Tuesday 24 April 2012

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Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent by Veronica RothDivergent by Veronica Roth (review copy) - She turns to face the future in a world that’s falling apart.

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...

A debut novel that will leave you breathless.
From Amazon UK

I've said it before, and I'll say it again; sometimes, when considering all the books there are in the world, a book falls into my hands that I feel so lucky to have read. It may sound a little over the top, but what if I chose to read something else? What if I'd never heard of it. A book I could have missed out on reading. And Divergent is one one of them. Sometimes, I just feel so blown away by a book, I feel honoured to have had the chance to read it. It makes me so, so glad that I am a book blogger, because if I wasn't I am absolutely certain I wouldn't have comes across this fantastic book.

For quite a while now, despite enjoying Delirium by Lauren Oliver and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, I have felt that dystopian novels weren't my thing. Yes, I liked a few within the genre, but as a whole, not for me. I just assumed, wrongly, because of another dystopian I read and disliked, dystopia was full of misery and would be hard work to read. In some cases, they are like that, but that doesn't automatically mean I'm not going to like them. I've actually read a number of dystopian novels one after the other recently and enjoyed them all, and on finishing Divergent, I think I have to say this genre is now one of my favourites!

So yes, I LOVED Divergent! In my review of Under the Never Sky, I said it was missing something that stopped it from blowing me away. Divergent has that thing! Which is really odd, because considering it's a dystopia, most of the book doesn't cover the dystopian society at large, but on Tris and her life as she changes Factions.

In Divergent, there are five factions; Abnegnation (the selfless), Erudite (the intelligent), Candor (the honest), Amity (the peaceful), and Dauntless (the brave). At sixteen, teenagers undertake an Aptitude Test to work out which Faction they would be best suited, and the day after, at the Choosing Ceremony, they choose which Faction they wish to join. Tris has spent her whole life in Abnegation, with her perfect, selfless family who don't even bat an eyelid when it comes to doing things for others. Tris, on the otherhand, sometimes has selfish thoughts about what she would like. She's not sure that Abnegation is right for her, but leaving would mean leaving her whole family behind - and possibly never see them again. When she takes her Aptitude Test and her results come back inconclusive, not giving her one Faction she suits best, but several possibilities, which is so rare Tris has never heard of it, she doesn't know where she belongs or what to do. Going with her gut instinct, she takes the huge decision to leave Abnegation and move to Dauntless, where she finds her selfless, quiet life is nothing compared to what she's just signed up for.

Loooove! As I said earlier, this book focusses on the most part on Tris' new life in Dauntless and the training that is a part of her initiation. It was just so fascinating to see her reactions to the brutal life that is the norm for the brave, a life of fighting and facing your fears, but also her relationships with people. Tris hadn't had friends before Dauntless, so growing to trust those from over Factions other than Abnegation, who behave and think so differently, is strange and sometimes difficult for her. There are characters in this book you immediately warm too, and there are those that you loathe.

There are some events in this book that I found difficult to read. This wasn't just because those events were beyond what anyone should ever have to go through, but also because Veronica Roth has written a story so unlike anything else out there, I had no idea what I was going to be round the corner! I literally had no clue how things were going to pan out at any stage of this book, and it was amazing and gripping! Yet, as I said, some parts are disturbing and absolutely sickening.

Then there's the love interest! Oh, I do love Four! He is just the coolest guy, and the relationship etween him and Tris throughout the novel feels like something that could happen in our own world, it was just so real and believable, despite the dystopian society. This was another of the things I was never sure of. We're all used to the "Will they? Won't they?", but I actually wasn't sure at all. Divergent isn't a romance, it is a dystopia, and the romance in it isn't certain, which just adds to the excitement of the book!

My heart was in my mouth more times in this book than I can count, during training, during Tris' moments with Four, and during the wait for danger to pounce. Because things do take a turn for the worst, and change everything for every important character in this book. Roth doesn't shy away from putting her characters - and her readers - through hell. No-one we love or hate is left unscathed. It's just brilliant!

In case you hadn't guessed, I absolutely loved this book! There really aren't any words for me to express just how much this book blew me away. I am so, so happy that I have Insurgent I can pick up straight away. I don't know how anyone else was able to wait! An incredible, incredible book. If you haven't read this book yet, what the hell are you waiting for?!

Thank you to HarperCollins Children's Books for sending me a review copy.

Published: 2nd February 2012 (this edition)
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Buy on Amazon US
Veronica Roth's Website

Other reviews:
Eleusinian Mysteries
Read Me Bookmark Me Love Me


  1. When you like a genre, the problem is that there will be lot of mediocre books for every good book. I am, in general a fan of dystopian fiction and divergent does sound like a good read. :)

    1. Ahh, I wasn't a fan, even though I liked a few. The idea of the genre - plus a book that was just dire in my opinion - really put me off. I kept at it though, and now I love it!
      Divergent is awesome! Dystopia at it's best! :)

  2. EEEEEEEE!!! JO! You said it ALL. PERFECTLY. I absolutely LOVE your review and am over the flipping moon that you loved this as much as I did :D Tris and Four... oh my gosh. No words. Especially after Insurgent, FAVE YA COUPLE!!

    And god... I so know what you mean about your heart being in your mouth. She did that to me SO many times and especially those last 60 pages. HOLY HELL. How the freck does Veronica do it?! *DIES* I hardcore LOVE this series :D

    Have you read the exclusive chapter they revealed today from Four's POV?? GAHHHHHHH! IF NOT, READ IT, READ IT, READ IT. It's from the knife-throwing scene!

    AMAZING REVIEW! So, so excited for your thoughts on Insurgent :D

    1. So I tried replyin to your comment yesterday, and my computer decided to freeze for hours. Ugh. so I shall try and remember what I said!

      Aww, thank you! Oooh, I do love Tris and Four! They're awesome! I'm reading Insurgent now, though only a little way through. If what the rest of the book is anything like I've seen already, woah! I'm predicting major heatwaves for Tris and Four! :D

      I KNOW! Especially when certain people did certain things because they weren't a fan of competition. Omg, too many times my mouth was hanging open and I swear my eyes were going to pop out of my head! Even better by not knowing how things were going to turn out. Surprise after surprise!

      I CAN'T READ THE EXCLUSIVE CHAPTER! It doesn't want to work on my machine! I'ma go try it on my Dad's 'puter. Hopefully it will work there :)

      Cheers, cheers! Insurgent's review will be here on 8th May :)

  3. Oh, the not feeling dystopians? HELL YES. I gotta tell you, up until Divergent, I wasn't convinced, but Divergent, for me, was just perfection. Made me fall in love... and it's funny... because I LIKED THG... I just... I didn't get much JOY, if you know what I mean? Divergent is like a gateway drug. Now I'm drunk on dystopians! hehehe!

    Oh, andit being difficult to read? I FEEL you. It's confronting and brutal and beautiful.

    ANYWAY. AMAZING review, m'dear!

    1. Haha, I know exactly what you mean! I actually got really excited about THG. Even Delirium. It was dystopia as a genre.. meh. But After Insignia, then Under the Never Sky, and Divergent as the cherry on top - I am SOLD! :D

      Love love love me some brutal, confronting, beautiful stuff! Give me mooooore!

      Thank you lovely! :D

  4. Great review! I LOVED this book. I finished reading Insurgent a couple of weeks ago and it's even better, so you'll have to get your hands on that too!

    Anyway, I found you on Postcrossing - It's so weird because we both have book blogs AND your Birthday is only a day after mine! So yeah, new follower! :)


    1. Thank you! I already have Insurgent! :D Reading it now and I'm loving it! Such a brilliant series.

      Haha, small world! Thanks for following, I shall check out your blog too! :)

  5. Divergent is a hell of a book I really picked it up by chance last year after repeatedly seeing it around and I must have read the blurb 3 or 4 times before finally a couple of months later actually taking the plunge. I kicked myself for having waited so long the story is incredible and moves so fast. It is also full of twists and shocks big SHOCKS that you don't get in other YA books were sometimes the plot moves exactly as you expect it and you can see the so called twists from miles away. Divergent is an amazing book definitely worth picking up now so that once you finish it you can go straight on to Insurgent =o).

    Great review by the way.

    1. Thank you! I know exactly what you mean! Pretty much every page was a shock, because I had absolutely no idea where this story was going to go! I have had this book for AGES, and so wish I had read it sooner! Was brilliant! As is Insurgent, which I'm now about halfway through. :D

  6. This is a fabulous review Jo! I love this series soooooo much :o) I can relate to your feelings about dystopians, there are a few I like but I am starting to get a bit bored with them now. I'm ready for a new trend BUT this series is one I'd happily continue reading forever lol. The wait for book 3 may just kill us all though!!

    1. Thank you! Aah, I'm not bored of dystopians yet, I've pretty much avoided them - and now have got the bug! So I have plenty to read before boredom hits, hopefully! Omg, I KNOW! The wait is going to be so, so hard!

  7. Because I've been away from book blogging for so long, I'm only just now hearing about these books. I am going to have to give Divergent a try! I'm especially interested in more dystopians after re-reading The Hunger Games trilogy recently... Thanks for your review :-)

    1. It has been a while! I haven't seen you about for ages! Hello! :)
      No problem! Divergent is absolutely amazing, I'm sure you'll love it!