Thursday, October 11, 2012

Divergent by Veronica Roth - Book Review

Looking back on this novel, all I can seem to remember are the reasons I didn't like it.  Yes, it's a quick, compulsive read, but the multitude of holes in the backstory and the absurdity of the factions has led me to lower the rating from the initial 3 stars to 2.

I think I'm one of like seven people in the entire world who didn't like this book, however, so don't decide to skip this one based off of my review.

Original Review (With Original Rating)

I wanted to like this book; I really did.

I was debating whether to give this book two stars or three. I chose three for one simple reason; while this book had many flaws, it was still gripping and compulsively readable. Which is actually rare for me, a book I both can't put down, and am disappointed in.

This book had been recommended to me by close friends who share very similar reading tastes with me. I think they both gave this book 5 stars. So I picked it up already expecting to be blown away. Maybe my expectations were too high. Maybe that's why I put this book away with no real enthusiasm for the sequel. Or maybe it was because of the almost total lack of world-building, the premise that I found a bit unbelievable, the protagonist whose head I just could not get inside of, and the romance that, to me, felt luke-warm at best.

Divergent is about a future society separated into five different factions, each of which values one trait above all others, to an extreme level. I'm sorry, but I don't buy there ever being a time when humans can be broken down and made that simple; we will always be ruled by many warring traits, and while some will put one above all others, I don't see an entire population doing so. It's almost an insult, really, to say that our future generations won't be able to see the equal value of many different virtues.

The romance building in this felt, to me, very forced. There weren't really any of those tender moments that make the reader feel the affection between the characters. Tris's love interest is the typical "good/bad-boy-with-the-troubled-past-and-hot-body". While I do love that type, I need...more. More than just the author's assurance that he is what she wants and she what he wants. I need to fall for him with the protagonist. That just didn't happen in this book.

That said, this book did manage to find its way into my hands on bus rides, during my breaks at work, before bed at night and before breakfast in the morning. Even though I felt my eyes rolling at every other chapter, I also found my hands turning pages more frequently than most books I've been reading lately. I found myself, quite simply, wanting to know what happens next, and whatever flaws I have with Divergent, any book that can do that is at least worth the time it takes to read it
Divergent by Veronica Roth; a tentative 3 out of 5 stars.


  1. Great review. I found the romance forced as well, and I've noticed how everyone LOVES Tobias, and to me he's a very boring character. My main problem with this book was the characters, but, like you, I was compelled to keep reading because, for some reason, I DID find it engaging.

    ~Emily@Emily's Crammed Bookshelf

    1. By the way, I just found your blog and I really love it. I'm followin ya!


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