Divergent, Paperback Book
4.5 out of 5 (5 ratings)

Description

She turns to the future in a world that's falling apart. The No. 1 New York Times bestseller DIVERGENT - a major motion picture in 2014. For sixteen-year-old Tris, the world changes in a heartbeat when she is forced to make a terrible choice.

Turning her back on her family, Tris ventures out, alone, determined to find out where she truly belongs. Shocked by the brutality of her new life, Tris can trust no one. And yet she is drawn to a boy who seems to both threaten and protect her.

The hardest choices may yet lie ahead.... The first book in the DIVERGENT series that has swept the globe - selling millions of copies world-wide.

Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 496 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: General
  • ISBN: 9780007420421

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Reviews

Showing 1 - 5 of 5 reviews.

Review by
4.5
We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.

I first came across Divergent last year (what can I say? I’m always late to the party!) when I heard about the film of it. To tell the truth, it sounded awfully like one of those books which has spawned as a result of The Hunger Games. Now, as I’ve mentioned before, The Hunger Games really wasn’t my bag. I found Katniss incredibly obnoxious at the time and I generally found it pretty predictable. However, I think I brought a lot of prejudice in terms of my expectations of literature and particularly young adult literature at that time. To that end, I’m definitely going to give it another go at some point this year.

But this isn’t about the Hunger Games, this is about Divergent.

I absolutely adored it.

To me, this book is the ultimate “suspend your disbelief” book. No, the world-building doesn’t make a lick of sense. It’s not a 1984 kind of dystopian, in the sense that you can pinpoint areas of that society which are relevant and even comparable to ours. Divergent is the sort of book where you either accept the initial premise for what it is, or you don’t. If you can’t, then you’re probably not going to enjoy the book. That’s not a criticism. There are things, such as The Hunger Games, for which have not been able to suspend my disbelief, but many others have. However, Divergent just grabbed me. It was exactly what I needed to start my year off with: easy to read, well-paced, and just plain fun.

What really sold me on it was Tris. I really loved her. One of the great things about her characterisation is that she finds self-belief pretty rapidly over the course of the novel. Even right at the start, when she’s chosing her faction, she makes a decision based on her own inner compass and for no reason other than that. Too often, female protagonists in young adult novels suffer from either a lack of self-esteem (cf. Cath in Fangirl, which I disliked) or are pigeonholed into the strong action-girl emotionless role (which was my original problem with Katniss, though as I said, it will take a reread to discover whether I still feel the same way). To my mind, Tris is much more well rounded than this. I love that she has obviously negative traits - the impulsiveness that gives way to losing her temper, the cruelty that this engenders - and I love that she has strength in abundance, not just physically but mentally. She makes mistakes, but is pretty accepting of the fact that mistakes happen, and they can be forgiven, both by herself and others. At the same time, she has the tenacity not to forgive what should not be forgiven. She shows her strength to Four, but also allows herself to be vulnerable with him. She tells Four she isn’t pretty, but realises that whether she is or isn’t pretty isn’t the be all and end all of who she is anyway. And she never feels like she should have to apologise for what she is - Divergent - even though she has to hide it for her own safety.

That’s not to say I didn’t have any feelings for the supporting characters either. Four is a pretty decent character. I’d like to see more of what he’s like away from the construct of the Dauntless faction. I sometimes found it a little hard to get a sense of him as a fully realised person but I guess that reflects Tris’s perceptions of him as well. Christina is fantastic - again, she’s another female character who is entirely herself. And Al - the changes in his character were something I could have not predicted. Roth did a very good job of making you feel conflicted over his part in proceedings. If I had one criticism of the characterisation it’s that some of the villains - Eric, Janine, and Marcus in particular - are a bit one-dimensional. Obviously it’s hard to say at this stage whether that will continue to be the case.

Otherwise, the plot was a touch predictable, but I wasn’t really too bothered by that. The breakneck pacing was so good that any of the more straightforward plot points were easily overlooked. Like I said, the world-building is something that will probably be a problem for some people. If you think too hard about the Factions and how this came about and how this world lasted - the whole thing comes a bit unstuck. However, if you can accept that these are the rules and this is how this world is - then it’s a pretty exciting read. It helped me to think of it as a world completely divorced from our Earth, if that helps anyone else at all.

None of these little niggles managed to overcome my enjoyment of this story though. Rarely have I read something that was so unabashedly fun as this. I give Divergent nine out of ten.
Review by
4

I will start by saying this is probably the most exciting and fast paced book I have read in a long time, so a big plus there.<br/><br/>I know I'm a little (i.e very) late to the Divergent party but I was busy and not paying attention to the latest young adult series to take the world by storm. Thankfully, I won't have to wait to get my hands on the next installment. Always a major bonus.<br/><br/><br/>If I could award five stars for excitement alone, I possibly would, but I just can't bring myself to do it.<br/><br/>There are a fuckload, like, A TONNE, of plot holes and inconsistencies throughout the story. For example, when a dauntless fails initiation, do they become factionless or do they guard the fence. That explanation was ridiculously unclear and I might have been confused by that more a than a few times.<br/><br/>I can't remember the other bits now, but when you read it, it is absolutely glaring and I was seriously getting annoyed.<br/><br/>Also, I get that we're supposed to realise that the whole faction thing doesn't work and it's dystopia disguised as utopia blah blah blah. But it is so obvious. Why can't the people see how much IT.DOES.NOT.WORK. <br/>HOW.<br/><br/>The concept of being divergent should not be that weird. "Oh look, I'm capable of having a multi-faceted personality, well aren't I so special". Eh, no, not really.<br/><br/>The world building is also APPALLING. The author literally did not take five seconds to explain, or even <i>consider</i> why this world came to be like this. Nope, we just jump straight in with no real reason as to why anyone would think this was a good idea. I'm sorry, but I expect background. THG is a wonderful example of dystopia story building done right. This is a disaster.<br/><br/><br/><br/>Wow it sounds like I hate it, right? I mean I really don't. No love triangle! Slightly less whiny protagonist than usual. Although, she is ridiculously hard to sympathise with so I'll just put it down to my inability to relate and not just...I don't know, her being a shit character?<br/><br/><br/>Mostly I'm just mad that jumping off trains is supposed to be bravery as opposed to just reckless stupidity, but whatever. You do you, Roth.

Review by
5
We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.

I first came across Divergent last year (what can I say? I’m always late to the party!) when I heard about the film of it. To tell the truth, it sounded awfully like one of those books which has spawned as a result of The Hunger Games. Now, as I’ve mentioned before, The Hunger Games really wasn’t my bag. I found Katniss incredibly obnoxious at the time and I generally found it pretty predictable. However, I think I brought a lot of prejudice in terms of my expectations of literature and particularly young adult literature at that time. To that end, I’m definitely going to give it another go at some point this year.

But this isn’t about the Hunger Games, this is about Divergent.

I absolutely adored it.

To me, this book is the ultimate “suspend your disbelief” book. No, the world-building doesn’t make a lick of sense. It’s not a 1984 kind of dystopian, in the sense that you can pinpoint areas of that society which are relevant and even comparable to ours. Divergent is the sort of book where you either accept the initial premise for what it is, or you don’t. If you can’t, then you’re probably not going to enjoy the book. That’s not a criticism. There are things, such as The Hunger Games, for which have not been able to suspend my disbelief, but many others have. However, Divergent just grabbed me. It was exactly what I needed to start my year off with: easy to read, well-paced, and just plain fun.

What really sold me on it was Tris. I really loved her. One of the great things about her characterisation is that she finds self-belief pretty rapidly over the course of the novel. Even right at the start, when she’s chosing her faction, she makes a decision based on her own inner compass and for no reason other than that. Too often, female protagonists in young adult novels suffer from either a lack of self-esteem (cf. Cath in Fangirl, which I disliked) or are pigeonholed into the strong action-girl emotionless role (which was my original problem with Katniss, though as I said, it will take a reread to discover whether I still feel the same way). To my mind, Tris is much more well rounded than this. I love that she has obviously negative traits - the impulsiveness that gives way to losing her temper, the cruelty that this engenders - and I love that she has strength in abundance, not just physically but mentally. She makes mistakes, but is pretty accepting of the fact that mistakes happen, and they can be forgiven, both by herself and others. At the same time, she has the tenacity not to forgive what should not be forgiven. She shows her strength to Four, but also allows herself to be vulnerable with him. She tells Four she isn’t pretty, but realises that whether she is or isn’t pretty isn’t the be all and end all of who she is anyway. And she never feels like she should have to apologise for what she is - Divergent - even though she has to hide it for her own safety.

That’s not to say I didn’t have any feelings for the supporting characters either. Four is a pretty decent character. I’d like to see more of what he’s like away from the construct of the Dauntless faction. I sometimes found it a little hard to get a sense of him as a fully realised person but I guess that reflects Tris’s perceptions of him as well. Christina is fantastic - again, she’s another female character who is entirely herself. And Al - the changes in his character were something I could have not predicted. Roth did a very good job of making you feel conflicted over his part in proceedings. If I had one criticism of the characterisation it’s that some of the villains - Eric, Janine, and Marcus in particular - are a bit one-dimensional. Obviously it’s hard to say at this stage whether that will continue to be the case.

Otherwise, the plot was a touch predictable, but I wasn’t really too bothered by that. The breakneck pacing was so good that any of the more straightforward plot points were easily overlooked. Like I said, the world-building is something that will probably be a problem for some people. If you think too hard about the Factions and how this came about and how this world lasted - the whole thing comes a bit unstuck. However, if you can accept that these are the rules and this is how this world is - then it’s a pretty exciting read. It helped me to think of it as a world completely divorced from our Earth, if that helps anyone else at all.

None of these little niggles managed to overcome my enjoyment of this story though. Rarely have I read something that was so unabashedly fun as this. I give Divergent nine out of ten.
Review by
4

Enjoyed this more as a book than a film. My imagination was better with the scenes where they were delving into the mind and its fears. Not as gripping as Mockingjay but an enjoyable read nonetheless.

Review by
5
We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.

I first came across Divergent last year (what can I say? I’m always late to the party!) when I heard about the film of it. To tell the truth, it sounded awfully like one of those books which has spawned as a result of The Hunger Games. Now, as I’ve mentioned before, The Hunger Games really wasn’t my bag. I found Katniss incredibly obnoxious at the time and I generally found it pretty predictable. However, I think I brought a lot of prejudice in terms of my expectations of literature and particularly young adult literature at that time. To that end, I’m definitely going to give it another go at some point this year.

But this isn’t about the Hunger Games, this is about Divergent.

I absolutely adored it.

To me, this book is the ultimate “suspend your disbelief” book. No, the world-building doesn’t make a lick of sense. It’s not a 1984 kind of dystopian, in the sense that you can pinpoint areas of that society which are relevant and even comparable to ours. Divergent is the sort of book where you either accept the initial premise for what it is, or you don’t. If you can’t, then you’re probably not going to enjoy the book. That’s not a criticism. There are things, such as The Hunger Games, for which have not been able to suspend my disbelief, but many others have. However, Divergent just grabbed me. It was exactly what I needed to start my year off with: easy to read, well-paced, and just plain fun.

What really sold me on it was Tris. I really loved her. One of the great things about her characterisation is that she finds self-belief pretty rapidly over the course of the novel. Even right at the start, when she’s chosing her faction, she makes a decision based on her own inner compass and for no reason other than that. Too often, female protagonists in young adult novels suffer from either a lack of self-esteem (cf. Cath in Fangirl, which I disliked) or are pigeonholed into the strong action-girl emotionless role (which was my original problem with Katniss, though as I said, it will take a reread to discover whether I still feel the same way). To my mind, Tris is much more well rounded than this. I love that she has obviously negative traits - the impulsiveness that gives way to losing her temper, the cruelty that this engenders - and I love that she has strength in abundance, not just physically but mentally. She makes mistakes, but is pretty accepting of the fact that mistakes happen, and they can be forgiven, both by herself and others. At the same time, she has the tenacity not to forgive what should not be forgiven. She shows her strength to Four, but also allows herself to be vulnerable with him. She tells Four she isn’t pretty, but realises that whether she is or isn’t pretty isn’t the be all and end all of who she is anyway. And she never feels like she should have to apologise for what she is - Divergent - even though she has to hide it for her own safety.

That’s not to say I didn’t have any feelings for the supporting characters either. Four is a pretty decent character. I’d like to see more of what he’s like away from the construct of the Dauntless faction. I sometimes found it a little hard to get a sense of him as a fully realised person but I guess that reflects Tris’s perceptions of him as well. Christina is fantastic - again, she’s another female character who is entirely herself. And Al - the changes in his character were something I could have not predicted. Roth did a very good job of making you feel conflicted over his part in proceedings. If I had one criticism of the characterisation it’s that some of the villains - Eric, Janine, and Marcus in particular - are a bit one-dimensional. Obviously it’s hard to say at this stage whether that will continue to be the case.

Otherwise, the plot was a touch predictable, but I wasn’t really too bothered by that. The breakneck pacing was so good that any of the more straightforward plot points were easily overlooked. Like I said, the world-building is something that will probably be a problem for some people. If you think too hard about the Factions and how this came about and how this world lasted - the whole thing comes a bit unstuck. However, if you can accept that these are the rules and this is how this world is - then it’s a pretty exciting read. It helped me to think of it as a world completely divorced from our Earth, if that helps anyone else at all.

None of these little niggles managed to overcome my enjoyment of this story though. Rarely have I read something that was so unabashedly fun as this. I give Divergent nine out of ten.

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