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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 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 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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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 January 30, 2015
I finally picked this up after waiting patiently for not only the movie to come out but for the trilogy to be complete. The idea of having to wait to read the entire series because it isn't out yet is rather annoying, so I'd just rather wait then get obsessive over it. Lets just say, if I didn't wait I definitely would have obsessed over when the next book comes out. I finished this in a sitting... mainly because I just broke night and read through it until the end. It was great! And I am so excited for the movie to come out on DVD so I can pick it up and finally watch it. I have been spoiled for some parts of the movie and some parts of the books thanks to Tumblr and Instagram, but still an amazing read... something I was not expecting. Lets just I have already ordered both Insurgent and Allegiant so I can get right into it. Although it bothers me that I had to get them both in Hardcopy, when my Divergent copy is in Paperback, but you know what... I'm that excited to finish the series. Plus I'm tired of getting spoiled so much. By now you can already tell I loved the book, I loved the world and the story building. I thought it was incredible! I loved Tris as the heroine, and when I say love I mean LOVE. Apart from Hermione, she is one of my favorite female characters! She was just amazing. And of course I loved Four, he was awesome as well! I just really enjoyed the book so much, I don't know what took me so long to read this! Definitely Highly Recommended!
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on September 26, 2014
Originally posted on my blog: Tangled Up In Books

When dystopia is done right there is nothing like it in the world. All of the contemporary, paranormal, historical, even epic fantasies will never measure up to how I feel when I get lost in these worlds. It is my all time favorite genre. So why has it taken me so long to finally read Divergent? I'm always afraid, almost doubly so when it comes to books that are surrounded by a lot of hype, what if this is one that disappoints me? Is it just going to be like all the rest?

--The other factions celebrate birthdays, but we don't. It would be self-indulgent.

The dystopian Chicago world that Veronica Roth has created is definitely unique, unlike any others I've read so far. It was interesting to learn a bit about the 5 different factions, a few more so than the others at this point, and also see how they interacted in a mixed setting like the high school in the beginning of the book. The way they all carry themselves and behave are so vastly different. I was fascinated by it all and it had me thinking, in the beginning, when I just had those brief first impressions, what faction would I choose? It felt like there was a bit of a benefit with each one, though I'm not sure I'd have survived Candor. 100% honesty at all times? I'm not one for lying and dishonesty but sometimes letting someone off easy instead of brutal honesty just feels better. Yeah I would not survive Candor. But the rest initially seemed to be groups I'd enjoy being around. That idea didn't stick around for long.

--"Just because we're in the same faction doesn't mean we get along."

As with books of this nature there are going to be characters you love and characters you all out despise. This book has both types in spades. And then there were those that flipped a switch on me before I finished, both in good ways and bad ones. It wound up making me cautious and start to doubt who I trust and who I don't. I adore Tris, she kicks some major ass. She's definitely one of my favorite female heroines. So strong and so smart. In a lot of ways this girl comes off as being full of confidence but underneath that there's a bit of fear and vulnerability even a bit of doubt within herself that helps her feel more real and more likable. And Four had me intrigued before I even opened the book. I mean if you've heard about this series then you've heard the girls are crazy about Four. I can see why. It's a very slow process learning about this guy and what's underneath the tough guy that everyone sees him as. He's definitely a mystery. Still don't know everything about him but he's already been placed up there with all my other book boyfriends. I can't wait to dive into Insurgent and find out what's next for these two.

--"A kiss is not something you do in public."

I am a romantic at heart and I love a good love story like the next person. But what I love about Divergent, so far at least, is that any sort of romance is really just sort of a side story and it's not the main focus of the book. All the kissing of the boys and the swoons and the fluttering of the heart are all awesome, but when I read dystopia I want creative worlds and conflicts and action and uprisings, rebellions. I want everything to fall apart and I want to be stressing out wondering how in the hell these people are going to come back from everything that's happened. I want all the things! And this book is full of all that, or at least beginnings of them in some cases. Jumping off moving trains and rooftops. Wars between factions. Shootings. Death. Friendships. Betrayals. It has it all and it was amazing. I am irrevocably in love with this series so far and you can bet once I type the last word in this review I'm picking up Insurgent, which is sitting right next to me, and you better not even think about disturbing me!
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