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Showing 1-10 of 30,087 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 36,297 reviews
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 October 19, 2016
It felt like every other page she was commenting about his eyes, or something like that.

The basic premise of separating people into personality factions seems kind of irrational. Furthermore, divergent people would seem to stabilize the system since they could best act as a bridge between factions, so one would think they would be celebrated.

Why on earth would anyone hold animosity against abnegation - they immediately care about anyone else who has hostility towards them. One would think they would have long since worked to bridge the gap with the Erudites. Oh, and the fact that the Erudites hate them in the first place seems pretty irrational as well - lots of pretty smart people in there, and yet they all seem to drink in the same silly baseless arguments. It was just more than I could accept.

Oh, and let us not forget the end. Injecting people with a serum that makes them susceptible to mind control rays? Really? I picked it up curious and hopeful, but I don't think I could make myself read the sequels.
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on January 12, 2015
I read this book and absolutely LOVED it. The second one was even better! I read them both within 3 nights! However, after reading the third book I can honestly say I wish I could un-read the entire series. The author completely destroyed an amazing story... I have never been so disappointed about a book/series. I hate to offer up a SPOILER but I truly wish I would've seen one so I wouldn't have wasted time and emotional investment in these wonderful characters... Tris dies. In the most unnecessary, unsatisfying, ridiculous way. The end of the story doesn't make sense and will make you wish you'd never read it.
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on May 23, 2012
I'm attempting to write a review of a "book" which I won't be able to give justice to. Insurgent is a story at it's finest, a book at its best, awesome to the fullest. The extreme plot, complex characters and unexpected twists and turns of events that never fail to surprise and amaze the readers made this book a
one huge awesome read. I can't tell you how much I love this series!

Once again I was thrown into the world of Divergent, beautiful and terrifying at the same time. The story immediately picked up where the first book left off--Tris, Four, Caleb, Peter, and Marcus--in the train heading to the Amity compound. I'm glad that this time, Insurgent gave me a glimpse of what it is to live inside Amity, the faction dedicated to pursue peace. In the same way that the readers were given the opportunity to see how to live in Candor.

There are so many things to love about Insurgent, and I won't be able to finish if I state them all. But what I loved the most is Four (*swoon). I love it because I get to know him more in this book. Though there are lots of readers who seemed to be so irritated by him, I think he remains strong and amazing. And though Tris annoyed me from time to time because of her recklessness, I'd say that she's the most effective heroine I've ever met. She's strong-willed and smart and absolutely kick-ass. She suffered a lot--the death of her parents, the destruction of Abnegation, and the guilt of killing his friend Will--but she remains strong all through out the story. I just hope that Tris learned to trust Four, and not be stupid to think that Four will just let her go and do whatever it is that she wanted even if she risk her life. I want to pin-point one thing that Tris must have been missing the whole time: Four will always come to the rescue no matter what. He ends up saving her all the time. And Four should have trusted Tris more. I see that both main characters have their own issues to deal with like trusting each other and learning how to communicate with each other better. I hope they will learn to work this out in the next book to spare the readers some heartache that may result from stabbing one another out of arguments whether who is most infuriating of the two! Believe me, I felt stabbed a million times now! *winks*lol*

The setting of the story is as great as ever. The pacing is perfect! No dull moment, no boring ones. Most of the times I was expecting something to happen and then my heart throbs, my stomach flutters. But what's great is that they come when I'm least expecting them--always surprising, shocking even. Action-packed, full of suspense and lots of exciting moments. This book will leave you breathless. The characters are amazing as ever. Friends and enemies aren't what they seem. You'll hate some of those you loved, and love some of those you hated. The turn of events will question what you believe, who to trust, and where to stand. The twists and the revelations will amaze you once again, something that Veronica Roth didn't fail to give her readers.

I don't think my rating can ever give justice to it. I would give it a "10" if I could. I will definitely give this book the highest possible rating I can give. This book is what you call "the total page-turner." It did not disappoint, it will never disappoint. Undeniably and irrevocably, this book will take it's place beside Divergent -- there on top of the list of my most favorite books.

To Miss Veronica Roth,
Once again, consider me awed.
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on May 1, 2012
First Impressions: I had been looking forward to reading Insurgent ever since I finished reading Divergent (for the millionth time) last year. One morning I woke up and before I even had my morning coffee, I heard a nice thud outside of my front door. I kind of feel like there should have been fireworks and confetti when I opened up the package and laid my hands on my pretty proof of Insurgent. I hugged it. I stroked the cover, and it gained its place at the top of my review pile. My precious..... If you haven't already read Divergent, you need to go get a copy NOW! You are missing out on reading an amazing trilogy and trust me; you don't want to miss these books.

First 50 Pages: The beginning of Insurgent picks up right where Divergent left off, luckily. I was hoping there wouldn't be any gaps in time between the first book and the second, and there wasn't. I was also worried that Insurgent would suffer from Sophomore Slump, but it didn't. If fact, I think I enjoyed Insurgent more than I did Divergent because this book has a ton of action and more character development. However, the world-building in both books is phenomenal. I would love to know how Veronica Roth comes up with the things that she does, because even though this world she dreamed up is crazy (and awesome), it never seems too far-fetched. The Young Adult market is so flooded with dystopian novels right now that aren't plausible, with the exception of a select few, including the Divergent/Insurgent novels.

Characters & Plot: I'll do my best to keep this part as spoiler-free as possible so I don't ruin anything for anyone, but there might be some minor spoilers, so readers beware.

Like I stated above, Insurgent picks up right where Divergent left off. Tris is heading back to the Amity headquarters, not to mention being devastated from having to watch a good majority of her family murdered and from murdering one of her best friends, Will, while he was under a simulation. All of the consequences of the events that happened in Divergent begin to truly take its toll on Tris and she has a lot of feelings and emotions she has to work through.

Four, Caleb, and Marcus are also accompanying Tris as they travel to not only Amity, but Candor as well. They need to let everyone know about the war against Abnegation and that they have teamed up with Dauntless and Erudite. Unfortunately, they gain no support from either faction. A lot happens in Insurgent and it is easy to get confused on what exactly is going on. Jeanine Matthews is still on the loose and is collecting Divergent people for a purpose that isn't fully known. Four's mom also makes a comeback as the leader of the Factionless, and all sorts of other sub-plots and hell break loose. Veronica Roth makes it increasingly difficult to be able to choose sides and to be able to see which factions are the real villains, compared to the factions that have made bad choices. It is an incredibly complex story that somehow just works and I'm not sure any other author would have been able to put together so many different ideas that flow together so well.

Another relief of mine was the fact the Roth decided not to include a love triangle when it comes to Four and Tris' relationship. I was really worried that she would, because it seems like the thing to do in Young Adult novels, but she didn't. However, there are some personality issues that are going on in Insurgent that has changed from Divergent, and the couple endures their own struggles because of the varying feelings and emotions they are experiencing. Tris feels very helpless and is depressed for the majority of the story and it comes across in her recklessness. Four, or Tobias as he is called more often in this book, is a little more edgy in Insurgent, and does his best trying to do well for Tris, but he has his struggles and you can't help but to feel bad for him. Tris doesn't always make his job as the good boyfriend, easy.

Final Thoughts: There is a HUGE revelation that takes place in the final half of Insurgent and the book ends with a cliffhanger that is going to drive me absolutely insane until I can read the last and final book. Insurgent surpassed my expectations and I foresee it ending up on every single "Best of 2012" list later this year. Without a doubt, I very highly recommend picking up your own copy of Insurgent when it comes out May 1st!
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on April 2, 2013
Divergent is a straight-forward young adult drama-turned-action utopian story set in the near future. It has been oft compared to The Hunger Games, and that is a fair comparison if only for the fact that it involves a supposedly-perfect society in the future and centers around an adolescent girl with blooming, previously unknown potential.

The story takes place at some undefined time in the future in a `fallen-and-restored' version of Chicago, Illinois (this is never expressly clarified, but the hints are there. Plus, it's the author's home city). In this society, there are five factions or sub-cultures within the culture, each with their own traits and chosen ways of life. The factions each have elders that make decisions for all the people as a whole, though there is no president or sole person in charge. When a child turns sixteen, he or she is tested for what faction they would best fit into, which may or may not be the faction they were born in. The test results are only for evaluation and reference, as the child still has the option of staying in their home faction or moving on to another, regardless of suggestion.

The book opens with Beatrice on her testing day, and the faction-choosing day that follows. This, if you hadn't guessed, is where things take a turn from the norm. It's also where this `Divergent' term comes in, but I shan't ruin that part.

To be honest, the plot takes a little while to get moving, even after Beatrice chooses her faction and begins training. If the book has one flaw, it is the author's lack of detail. When I sit down to read a `sci-fi' novel describing a version of humanity's future that differs greatly from our present, I want to know, in at least moderate detail, how things are different. What advances have been made technologically to improve life? What does the architecture look like? How do people dress? A small amount of this information is revealed as the story progresses, but I failed to get an accurate, overall picture of what this future really looked and felt like because the plot is largely dialogue-driven. Through the speech, one gets hints of the surroundings and situation of life, but the scenes are frustratingly acute in their focus.

I realize that this is, after all, a novel written primarily for teens, so you may perceive I'm expecting too much from a young adult novel and feel tempted to suggest I go read some Tolkien. I understand that; I'm saying the lack of detail is blaring in this story, and it was a bummer because it could have been stellar. Other readers may not be so bothered by it.

Alright, on to the good stuff: the plot is pretty original, or at least it tries to be. It would be hard to be completely original in the wake of books like 1984 or Brave New World, as most books of this sort of kind of trickle-down copies of one of those, including The Hunger Games. But Roth still makes it fun to read, and once you really become familiar with the different factions and what they stand for, their society (and it's flaws) start to gain some depth. The characters are enjoyable and diverse, especially the chemistry between Beatrice and a faction trainer named Four.

This book has been criticized for it's violence, but I did not find it to be excessive or unnecessary. There is no more violent content than can be found in the later Harry Potter books or Hunger Games. Plus, it's presence in the story is tasteful and makes for compelling action. Additionally, the `simulation' scenes, in which characters literally face their fears in a virtual-reality type setting, are among the most creative and exciting sections of the book. They are intense, widely varying, and some are undeniably creepy.

I got the feeling that there is something big and weighty buried beneath the subtext of this book; something larger than the lives of these kids in factions, something that could shake their reality forever. This is the first of three books, so I reckon that the author is building up to something epic which will unfold later. Divergent does have an ending of it's own with an exciting climax, and while it doesn't exactly end on a cliffhanger, there are definitely some threads intentionally left unconnected. Also, the villains (the ones who aren't blatantly obvious) are being hinted at all through the book, but never fully acknowledged, so I'm sure they will come into play later as well.

For what it is, Divergent is a good book full of interesting ideas, a writing style that is easy to read, and events that keep one tearing through large chunks in one sitting and coming back for more. A fun little piece of escapism with promise of greater things to come.
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on March 25, 2014
My review is based on how the series ended and the way the last book was written


Third book - This book was an awful disappointment. My main issue was the going back and forth between Tris and Tobias in every other chapter. It drove me nuts flipping back and forth. I love first person books, but if you are going to write first person, stick with it. But that brings me to the second reason I hate this book and consequently the series - the killing off of the main character. I don't need rainbows and happy endings, but what I do need is at least the main character surviving, even if damaged. I feel like I wasted my time reading this series and I refuse to go see the movie now and further fund this horrible series. Here's a better review to look at if mine isn't enough to convince you not to waste your money.
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on March 20, 2013
Veronica Roth's writing style makes reading Insurgent easy while the emotional impact the story holds is such more significant. Insurgent didn't feel weighted down with a heavy reminder of every detail from Divergent, something many sequels do to help you remember the story. Instead, by Insurgent picking up right where Divergent left off, the story seemed to flow easily together.

In Divergent, Tris not only was tested but was forced to witness and defend herself against those she considered friends. Though they weren't under their own control, Tris has to come to accept what has happened and struggle with the truth as any character would.

Roth reminds us that Tris is real. Her emotions are genuine and although she is often conflicted at times, it is what makes her human. Her actions aren't always honest to those she loves and it's the flaws that make her someone we can relate to. She's also grown as a character, from the beginning of Divergent through the end of Insurgent. I'm curious and looking forward to seeing where the next book goes with her character.

Insurgent was a quick read and a constant page-turner. The story offered many twists and turns as it unfolded. The romance between Tris and Four offered a few much needed happy moments (in both Divergent and Insurgent).

With some heavier subject matter I'd recommend Insurgent for ages fifteen and up.
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on May 18, 2011
I read a lot of buzz about this book, so I didn't doubt that it would be good. But I thought it would be just another dystopian since that genre is hot right now. And then I worried about the five factions of society mentioned in the book--Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite. The book's description sort of overwhelmed me, and I thought I might get confused by all these factions.

I wasn't confused at all! This book is well-written and the author has fantastic world building skills, so I became pulled into this future realm. Tris is a young woman whose family is in the Abnegation faction, so they're all selfless and do-gooding. All sixteen year olds have to pick a faction and stick to it, and when Tris turns that ripe age she goes into training to become part of the Dauntless faction. She has to dedicate herself to becoming brave and fearless. If a person does not pass her training, she becomes a factionless outcast of society. Away from her family, Tris lives and trains with brutal characters who build her strength and test her will. But she's more than just a former Abnegation becoming Dauntless. She's Divergent, with characteristics of more than one faction. This makes her dangerous. Enemies are lurking, wanting to get rid of her because she poses a threat to them and their plans for the government.

This novel is genius. There was never a dull moment with constant action and big reveals. I also loved Tris' transformation. In the beginning she's seen as a cold "stiff" (since those in Abnegation act and dress plainly), but she blossoms into a badass. She even gets some sugar in the form of a dishy Dauntless boy. I wish the second book was out right now so I could read it.
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on March 16, 2014
Always interesting to see how a story will play out when it is told from one perspective and this time it's from Tris. But man if this story had come from Tobias, it would have been something to RAVE ABOUT. Mind you Divergent to me, is a five-star story for the ability of Ms. Roth to engage the reader. She is a gifted writer. Truly out of this world on many levels. If I had one criticism it comes from the way Tris thinks about herself. The self references as being small and childlike were speed bumps. I kept getting the impression she was about four feet tall and underdeveloped. A strange way for a sixteen-year old to think about herself but given the arc she is following, I understand the "why." Thank goodness there is Tobias or Four. Mega character to wait and watch as he comes into the story, then takes over and is magnetic. Chicago was amusing to read about as a setting into the future. I was entertained enough to buy the whole series so I guess that says it all insofar as a recommendation. Reading book 2 now.
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