPS we don't like this!) So the whole main plot of Divergent is based on something that's already broken my suspension of belief.

    And what’s with everyone being white collar? And how blue collar jobs are for the factionless, which the author speaks of as if they’re on the same level as crazy homeless people. I sorely hope she doesn’t think that in real life. Tris speaks about them as if they’re pariahs. Construction workers, bus drivers, gasp, the horror. The villain wants to get rid of them. Oh yes. Oh yes. Get rid of your laborers, what villain who dreams of prosperity DOESN’T get rid of the laborers? Hahaha Roth you’re killing me.

    Okay, we need to talk about the train for a second. What. Is with. The Train. Why doesn’t it ever stop? (except for that one time when they rode it to the end of the city.) Why is this train an asshole? Didn’t jump on on time? Oops, you failed. Now you’re homeless. Loser. Oops, you fell off and now you’re dead. Lol we don’t stop the train here, bitch. Learn to live. (For a city that hasn’t seen murders in years, why does nobody give a shit when someone dies falling off the train? If random death isn’t common, why isn’t it horrifying? Why is everyone like just ignore it guys, just ignore it.) If it’s a Dauntless only train, why the fuck doesn’t it actually stop at the Dauntless compound. Oh yea because the Dauntless are stupid and have to make things ~death-defying.~ And how is it that the train tracks are both on the ground in front of the glass building and seven stories up at the roof of the glass building? I guess there’s two sets of tracks even though it wasn’t spoken about like that? Or otherwise the steepest track change in the world, haha.

    AND WHY DO THEY LIVE UNDERGROUND? WHY? They had perfectly good empty buildings to refurbish, and instead they spend however many millions of dollars digging a bigass hole in the middle of the city just so people can enjoy some nice sunlight-deprived living. OH NO IT’S JUST BECAUSE TRIS NEEDED TO JUMP OFF A ROOF INTO A BLACK HOLE. Yea okay now it all makes sense what a good idea I’m glad you came up with such a normal reason for an underground compound. Not like that they’re in hiding or privacy or anything sensical like that. Or maybe she just wanted to copy Mockingjay, that too, of course. I can’t forget that.

    You know, all of this could have made sense if she just didn’t make it set in our world. She could have chosen, say, a Miyazaki type world where there’s a magical train that doesn’t stop, and a place where the people all live underground, and whatever. But no, this is freakin’ future Chicago. And guess what people. In the future, the trains stop for no bitch, so watch out.

    Okay okay I could go on forever about all the stuff I hate but I’m just gonna harp on two more topics and call it quits.

    1)Why are the Dauntless so ridiculous? One thinks that a dystopian society would care about their military. Especially considering that in this case, their entire city is surrounded by a guarded fence with barbed wire. Clearly protection is important to them. So whyyyyyyy are the Dauntless, the only source of soldiers, completely undisciplined jackasses? They party it up and dress up like punks from 70s London and ….train to fight MMA style for whatever reason (It’s COOL, Wigs, gosh) but why are they completely out of control? They all act like they’re 15. Let’s sneak out at night and go do shit wooooo! Why aren’t the initiates sent immediately to bootcamp style training, like an actual military. Instead we’re gonna capture the flag and you know, camp activities mixed in with boy-on-girl fist-fighting and knife throwing. And mental training which, while cool (there’s that magic word again), seems to serve no real life application aside from the ridiculous circumstances Roth cooks up.

    2) And how, HOW,

    is everyone not Divergent? Why does Tris have special snowflake syndrome? We’re told that being divergent is basically having a mind which is suitable for multiple factions, not just one single faction. Which is dangerous etc whatever. And I can buy that, I can, that a dystopian society would want to suppress an individual which has too many skills or whatever butttttt… how is it that SO few people actually have multiple skills. Seeing as things like selflessness and kindness go hand in hand, wouldn’t people be divergent for Abnegation and Amity? And wouldn’t people who speak their mind and are smart, a common pairing, be divergent for Candor and Erudite? And what about the people who’s tests tell them that they belong in one faction, but are allowed to choose another?? Why is that allowed, since it encourages them to learn more skills? (which is discouraged!) If they’re good at their chosen faction, and not the one that they were intended, doesn’t that make them divergent? And if they want to discourage people having multiple functions, why the hell are people allowed to change factions at all? Because if you’re raised one way and then learn a whole new way, aren’t you, in fact, becoming divergent by straddling the two worlds? It’s not like suddenly people forget everything, Christina still has her Candor traits even though she’s in Dauntless. I just don’t understand what seems to be this fatal flaw in Roth’s design. And because of this, I see how sad the wasted potential is. Why ISN’T everyone secretly divergent? Wouldn’t that actually be making a statement on the nature of humans and how you can’t suppress them into single pieces and put them in a box? But no, no, Tris has a

    brain. No one can get into her mind. Just like Bella Swan.

    Speaking of which, with Tris, who is supposed to be divergent for Abnegation and Dauntless, I can barely find any selflessness traits outside of a what any regular person would do. I found her, in fact, written incredibly selfish, as teenagers are. It seemed that Roth didn’t realize (or did she?) what a jerk she was writing Tris to be (omg why are my friends so jealous of me??? Omg he’s so gross but lol someone likes me that’s so cool.) She also has to point out physical features to add to why she doesn't like people (greasy hair, crooked teeth, stretch marks, pudge....didn't you know that all bad people are also ugly? Duh.)

    Ugh I’m sorry I’m going to stop talking, that is enough, Wigs. Basically it comes down to this. I didn’t buy 90% of the stuff I was being fed. Eye-rolling was induced many a time. The ending was just about every cliché from an action movie I could think of.

    I’m sorry. I’m sorry everybody, for being a grump. But I just can’t with this. I can’t. I can’t deal. A book without a solid platform of sense is just not for me.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Hannah

    as Presented by:

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    I should not read any more YA dystopian novels.

  • Nataliya

    Heh. I'm torn now. I eyerolled so much while reading this book that I may have permanently damaged at least some of my cranial nerves. And yet I read it in one sitting, annoyingly and inexplicably entertained. Go figure.

    It's yet another young adult dystopia based on a stupid premise. Seriously, it's plainly ridiculous. If I had to compare it to something equally ridiculous it'd have to be the notion of sparkly vampires. I'm not kidding. Just list

    Heh. I'm torn now. I eyerolled so much while reading this book that I may have permanently damaged at least some of my cranial nerves. And yet I read it in one sitting, annoyingly and inexplicably entertained. Go figure.

    It's yet another young adult dystopia based on a stupid premise. Seriously, it's plainly ridiculous. If I had to compare it to something equally ridiculous it'd have to be the notion of sparkly vampires. I'm not kidding. Just listen to this:

    How ridiculous is it? Well, it's a dystopian Chicago where, in an attempt to battle the evils of this world people came up with a BRILLIANT idea to segregate into five "factions", each of one is based on ONE quality that is supposed to be the uber-defining feature of them. Therefore we have the brave, the selfless, the smart, the truthful, and the kind.¹ Except some people can be more than one of those - the Divergent.

    First of all, how exactly will our society ever get to the point where such thing becomes plausible?

    They have an option to switch factions after being raised in one; so basically it's okay to internalize the principles of more than one of them. How will that not make them 'Divergent'? So there's that, and the sheer impossibility of a person to live only within the rigid frames of one of the factions' principles.

    No wonder this world does not work well. Duh. I mean, how well does complete segregation work to create peace instead of creating new lines of division of "Us vs. Them"??? Clearly complete segregation would do wonders to solve the violence-causing issues in the world. History showed us many examples of that. And I cannot believe that up until this point in that universe nobody questioned the validity of this structure.

    Well, duh. Did it take centuries to come to this conclusion?

    -------------

    But here's the thing -

    - despite all the faults, despite the shallow characters, despite the many elements so traditional to teen dystopias that you can't help but wonder whether they have been mass-manufactured.

    It's probably the sheer amount of action in this book -

    Tris, the occasionally too-dumb-to-live protagonist¹, does not ever seem to stop moving. Running, jumping, falling, fist-fighting, knife-fighting, shooting, running, punching - all that while she, a special Divergent snowflake, learns to fit in among the Dauntless, the Gryffindor-brave (read: stupidly reckless) faction of this universe.

    Yes, almost the entire book is the scenes of Tris training to become super-awesome, occasionally punctuated by the scenes of mandatory self-doubt.

    Of course, in the way mandatory to all YA dystopias, her training just proves that this plain little average humble girl is the sexy badass that is better than anyone else at whatever she chooses to do, and somehow will be number one no matter what she does because she is, well, special.

    And yet, annoying as these scenes are, they are still so much fun to read.

    Yes, most of the action here is juvenile and seems pointless as a part of faction training - but hey, so is shooting up the heads of videogame aliens. But it's still entertaining.

    So here's what I'm trying to say here: Suspend your disbelief, don't think too hard about what's happening, approach it as just fun - and you will be rewarded with a fun ride, like that giant rollercoaster in the amusement park that is worth it while you're on it

    .

    Would I have given this book the GR Choice Awards? No, and I would not give one to 50 Shades of Grey either. And of course, my opinion is NEVER wrong, right?

    But for the entertainment value alone I will give it

    . Still, I'm undecided whether I care enough about what happens to Tris to invest time into reading the sequel.

    ------------

    So I did read the sequel after all - and

    And here is

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  • mark monday

    is

    known

    deep.

    UPDATE 10/17/14: just saw the movie. it was awesome!

  • Rick Riordan

    I definitely enjoyed it. At first, I had trouble convincing my older son to read it, because he was convinced that every dystopian novel is a "Hunger Games" wannabe, but he read it on a recent plane trip and we had a great in-depth discussion about the characters and their motivations.

    The premise: Chicago of the future is a closed city-state. The citizenry really doesn't have any idea what is beyond their borders. They just know it's dangerous. Inside the city, humanity is divided into five fact

    I definitely enjoyed it. At first, I had trouble convincing my older son to read it, because he was convinced that every dystopian novel is a "Hunger Games" wannabe, but he read it on a recent plane trip and we had a great in-depth discussion about the characters and their motivations.

    The premise: Chicago of the future is a closed city-state. The citizenry really doesn't have any idea what is beyond their borders. They just know it's dangerous. Inside the city, humanity is divided into five factions based on moral imperatives. Candor, for instance, values truth above all else. They serve as lawyers and public speakers. Erudite values knowledge. They serve as teachers. Abnegation values self-denial and community service. They are the community's leaders, since they alone can be trusted not to be power-hungry.

    Our heroine Tris is born into Abnegation, but during her choosing ceremony at age sixteen, she decides to join the Dauntless, who value fearlessness and serve as the society's soldiers and guards. The novel follows her through her initiation training, during which Tris discovers that their society is not as harmonious as she once believed. Making things even worse, Tris must keep her true aptitude secret. She is in a small minority of people who are divergent -- whose skills could suit them for more than one faction. What this means is not at first clear, but it will make Tris's life very dangerous.


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