Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

19 Jun

Series: Divergent, book #1

Published: May 3rd 2011 by Katherine Tegen Books

Details: Hardcover, 487 pages

My Rating: 5/5

My Summary:

First book in trilogy. In this dystopian world, Tris chooses a faction to live in and the tough initiation ritual begins. This amazing book includes lots of action but also great character development, a wonderful kick-ass heroine and one of the most believable romances I have ever read. In short, WOW what an amazing book! I cannot gush about it enough!! If you read one book this year, read this one!!!


A few chapters in:

The Hunger Games did to the dystopian fiction in young adult literature what Twilight did to vampires. Namely, increased the popularity of the genre by tenfold!

Since reading Hunger Games, I’ve read a number of dystopian fictions, each time in the hopes of coming across the next book that will blow me away.

Divergent is the next much-hyped debut out there, said to be the next Hunger Games. But do I really dare to believe that’s true?

You see, I don’t want to get my hopes up too much, because I know by now from experience that a hyped-up book doesn’t always equal amazing (see my review of The Maze Runner).

Divergent has however surfaced as the next book to read in my poll (thanks to all who voted!!) and I checked the average score on goodreads (4.55), which is promising. What if it really is the next Hunger Games? Time to find out!

I’m now a few chapters in. Beatrice lives in a society which has been divided into five factions, each faction valuing one personality trait above all others. In Abnegation, where Beatrice lives, they value selflessness more than anything else. Self-indulgence in any form is prohibited, and it’s asked of you that you help everyone else before yourself.

We enter the story when Beatrice has just reached 16 years of age, and hence is about to choose which faction she is to live the rest of her life. Most people simply decide to stay where they are, as it’s known territory for them, and they get to be with their families. In fact, transferring to another faction is very unusual.

Along comes the day when Beatrice has to make that choice and she’s debating with herself. She knows that she never truly fitted into the Abnegation life style, yet is she prepared to leave her family for good?

The decision she makes surprises everyone, most of all herself. And before she knows it, she is taking part of a fierce initiation ritual, together with a few other new-comers. The thing is, if you fail the initiation tests, you end up on the streets as a faction-less, which is a fate almost as cruel as death. In other words, she has to make it, right?

And this is as far as I’ve got.

But wow, so far, I am seriously liking this. I’m only a few chapters in and am already feeling the pull..big time!

After finishing the book:

I finished this book at 3.30 am. I had to work the next day. Enough said. This was freaking amazing!!! The kind of book that had me wishing I had a grading system that allowed me to give it more than 5. Because a 5/5 just does not seem enough.

It’s also the kind of book that makes all other books pale in comparison. You know, I almost fell into a slight book depression after reading this one. Because, what now? I knew that anything I’d read in the next couple of weeks (months?) would not be half as good. How depressing is that?

Then again, THANK GOD I did read this one, because WOW what an amazing reading experience it was. I felt like I was completely and totally emerged into the world Roth had created. The book literally swallowed me whole, hence why I got 3 hours of sleep on the night I finished it.

It’s said to be the next Hunger Games. Well, yes there are definitely similarities. For one, there is the dystopian world, then there is Tris, who is a kick-ass heroine and a bit of an underdog who goes through rigorous training and tests with possibly deadly outcomes. The main similarity however was this:

No force in the universe could have made me put the book down.

Do you remember me saying that in the Hunger Games review? Well, folks, for the second time since I started this blog, I am saying it again. This is a book  that you will NOT be able to put down. Period. A word of advise, clear your schedule before starting it!

So enough with my rambling, what was it that made it so gripping?

A combination of things really.

* The Action. Most of the book deals with the initiation rituals, which included plenty of nail-biting action scenes and fascinating ways to test the new recruits, all of which had me racing through the pages.

* The world-building. I loved how complete it felt. There are so many details and characters, all vividly described that I literally felt as if I were walking around in those dungeons myself.

* The main character Tris. It has been some time (perhaps since Katniss) , since I felt so much for a heroine as I did with Tris. She is such a multifaceted character. She’s vulnerable, strong, brave, selfish but also protective, tough but also doubtful. I was with her on every step of the way!

* The secondary characters Christina, Will, Al, Peter, Uriah and Eric. They felt as real and fleshed out as the main characters, having both good and bad traits (well apart from Eric), stemming from different pasts and each with personal motives behind their actions. There is loyalty and encouragement, but also betrayal and mistrust. No one is perfect, just like in the real world.

*The romance. It doesn’t take a forefront, yet is one of the most wonderful romances I have read in some time. I loved the fact that it wasn’t a love at first sight, rather took time to develop slowly.  And I adored their dialogues together, every moment they shared gave me heart flutters. I had to skip back and read their scenes together again, once I finished. That’s how hooked I was. My favorite scene is when he shows her his most vulnerable side in the fear landscape. Let me tell you, my heart was racing along with Tris’s during that scene. Simply amazing.

Overall, I also loved the fact that it felt so unpredictable. Up until the end I had absolutely no idea of what was going to happen. And since I don’t want to destroy that unpredictability for you, I’m going to finish here, before I give anything else away.

All I’ll say is that  if you haven’t read this book yet, what are you waiting for? Go out there and get your hands on it now. You will not regret it!!!!

13 Responses to “Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth”

  1. Jen June 2, 2011 at 12:24 am #

    I’ve heard TONS of good things about this one and have it in my pile of to be read… I’m just getting a little burned out on starting a trilogy and waiting a year or two for the end… it’s a dilemma! Can’t wait for your review!

    • tess June 2, 2011 at 4:04 pm #

      Hi Jen!
      I understand your dilemma, I’m starting to feel the same way regarding all those trilogies – it’s frustrating to have to wait that long between each book. But I may just urge you to read Divergent anyway, it’s that good! Review coming very soon!

  2. patsy williams June 2, 2011 at 6:30 am #

    hope you liked this one
    renewed my faith in the genre
    but yeah really need to start waiting till the end of trilogies to read them too!

    • tess June 2, 2011 at 7:16 pm #

      Hi Patsy! I really really like this one! Thanks SO much for recommending it to me 🙂 It has definitely renewed my faith in dystopian ya, I’ve not felt so taken by a book in a long time! The only problem now is the year long wait for the sequel..

  3. patsy williams June 3, 2011 at 1:35 am #

    i thought you would!!
    the next one I am waiting for is called Blood Red Road, its out next week I think. Its supposed to be a really good dystopian ya too. There is hope but they are few and far between. Will reoprt back and let you know if its worth amazoning. Oh if you were thinking about reading the Goddess Test, I hate to say it but dont bother. Its one of the ones that isnt anything new or special and full of hilariously bad character motivations so not worth a look.
    Look forward to your Divergent Review. 5/5 from me!

    • tess June 3, 2011 at 3:19 pm #

      Thanks for your tips, that’s really good to know, I’ll be skipping Goddess Test then. I would love to hear what you think about Blood Red Road when you’ve read it! I’ve heard about it, it sounds good! But like you said, it also seems too good to be true that another out-standing dystopian would be released so soon after Divergent. We can always hope though! Review of Divergent coming soon!!

    • jenika December 7, 2011 at 12:19 am #

      Hi Patsy
      I agree with you, I read The Goddess Test a few weeks ago and I didn’t like it at all, the story might have been very interesting but it was very, very, very badly developed, with veeeery shallow characters and a romance that I didn’t understand at all.
      I read Blood Red Road, tough and I really liked it!
      I still don’t read Divergent but I probably will very soon!
      Hi Tess! Your review of Divergent made me curious, I’ll add it to my list of books to read!

      • tess December 11, 2011 at 7:51 pm #

        Hi Jenika,
        Yay! I hope you read Divergent soon, it’s a wonderful read!!!
        Thanks, Tess

  4. patsy williams June 5, 2011 at 12:35 am #

    you might also like starcrossed by josephine angelini if you are in the mood for something nice and twilightish. Its really is basically just twilight with greek mythology and unlike all of the twilight rip offs with angels/fairie/pixies/werwolves/dragons which I usually find just fail miserabley, it is actually works. She is a better writer than Meyer and its just so so so similar but you end up liking it because its actually managed to get to get the vibe the same as well. Slow pacing, great characters and a few things to figure out that make you wanna keep reading and if you have a drink everytime it seems like twilight you will literally never finish it.

    • tess June 6, 2011 at 6:41 am #

      Hi Patsy,
      Wow, you’ve really made me want to read that book now. I don’t mind Twilight similarities, as long as it’s done well, and I’m transported into the story. It seems like Starcrossed is something I would really like, I definitely have to get my hands on it now! Thanks so much for the tip!!!

  5. Saundra June 20, 2011 at 1:27 am #

    I absolutely 100% agree with your review of Divergent! I LOVED IT! I felt the same way when I was done, OMG what now! What could I possibly read after that? I cannot wait until Insurgent! So anyway, I started The Iron King and I must say I love it, it looks to be a great series and there are already 3 of the books out with the fourth coming in October. Are you on Goodreads by any chance?
    Well cannot wait to read your next review!

    • tess June 20, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

      Hi Saundra,

      So glad to hear you loved Divergent as well, and funny that both of us had a bit of a book depression afterwards! But seriously, what an amazing book! For once I am really thankful it’s a series. Because I want more!!

      Thanks as well for you tip about The Iron King, I’ve heard lots of great things about that series! Plus I like the fact that most of the books in the series are already out. I think I will be reading it very soon.
      Also, yes I am on goodreads! You can find me at :

      See you there!!



  1. Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins « After Twilight… - July 5, 2011

    […] remember my book depression after reading Divergent a couple of weeks ago. I was depressed because I knew it would be some time since I read anything […]

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