Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Review of Divergent

One choice
One choice decides your friends, defines your beliefs, and determines your loyalties . . . forever.
Or, one choice can transform you.
In Veronica Roth's debut novel, Divergent, a perfect society unfolds into a dystopian world of electrifying decisions, stunning consequences, heartbreaking betrayals, and unexpected romance.
[from Goodreads]
Rating:   5 out of 5 boxes
Target Audience:  Pretty much anyone!
High point:  What wasn't a high point?!
Low point:  The sequel isn't even written yet!!
Reader maturity:  13+

This is one of the best YA novels I've ever read.

Whether you're a fan of science fiction, dystopian, contemporary or romance, Divergent deserves a place on your bookshelf. It's a stunning debut with perfect pacing and plot that will keep you turning pages long into the night.

When I review books I receive from publishers or authors, I'm extra critical. I want to make sure to remove any bias in favor of the book due to getting a shiny new copy. So look up there at how many boxes/stars/whatever-you-want-to-call-thems I gave Divergent. Uh, yeah, it was THAT good.

Divergent follows Beatrice through the last days of her life before the Choosing ceremony, where she picks the faction she will spend the rest of her days with. As she trains as a new initiate with a ruthless and dwindling group, she discovers secrets--secrets that will change the world--not only about herself, but about the factions, about her family and about the future.

Divergent is the kind of book that I would write. I don't mean to insinuate that I have the talent of Veronica Roth (fortunately for all of us, she possesses a good deal more) but that it's the kind of story I would've made up. The choices, the characters, the setting--they were all perfect and organic. With every chapter, the book got better and better, and I couldn't believe how much I was enjoying it.

The main character, Tris, is the everyman character. She's got a justifiable dose of doubts and fears, but she's also a little bit surprisingly bold and selfless. She's a little offbeat compared to her friends, and she's definitely someone you'd want on your side in a fight. A lot of times in action-centric novels, I spend a lot of time wondering why everyone suddenly kowtows to the heroine. Any respect Tris gets, Tris earned, and every step forward she makes emotionally, she fought for. The experience of getting there with her is as wonderful as the end result. Her friends and love interest are amazing too. They're all three-dimensional characters with pasts and stories, and they seemed to pop out of the book while I was reading about them. The bad guys are perfectly evil and not too over-the-top, while the good guys are perfectly good and not too angelic, and a lot of the people kept me guessing beyond the last page.

Background information about the different factions and the mystery of the city is revealed slowly, creeping up and enveloping the reader in a cloud of intrigue. Everything from family secrets to the Dauntless initiation surprised me, terrified me and enthralled me. There are several dreamlike sequences in Divergent, and they're written so well that it was like seeing through Tris' eyes firsthand. The writing and descriptions are all-encompassing, and the picture in my head was so clear; I had a front row seat to all the action!

My only...disappointment, as it were, is that Divergent isn't out in hardback yet so I can buy myself a permanent copy!

Title:  Divergent
Author:  Veronica Roth
Genre:  Teen Fiction -- Dystopian
Year:   2011
Book Source:  Received an ARC for review from HarperTeen


  1. You've got me soooo excited now! Thanks for the review!

  2. This. book. sounds. AWESOME.

    Officially on my tbr list! :)

  3. Fantastic review!! Seriously, you're making me want to go re-read this all over again! I love this book so much, it's officially in my top 10 favourite books EVER. I can't wait until release to buy myself a shiny new copy!