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4.5 out of 5 stars
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Divergent
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on October 12, 2014
This set includes the trilogy, along with the extra book titled, "Four". I actually recommend reading Four first. It's the comets set. My 13 year old triplet boys started reading this series in school. They couldn't stop talking about it, so I bought this series for them, and I even read it myself. It's very, very good. The movie is pretty good too; although, the books are a lot more detailed. I highly recommend this series. I would caution for younger readers as the two main characters have some heated moments. Nothing that heavy, but on the line. I wouldn't want my 8 year old reading something like that. I hope this review has been helpful for the parents out there. All in all.. Definitely a great series! A Must Read!
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on March 28, 2014
People almost universally love the first two books and I agree so I'll leave it at that. Many people hate the 3rd book for two reasons: the ending, and lack of differentiation of the two main characters. I disagree concerning the ending. It was quite complex, very human and a real commentary on war, conflict, human society and healing. I just wasn't Hollywood. I slightly agree about the two main characters not being differentiated. The narrators voice is quite similar to Tris, so when we are in Tris's head, it feels quite natural and you get lost in the character. When the narrator moves into Tobias's head, the voice doesn't shift enough, isn't distinct enough. This made it difficult to feel that you were experiencing a different character. However, this error was mitigated by the fact that the 3rd story was just as engaging, just as complex as the first two. For this reason, I remained engrossed in the story though I recognized that there was a problem with the differentiation. It just wasn't a big enough problem to separate me from the experience of the story.
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on August 2, 2017
ACTUAL RATING: 3.75 STARS.

I enjoyed Divergent. I really did. But I had some problems with it.

If you have read several of my previous reviews, you know that I am more character driven than plot driven. Well, this book was more of the latter than the former.

I felt that Tris had pretty much no narrative voice, which is the danger when writing a first person, present tense novel. (And, in hindsight, I’ve realized that, while I enjoy the writing style very much, I never felt Tris’s presence through her narration. Most of the time, she seemed too stiff [heheheh] and stoic to be flesh and blood.) As far as characters go, I think I’d say Four was my favorite, because I felt he had both a developed backstory and a developed personality.

In regards to plot, most of the novel occurs in the training headquarters. Not only are we subject to a lot of training scenes–this also means that, halfway through the book, Tris has still not yet been accepted into her chosen faction. For a book almost 500 pages long, that’s a lot of time focused on training. As a result, everything kicks off around the last fifth of the book, and, while the ending was incredibly exhilarating and very satisfying, I wish certain plot developments would have started appearing earlier in the book.

But this book did keep me reading late into the night, and the memories I have while reading Divergent are timeless. This is a total guilty-pleasure read, and I enjoyed the heck out of it. I just wish Tris had been more developed as a character; this book would have been a solid four stars if I could have connected with her better.
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on June 16, 2015
I read and liked the first volume in the series, Divergent.
While not particularly original, it has grit and pace,
and some of its scenes are rather memorable.
The main characters are a bit shallow -- the heroine has some
substance, but the hero is a bit less fleshed out, and Eric,
the main villain, with his ever-increasing piercings, seems
mostly robotic. However, the plot and setting do not require
subtlety and the action carries the book along nicely.
I'd give Divergent four stars.

The second volume, Insurgent, is a reprise of the first, but
at a consistently lower level. The new arch-villain, the
leader of the Erudite faction, is a cardboard cut-out without
even a notion of being driven by anything in particular --
she's just malware, not a person.
Our hero and heroine drift around, in pain and combat,
but without any underlying goals. The writing is on par with
the first volume: serviceable, but too anodyne to make up for
defects in the storyline. In particular, the various characters
all speak in the same manner -- none of them has any distinguishing
speech mannerisms or any specific way of expressing certains
thoughts or desires.
This may be deliberate on the author's part to make a point
about the smallness of the world they live in, but it does not
feel right: with the factions at great pains to differentiate
themselves, one would expect different speech patterns in
different factions.
If you still have momentum from reading Divergent, it will
most likely carry you through Insurgent, hoping for the text
to become more interesting. So I'd give Insurgent two stars.

The third volume, Allegiant, is a complete disaster. The plot
(well, whatever passes for one now) is getting stretched far
too thin, well into complete implausibility, not to mention
that it makes a complete hash of basic genetics. What really
kills the volume, though, is the author's lack of skills
in distinguishing her characters. In this volume, unlike in
the first two, the author chose to write the book in the
first person, some parts from the point of view of the hero and
others from the point of view of the heroine. (Keep in mind
that the two are a couple.) The problem is that, most of the
time, the reader has no clue who is the narrator and has to turn
back to the beginning of the chapter to find out. More than anything
else, it painfully illustrates that the author could not (rather
than decided not to) differentiate patterns of thought and speech
between her two main characters. To make matters worse, each of
the two narrators ends up retelling much of what the other told,
since their lives and actions overlap much of the time. This would
not be a problem if each had a distinct point of view on the events;
in fact, many famous authors have used this literary device to great
effect. But the two characters are pretty much interchangeable
and so are their descriptions and observations. Unsurprisingly,
the result is an unreadable mess. I'd give Allegiant zero stars,
which, with four stars for the first volume, two for the second,
and now zero for the third, averages out to two, my rating for the
trilogy.

My advice is to stick with the first book, Divergent, and call it
quits before you get disappointed. Divergent is a fun and easy
read; the others will just spoil the fun.
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on December 7, 2013
Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Publication Date: April 25, 2011
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 487

Amazon Book Blurb:

One choice can transform you. Beatrice Prior's society is divided into five factions—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). Beatrice must choose between staying with her Abnegation family and transferring factions. Her choice will shock her community and herself. But the newly christened Tris also has a secret, one she's determined to keep hidden, because in this world, what makes you different makes you dangerous.

Review: Published in 2011, Divergent is Veronica Roth's first novel. The first of a series by the same name, Divergent reflects the voracious appetite readers at the time had for post-apocalyptic literature.

The story is entirely from the viewpoint of sixteen year-old Tris who's forced to undertake a social sorting test that separates them into separate and distinct factions—not unlike the houses of Hogwarts—that dictate their members' roles in society. These factions come complete with initiations and manifestos that emphasize their respective ideal virtues. It's discovered during Tris's sorting test that she doesn't fit neatly into any one group. In other word's, she's special.

I'd heard of this book when I came across it on Amazon but I was immediately snared by the potential the world setting offered. An entire society formally divided into factions by their values? I could just imagine the possibilities. Unfortunately, I found that potential to be largely wasted.

I was quickly bothered by the facile nature of the world Veronica had built. Perhaps I've been spoiled by the likes of J.R.R. Tolkien and George R. R. Martin, but I expect my fictional worlds to survive the most cursory of internal logic tests. In this, Divergent fails.

The characters tended to be fairly shallow and predictable in the extreme. Their goals rarely extended further than than the scene that contained them. I found the dialogue to be similarly shallow and unrealistic.

The plot twists were predictable. The writing was often as subtle as a Leslie Nielson movie. Maybe I'm giving the young adult genre too much credit but the characters and plot were about as surprising as a form-fittingly wrapped Christmas present.

I'm genuinely surprised at the praise this book has received. There wasn't anything exemplary about the book except for the setting's concept which turned out to be poorly developed despite its potential. I'm fairly certain that the reason Divergent obtained such an impressive level of success can be narrowed down to its impeccable timing. Publishers and readers alike were hungry for another Katniss Everdeen story. Another story about a young women who had more handsome romantic prospects than she knew what to do with.

Now, don't get me wrong. I try to support new authors. I wish Veronica the best in her writing endeavors. It could very well be that I'm not a fan of the simplistic style she uses, a style exemplified in her website's biography:

"I’m Veronica. I write books for young adults. Specifically, I wrote the books Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant, and Four: A Divergent Collection.

I like things. Some of those things are (in no particular order): Harry Potter, rain, YA, books, puns, cute animals, tea, sitcoms, grammar, writing, Chicago, Doc Martens, trains, flat stretches of prairie land, cold weather months, and so on. "

It's very possible I'm missing something that her fans are picking up on. After all, her books are adored by millions. They can't all be wrong.
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As with many trending "It" series, I was brought into the world of Divergent by my sister and her fellow book loving friends. Honestly, I was easily hooked and quickly read through Divergent followed by Insurgent, which leaves you hungry for more. So when I realized that there was one to come and it was to be the end of the trilogy with all the answers, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I even pre-ordered a copy so I didn't have to wait on a friend's copy like the last two. Sadly not even a third into the last book, Allegiant, I found myself regretting staying up till midnight awaiting its release.

Living in dystopian Chicago among one of the five factions, Beatrice Prior is at the age where they must take a test which will reveal her true faction. Born in Abnegation (the selfless) Beatrice wonders if she is in fact Candor (the honest), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), Erudite (the intelligent) or simply still Abnegation? However when her results come back inconclusive and read as Divergent, Beatrice is told to keep it a secret and choose for herself or else . . . Yet during Faction initiation Beatrice chooses a new faction no one expected, the Dauntless. A new faction means a new family and new name, she becomes Tris. It's in Dauntless that Tris finds out more about herself and learns the truth of how the system everyone trusts is failing. Tris eventually leads a group of friends to help stop the corruption of the world they live in and the world around them, while learning and showing what it means to be Divergent.

Overall, you'll love the trilogy then hate it. The first two books are great but the last book makes little to no sense. Allegiant basically needs another book to explain itself, but the first two are worth reading again and again, hence the conflicting feelings about the trilogy. Tris as a character is relatable being constantly different and yet willing to be strong, plus when the time comes she doesn't just rely on her hot BF, but takes action herself. The sad thing is in the last book you lose some of that strength of character as Tris looked to others too much and ended up making rash decisions in the end. Plus there are a few other issues, but I'll not spoil too much. Divergent and Insurgent were told only from Tris' perspective, but Allegiant was split between Tris and Four which wasn't executed properly since their voices ended up sounding the same and Four lost all his manly appeal. There is also a HUGE controversial plot point in the end of the trilogy which I'd actually be okay with IF the scene had been better crafted and the rest of the story better explained to give meaning to the huge moment. So if you haven't already dove into this series I suggest its worth a read even if the ending isn't at all what everyone and I mean EVERYONE expected.

------Read more of my reviews at: [...]------
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on October 10, 2014
Originally posted on my blog: Tangled Up In Books

Insurgent picks up exactly where we leave off in Divergent and from there the roller coaster ride begins. Friends become enemies, enemies become allies. Lines are drawn, lines are crossed. The major thing I've discovered now that I'm two books in and sitting here nervously eyeing Allegiant is if you ever feel like you know what's going to happen next or whether that character sitting there smiling sweetly at you is for sure friend or foe, 3/4 of the time you're most likely wrong. Well at least that was the case for me. This one was packed full of surprises. The number of times I stared at the page wondering, sometimes aloud, just what in the hell is going on I couldn't count on one hand. The heart pounding intensity was just as strong in this one as it was for me in Divergent. I think the only difference would be that there was a darker tone here. One thing was for sure, there is no case of the sophomore slump here.

In the first book I came out of it feeling like up to that point I really only had a strong grasp on two of the factions and a partial on a third, though by the end of this one I feel like I have a better grasp on all five. Each one of the factions absolutely fascinates me. I love learning new things about them and seeing how they operate. I also started to see that it is true what's been said before that not one faction itself is bad. There's going to be good and evil within each one. Though I still feel like some of them have the scales tilted just a bit more towards evil than the others...

It's quite easy to become attached to most of these characters. I only say most because there are quite a few I would gladly put a bullet in their head with no remorse whatsoever. They are all so full of depth and they're part of what intrigues me so much about the different factions. Each person really embodies the personality of their chosen faction. It's so hard when characters are so likable, especially in a book such as this one. People are going to die. People are going to betray one another. Some of those deaths and betrayals hit me really hard. One in particularly I am steel reeling over.

Tris had me in a big spiral of emotions through basically the entirety of this book. Actions taken at the end of Divergent completely flipped her world upside down. It was hard to read and watch her go through the guilt and blame taking on top of all the other heartache she was going through and slowly sink inside of herself. It was frustrating and hurt to watch her go from this total ass kicking girl from book one to a shell of what she once was with a nonexistent self worth, yet still being able to see small sparks of her old self trying to break through.

If going from book one to book two is any indication of what I have in store for me next I am both excited and nervous to see what comes next and ends the series. The ratings are all over the place from one star to five and that honestly terrifies me. I fell in love with Divergent and Insurgent just deepened it for me. I don't have the best track record for being happy with series enders but I'm hoping and praying that it won't let me down. Please...please...please... *Crosses self* I'm going in...
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on January 2, 2018
This book just reads like it’s ready to be turned into a movie so I’d probably just recommend you save yourself the time and just see the movie if you’re interested in the synopsis. I haven’t actually seen the movie so I don’t know whether it’s good but this book isn’t really a satisfying level of storytelling for me. I found the characters fairly flat and not terribly interesting. You really just don’t get enough about what’s going on, why the world is the way it is, and what it’s like to ever get immersed into the story. And the all or nothing nature of the factions of this dystopian society too openly begs for a “Divergent” protagonist. It reads easily like a mindless action movie might play so it’ll fill time if you need it to but I don’t think I’d recommend it otherwise.
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on March 17, 2015
I have to start by saying that watching the Divergent movie made me want to read the book. I really enjoyed the movie and I thought for sure there was more in the book. Movie goers didn’t miss as much as I had hoped.

Beatrice is about to take the test that will determine which of the five factions she will go into for the rest of her life. The five factions are: Candor (the honest), Amity (the peaceful), Erudite (the intelligent), Dauntless (the brave) and Abnegation (the selfless). Each of the factions carries out certain job throughout the city. Those without factions do all the dirty work and have no rights in society. Born into Abnegation, everyone thinks she will stay in. On the day of the test, Beatrice learns she is Divergent. Fitting into not just one, but many factions. She chooses Dauntless and is told to keep her Divergent identity secret. In dauntless Beatrice renames herself Tris, and she is tested to determine who she really is. Her failure could leave her factionless. Her testing will reveal that she is divergent if she isn’t careful. Being divergent might just get her killed.

I can’t believe how spot on the movie was. I could completely picture the scenes while I read this book. There were only a few details left out of the movie Divergent. This book was really addictive. Even though I knew what was going to happen, I couldn’t stop reading the story. There were a few interactions left out and we get a more in depth look at Tris’ struggle to leave Abnegation and her whole family behind. The development of her relationship to Four made much more sense in the book and he was instrumental in the end. We also get more of an explanation of Tris’ fears and why Four was so different from his peers when he graduated.

I really enjoyed the character building, getting to know her friends and her fears. The author is able to draw in the reader right from the start. The location of this story is a dytopian Chicago. I liked the gradual world building in this story. The whole society is cut off from the outside. The idea that people are either of 5 personalities was really problematic for divergents because they have characteristics from more than one. The struggle to pick just one thing for the rest of your life is something a lot of young adults can probably relate to as they make career choices, so this story may feel close to home.
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on November 23, 2015
This story takes place in a future Chicago, but the characters no longer know the city by that name. In this future city, the citizens are divided into factions, based on a choice they make at the age of 16. Most choose the faction of their parents. Some do not.

The factions are Amity, the friendly farmers who provide food for the others. Then there is Candor, who believe in complete honesty all the time and cannot lie. They are the lawyers and the judges. Next is Abnegation, the selfless people who are dedicated to serving others. They run the government, because they are not corruptible. Then there is Euridite, the seekers of knowledge. They live to learn and they are the scientists and professors. Finally, there is Dauntless, the brave ones. They are the daredivels who live the freest. They guard the fence around the city to protect the citizens.

Our main character is Beatrice, a 16-year old who chooses to join Dauntless, even though she grew up a part of Abnegnation. Her story starts with the aptitude test, a test given to all 16-year olds designed to help them choose the faction they will stay in as adults. For Beatrice, the test is inconclusive, something that shouldn't happen, but Beatrice is Divergent, and that is a problem.

This story was written by a woman, and that is very clear in the story line. We have a female protagonist, but it is more than that. We get a clear picture of the relationship developing between Beatrice and Four, as well as Christina and Will, and to a lesser extent, Susan and Caleb. These relationships develop in a way that only a woman could write. In the book, you see several times the female characters taking a hero role while male characters take a lesser role. That makes this story different from most action stories I've read before, but I do find that very interesting. It is a book intended for young adults, but I found it a fun, easy read.

I would choose Amity.
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