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Book Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

March 29, 2012

Ever since The Hunger Games I’ve been intrigued by dystopian novels.  I’ve found some good ones too, like Fahrenheit 451, City of Ember and The Giver. They grabbed my attention and gave me things to think about.  Some of them, however, were complete disappointments.  Like Shatter Me.  But, that’s another story…

So. I enjoy the dystopian genre… But, I really dislike it when a book claims to be the “Next Hunger Games.” Because, to begin with, it’s just NOT going to be The Hunger Games.  And, then, why would it want to be?  I mean, when a book has earned a name and attention for itself, any other book that markets itself by trying to catch onto it’s coattails is just… cheap.  That being said I have to say that Divergent actually holds it’s own. Up to a certain point.  And maybe if I were new to the dystopia genre, or if I had lower expectations I would really love this book.  Because, to be totally honest, there’s really nothing wrong with it.

Tris (our protaganist) is complex enough to be interesting.  I, personally do not identify with her at all but I try not to let that sway my opinion.  The premise of the plot is Chicago in a future where every person must choose a different faction to be a member of.  There are only 5 choices and once you pick that’s it.  No changing.  It sort of makes sense, except that the factions are extremely narrow and confined. And, of course, human nature can’t live like that.  We’re meant to be more than just what we see in the mirror or what society expects of us.  Right?  So, here is where the conflict comes in.  And here is where it starts getting really predictable.

The story moves swiftly in spite of the nearly 500 pages.  But, like I said, the plot is predictable. Veronica Roth is young and her age shows through at times.  The writing is generic, but does the job.  Overall I would describe the novel as enjoyable, but not riveting. Will I read the sequel?  Probably. I can’t quit in the middle of the story.  I just can’t.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Danielle permalink
    March 29, 2012 7:12 am

    This is an excellent review. I think you nailed it exactly. Unfortunately for most dystopian novels, the Hunger Games is the standard I hold them to and most just don’t measure up. Divergent comes closer than many, though! I’ll be interested to read the next one in the series.


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