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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 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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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 August 20, 2014
(SPOILER FREE, as much as possible) Where to begin …

I really enjoyed the first book, liked the second well enough, but the series fell flat in the third installment.

DIVERGENT (5 STARS) The first book is interesting and the character development strong. I enjoyed all of the characters, even the more despicable ones, as the author did a great job of making dynamic primary and secondary characters. The world she built is interesting, and felt real and alive. I loved seeing the growth of the characters as the new experiences broadened their horizons. The ending was fast paced and poignant. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it, but…

INSURGENT (4 STARS) I enjoyed the second book, but not as much as the first. We are introduced to more of the factions and begin to get a stronger feel for the strengths and weaknesses of each faction, as well as the faction system itself. Seeing more of this broken world was fascinating. I became frustrated with the Tris and Four, but still enjoyed their journey. The end, though good, left me feeling like "haven't we done this before?". The world crumbles, where to go next. I enjoyed the second book, but …

ALLEGIANT (2 STARS) I agree with every review regarding the POV. I have read a number of books in which the point of view switches in order to get a broader picture of the conflicts and situations at hand. Most succeed. Roth did not. Tris and Four sound so similar that it was difficult to remember which was narrating. The plot itself was ok, but I expected more … well, just more. The plot becomes ridiculously complex, while at the same time under-explored. And the introduction of so many new characters, settings, etc. distract greatly from the development of our now robotic main characters. Whatever growth of character we found in the first book and, to a lesser degree, in the second, is completely absent in the third installment. The strong characters we know and love have been replaced by shadows of their former selves. We see an abundance of weaknesses, with very little growth. I was disappointed in the ending. It left me feeling flat. It drags what could have been a memorable series into the realm of mediocrity. I had read reviews warning me not to read the third installment, and I wish that I had heeded those warnings.
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on October 17, 2015
First things first, while many gave only One Star, most gave it between Three - Five Stars. The way I rate what I read is to Start with Five Stars and deduct from there. I found this Book without the usual reasons I deduct stars so I gave it the full Five Stars. To date, I have only given a total of Six 1 Star reviews, this one won't be added to that (short) list.

I originally started reading this series because of my daughter. I find at times the lack of either swearing or sexual promiscuity in YA novels and books refreshing. Don't get me wrong, I love a book regardless of swearing or sexual descriptions. If you've ever read a Matt Shaw book, you know what I mean (I have almost everything he's ever written). That said, on to my review.

Beatrice Prior's world is divided into five factions. When a teen reaches a certain age, they are tested for faction placement, then given the chance to join a fraction of their own choosing. Most stay in the same faction all their lives. The tests have been so fine tuned they are never wrong, and only give one result, that is until Beatrice Prior takes hers (Tris). Her test is immediately erased and manually keyed in by the test instructor, who mysteriously whispers she is divergent, and to tell NO one about her results, not even her parents.

So come initiation day, Beatrice shocks the entire community, when she chooses Dauntless. The only faction where brave, reckless thrill seekers are free to be different (to a point) is unlike any other faction, it's also the best place for her to hide her differences, to keep her secret. Because in her world, what makes you different makes you dangerous. There's so much more I could say, but anything else after these first, beginning chapters, and I would be heading into spoiler territory. So I will stop here, you will just have to read the book to find out the rest.

The Characters were well developed, with enough of background information slowly being revealed as the story progresses (instead of a lump amount that forces you to skip pages out of detail-boredom) allows you to become emotionally invested with the characters and their lives. The storyline was well thought out, keeping you captivated as events unfold. By the time you reach the end of the first book, you are completely and emotionally invested with the main and secondary characters and can't wait to start the next book in this trilogy. Keep in mind it is a trilogy so there is a lot of unanswered questions and loose ends, not to mention the cliffhanger ending. Still, I finished this first in the trilogy in a little over a day.

The world the characters live in is so believable, if it weren't for an overwhelming need to get up and stretch my legs, I probably would've read all night and beyond until I finished this first book, then continuing on to the next two, completed the entire series (the blessing and curse of buying the complete trilogy bundle).

First Book? Definitely a Highly Recommended read.

NOTE: I purchased this book as part of the "The Divergent Series [Complete Collection] Bundle." It's the Perfect way to not only have the completed Trilogy in one place, but will save you money in the long run as well. A portion of this review is also at the Kindle Store's Complete Trilogy page as well.
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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 May 14, 2016
Actual rating 3.5 stars

There was a lot of hype around this trilogy, and I resisted picking up the box set for a few years after being disappointed with some other YA series released around the same time. News of a film franchise being kicked off is what finally encouraged me to start reading. Though I didn’t power through the books – I really enjoyed ‘Divergent’ and rated it for the experience I had, thinking this was going to be an amazing trilogy. I’m not a big lover of dystopian novels, so the subsequent sequels were spread out over the following two years, each spurned on by looming release dates of the film franchise.

Overall, it is a fun, imaginative and gritty series, but I would probably recommend some others in this genre to my friends before the Divergent trilogy. My satisfaction diminished with each volume. It has a great conclusion, but ultimately the narrative style is what dragged my rating down.

I’d probably rate the boxed set as a solid 3.5. It has become a big part of the YA reading culture, and with the films, hard to ignore. So while a phenomenal story, fantastic packaging and a strong female protagonist role model, it didn’t make the impact on me I’d hoped for… whether my expectations had been elevated by the hype, or that I did not gel with Roth’s writing style, it’s still an action packed journey worth a look.

On the whole I feel as though I have enjoyed the movie franchise a lot better than the books, especially the SPFX, and much of the superfluous story lines stripped away, leaving it compact and throwing a punch. Really excited to see the final movie, 'Ascendant.'

To read individual reviews:
[...]
[...]
[...]
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on March 20, 2015
I got finished this book. Kaboom, that was a mind blowing ending. For those of you that didn’t enjoy Insurgent as much as the first, I get you. Those of you that stuck it out know exactly what I am talking about. I must start the sequel immediately! I just wanted to write this review, while I am still reeling from this.

This book starts off right where Divergent left us, with Tris and Tobias being joined by the rest of Abnegation. They are all wanted now, so they must find a safe place. They first go to Amity faction to find shelter, and hopefully allies. Half of Dauntless joins them there. Tempers don’t fare so well in peace loving Amity communities, so they move on to Candor. I can’t reveal too much else, just know that there is a lot of scene changing in this book. Simulations stick out in my mind, Tris and Four aren’t always perfectly matched and there is some angst there, bad guy(s) from the first book reemerge, and the secrets revealed really make this book worth reading.

I struggled with parts of this story. Like, second book syndrome reared it’s ugly head. I found a part around chapter 28ish where I thought the book should be wrapping up, and then it didn’t. In my narrow thinking, I imagined that was the climax. I was thinking, how many lives does Tris have, exactly? I was just telling my daughter this morning that I am so done with the whole series as soon as I finish the last two chapters. I can’t stomach Tris throwing herself into danger one. more. time. Then the biggest secret is revealed in those last two chapters, and now I just want to go back and read it again. I am sure I missed something there.

The author is some sort of mad genius for making us wait this whole book to reveal that. It was hinted at, sure, but I really didn’t guess where it was going to lead us. This book really paints the other factions and the underestimated Factionless so we can understand their roles and the way that they live. Tris’ testing results for three factions, (Erudite, Abnegation, and Dauntless) starts to make sense. Her relationship with Four is slowly building and she learns so much more about him and his relationship to his parents. The next book has a lot of loose ends to tie up. I can’t wait to get to it.

I have to take it down a bit because there was some dragging out in this book. The issues Tris and Four have with being honest with each other just bothered me. I don’t need this angst in the middle of all the other things going on in this story. I am hoping the movie will have better pacing. I would still recommend this to fans of the first book.
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on December 23, 2016
Tris Prior knows what Erudite is doing. And she is going to do whatever she can to stop. Tris, Tobias, Peter, Christina, Uriah, and more are back. But will they make it out alive, or will the effects of grief, guilt, and revenge cause death and destruction to the factions as they know it and the people trying to save themselves and the entire society?

I loved this book, I read it in one sitting. I loved that the characters were not perfect. Tobias and Tris had some fighting, development, and all the characters developed and had great personalities. You see Tris struggle with her past and what has happened, and I love how her thoughts and actions make her seem real and relatable. The pace was good, not too fast or too slow, and the story kept me on the edge of seat and was full of suspense.

Parental Guidance/Age: Do not remember language but there might be. Brief sex scene and kissing throughout. People are killed fairly frequently and some intense scenes. 13+

Genre: Great for dystopian lovers and action fans. 2nd Divergent book.
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on May 13, 2016
After reading The Hunger Games and falling in love, I was directed to Divergent. The second book in the series was available for pre-order, so lucky for me there was a lot of updates and reviews about the book... They sounded decent so I figured it was worth a shot...

Now, it's one of my top 5 all time favorite series!!

Veronica Roth was totally surprising as a first time author and wrote so vividly that years later, I can talk about the book and picture the whole world that she created. I'll admit that it was a little slow starting, but it didn't take long to catch up/on... And then I was hooked.

I absolutely adore the lead characters - you get to see their flaws, their strengths, the way they see their world. I loved "feeling" the doubt and the resolute determination to not succumb to weakness. Even as an adult, I could relate to so many different aspects of these characters. I could understand where certain ideas came from, how a character could equate their options at hand, see the debates. Without spoiling anything, it was such a pleasant surprise that characters were not instantly disliked or favored by the main character, yet the reasoning behind her emotions were explained and completely relevant.

Technically, it's YA but I genuinely feel like it's one of those rare stories with such incredible characters that it transcends age limits and is easily relate-able to any given person... Or at least, any person who's ever had questions about who they were and how they fit in, anyone who's had self-doubt, anyone who had to fight their self-proclaimed weakness...Just get through the first chapter and you won't be able to put this series down!
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