Series Review: Divergent

Series: Divergent by Veronica Roth
Publisher: HarperCollins 2011- 2013
Genre: YA, Dystopian, Urban
Series Rating:
Source + Date Read: Library + Between 2012-2014
Recommend: For those that love a new, imaginative dystopian YA.
Series Pro’s: Kick ass females, diversity, amazing new world. It’s got a bit of stuff for everyone.
Series Con’s: The third book is a let down.
Favourite Line: “Becoming fearless isn’t the point. That’s impossible. It’s learning how to control your fear, and how to be free from it.”
Blurb: In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is–she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As situations transform them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are–and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

DivergentHalfHeart

Oh Divergent, how I love thee. Let me count the ways! So I came into Divergent in early 2012 when I was craving Dystopian fiction. I had just finished the Hunger Games and was getting pretty active on GoodReads. That was also when I started paying attention to the world of book bloggers, oooh. Somehow, I was pointed to Divergent and oh my goodness, this book rocked my world.

I am a sucker, I mean a huge sucker for excellent world building and Roth did such an amazing, imaginative thing when she created this dystopian Chicago! The notion of factions was amazing to me. I found it intriguing and I gobbled this book up in a night! What’s not to love about it? I thought the book was well written with great characters. It had every kind of trope you needed to get into it, there were bad guys and there were good guys, but what I liked the most were that some of the bad guys were also good, and some of the good guys also bad. Plus, kick ass female lead! And yall know I love me some kick ass women. Overall, I had to give this 4½ hearts because it truly was an amazing first read.

Yes there were a few things that irked me, such as the Dauntless were not so brave as purely reckless in my opinion. I understand this notion of beating fear, and the fear landscapes truly do show that, but jumping in and out of trains doesn’t show that you’re brave but pretty darn reckless. And I still don’t understand why the Erudite hate the Abnegation so much, having read the end of the book I understand why, but did it justify the completely shameless violence by which the Erudite sought their take over? And why use people? Sigh, so many questions.

BTW, team Candor for the win! Well that’s who I’d have chosen anyway.

Insurgent

I quite enjoyed this book though lesser so than the first. I appreciated that Roth expanded a great deal on the world building and factions from the first book. We get to see a bit more of Amity and how other people have sided with or against the Erudite in their quest for power.

What I truly appreciated about this book was Roth starting to break down the notion of the faction and how this system was created to create peace, but in reality, however, such categorizations are not feasible and as such, other methods of control were devised to give the illusion of a working faction system.

This book also strongly explores the theme of technological advancement and the pros and cons of such advancement. Some of Erudite’s toys were used for good and some used for bad, showing that technology is inherently neutral but human manipulation of it makes the technology complicated.
In short, people are complicated and make bad decisions. Oh, and I really don’t like Four’s family member that was introduced (can’t say who for the love of spoilers).

Allegiant HalfHeart

I didn’t like this book and it broke my heart in all kinds of ways. To sum it up in an overly excited, fandom way:

  1. What the hell is with that ending?
  2. Tori. Sobs.
  3. So that’s why the faction system developed? I’m not sure I like this premise. How the hell did they manage to keep it secret for so long? I think people are a tad too distrustful to keep this farce going on for as long as it did in the books.
  4. THAT ENDING.

Divider

Despite Allegiant’s low rating I have to give this series a 4 overall because the quality of the first and second books completely tip the scale for me. I didn’t like the third book, but that doesn’t mean it was bad, it just means I didn’t like the turn it took though I understand why Roth did it the way she did.

I also chose not to pay attention to Tris‘ and Four’s relationship in this book because it wasn’t something that was a big thing for me. It happened. Done.

Recommend: HELLZ YES, now please, go get the books.
Final Series Rating:

Next week I have a Film vs Book smash up for Divergent scheduled, so stay tuned!

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About Claire (BWB)

It's Claire (aka Quirky) from Bitches With Books, an online book blog that serves up a healthy dose of book reviews, lists + literary madness.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Dystopian, YA and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Series Review: Divergent

  1. Pingback: 2012 Reads | Bitches With Books

  2. Pingback: 2013 Reads | Bitches With Books

  3. I really love this series, but like you I was really disappointed with Allegiant. I didn’t like the way her narrative style changed, and for me that kind of gave away the ending. Which is a shame because the first two books are SO good! I found it hard to distinguish between Tris and Four when she was alternating their perspectives.
    Thanks for your post! Really good review ☺

  4. Alise (Readers in Wonderland) says:

    Totally agree about Divergent! Loved it so much. Unfortunately, I’ve heard so many people say what you said about Insurgent and Allegiant (plus the ending of Allegiant was spoiled for me) so I’m really hesitant to read the rest of the series. I do really like the sound of learning more about the factions though, those were really interesting!

  5. DoingDewey says:

    I actually really disliked the world building in Divergent. I just don’t believe things would ever end up the way they are in this series and I think it’s crazy to suggest that being a mix of traits is unusual. I don’t think anyone would fit neatly into one of the factions! I did like Tris though and having decided not to go on with this series myself, I think I’ll always be excited to read other people’s thoughts. Great review! 🙂

    • Claire (BWB) says:

      Hahaha, I think the reasons why you don’t like it are the reasons why I do! I like things that can conceivably never happen. It almost elevates it to fantasy for me. Thanks so much <3!

  6. Hah, I actually thought the ending was the best part of Allegiant, which I didn’t love as a whole. I thought, “FINALLY _____ (name of character) does something reckless that is actually worthwhile.” Maybe that was too harsh…

    And Divergent was definitely my favorite book of the series, too. Seems like a lot of people agree from what I’ve heard.

    • Claire (BWB) says:

      Well that’s true. _____ character was prone to sheer ridiculous recklessness that wasn’t justifiable so, in the end they actually did something that had a point. But I still don’t like Allegiant.

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