Lyndsey's Reviews > Divergent

Divergent by Veronica Roth
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Jul 21, 11

bookshelves: tour, my-top-dystopian-or-utopian, reviewed-2011
Read in June, 2011


Everything that rises must Diverge.

Or that seems to be the philosophy of this book. Divergent poses that as a society progresses, it becomes more segregated, as opposed to more integrated. Likely? NO. Fun? HELL YES.

Does it smell like Hunger Games in here to you?

Check out the video for this Hunger Games parody at the end of the article Part Two of The Best YouTube Book Trailers.

Imagine a culture where everyone is separated into groups based on their one key defining character trait.

One of these five traits: Honesty. Selflessness. Intelligence. Bravery. Peacefulness.

We all know that honesty is the best policy and that money is the root... YAWN!! We want to know about those dystopian shenanigans!

Some of the Dystopian Shenanigans in Divergent

* Jumping off moving things.
* Jumping off tall things.
* Climbing tall things.
* Making out with a camp counselor, I mean, another member of Dauntless. Haha, whoops, just got, um, confused there for a second. *clears throat* I wouldn't know anything about making out with a camp counselor. Because, yeah, who does that?


Beatrice Prior is a member of Abnegation, the selfless, but she dreams of another life. One where she can look at her own reflection without being scolded or dress in something other than a gray potato sack (Fine, they don't actually wear potato sacks, but it sounds like they might as well have). So she chooses to join Dauntless, the fearless and brave, and her life, as well as her disappointed family's, is forever altered. Now known as Tris, she gets thrown into a world of speeding trains, speeding bullets, and unusual looking lead male characters.

You want to know about our Dauntless hottie?

Here are a few snippets of description: The corners of his mouth turn down naturally. He has very long thin fingers, a scar on his chin, and eye sockets that are so deep they sound like a deformity when described by Tris, with eyes so dark blue they're almost black... and a light blue patch in those eyes.

So basically, he looks like.....this?


My Beatrisssssssssssss.

Regardless of the less than stellar description of our love interest, named Four, I still managed to imagine him as a hottie toward the end. (Click to see how I really imagined him.) However, I just wasn't all that interested in him, which seems to be a common occurrence for me lately. Color me blinded by Barrons, I guess. Nearly every love interest I have read since, just doesn't live up to my expectations.

Now, a love interest who would have been intriguing and a major shock: Peter. This douchebag was the Dauntless nemesis of both Four and Tris: however, he was way more interesting to me than Four. If he had turned out to be the other Divergent and had been just acting like a jerk the entire time, it could have been different for me. There was an instant where I thought, "Maybe?" But alas, no. He was still just being a douche.

I have to say that, although the world itself doesn't make much sense, since when does any oppressive society make SENSE? At least to those of us who have common sense. Horrible and ridiculous things happen all the time and there have been many ages of oppression throughout history. None of them make a hell of a lot of sense. Slavery? The holocaust? Genocide? Nope, I don't get it. But that doesn't mean it can't and won't happen.

If you are one for analyzing the politics and economics of the world you are reading about, then this one may fall short for you. If you are someone who can easily suspend your disbelief in favor of action and new experiences, then you just might love this. Me? Well, I fall somewhere in between, but more toward loving it.

For nay-sayers who claim that dystopian fiction is unrealistic because those kinds of societies would never work:

I think that is the point these books are trying to make, isn't it? It doesn't work. That's why those types of government either self-destruct or are deconstructed by others, and those who initiate those governments either fall apart or are taken apart. That's one reason that I think books like this are so important; they exist to remind us what humans are capable of: the good and the bad.

Humans can kill and be killed, give life and have it taken from them, love or hate, help others or help destroy them.

Even though this book concentrates on just 5 important characteristics, there are so many more traits that are important. So, what character trait is your strongest? Are you brave? Helpful? Funny? Creative? A good listener? What trait can you use to help transform others? Or the world? That's a question that can be found in between the lines of this book, and it's an important one. One that we should all ask ourselves.

Divergent was one of those books that just consumed every corner of my mind while I was reading it. As much as I love The Hunger Games, the subsequent deterioration of my interest in the sequels still weighs heavy on my mind. Here's to hoping that this is a series that only gets better with age.


You can find this review along with bonus material on my blog: Strangemore.


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Comments (showing 1-50 of 50) (50 new)

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Cait That's exactly what I felt when I read it; especially about Four. I pretty much had to make him up myself because I was so turned off about the deep eye sockets, fingers, etc. It probably took about half the book to imagine him as good looking again. Definitely not the best love-intrest I've ever read.


Crystal Starr Light For some reason, I read him to look like that guy from The Vampire Diaries, and I was okay.

Paul Wesley vampire diaries


Chichipio This is a great review of a book I didn't like very much. Maybe it was because I had trouble understanding Tris's crush on Four, since that's exactly how I pictured him in my head.

My problem with some of this books isn't that this kind of society doesn't work; it's how they even came to be in the first place. Slavery and The holocaust I can understand. There are political and economic reasons that explain their inception, spread, and finally, their end.
In layman's terms:
(view spoiler)

But in cases like this? Thin, pretty thin.

And in my case, it didn't help that most of the action during much of the book was just practice. That took out most of the urgency.

(view spoiler)


message 4: by Underpressure (last edited Jul 20, 2011 10:28AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Underpressure you're hilarious!


message 5: by Cait (last edited Jul 20, 2011 10:28AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cait Ohhhh..... I could live with that! Or the other guy from the same show!


I know you can't tell but his eyes are blue, and he was hot when he was younger like in this picture, or, at least I think so.


message 6: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo Hahaha this review is hilarious.
I love dystopian shenanigans.


Lyndsey Chichipio wrote: "I hope you can appreciate how I'm trying to divert attention from certain camp related incident. I just hope it wasn't "band camp." Well, unless you want to tell the story. In that case, you have the floor"

Um... Well, it was definitely NOT church camp! That's for sure. *sly grin*

And I'm sorry but I still don't understand the Holocaust. When things like that happen, I'm sure it makes sense to someone at some point. Thing is: we weren't ever really told how or why it started in this book. Maybe if we had been, that would have helped. It might have even been a 5 in that case.


Lyndsey Cait wrote: "Ohhhh..... I could live with that! Or the other guy from the same show!


I know you can't tell but his eyes are blue, and he was hot when he was younger like in this picture, or, at least I thi..."


Oh Cait, he is ALWAYS hot. And I'm so glad that I wasn't the only who thought Four's description sounded awful.


message 9: by Gloria (last edited Jul 20, 2011 10:48AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Gloria Mundi I'm an expert at nagging. I'm sure my nagging could transform the world. Or so I am told.

I don't know, this book doesn't sound like my kind of thing because I just cannot buy into the premise. I think a good dystopia is supposed to make sense, as in, it COULD happen. That's what makes it so scary. Slavery, genocide etc do make sense in this way, not just because there are historically documented occurrences, but because there are people who profit from them. They are almost inevitable, in fact, unless society puts laws and protections in place to prevent them. Can you tell I have a very bleak view of humanity yet?

That's not to say that purely speculative fiction doesn't have it's place.


Flannery Church camp? That sounds, er, fun. I loved the Gollum description. I'm sure that's the look she was going for! I mean, everybody thinks Gollum is a babe. Amiright or amiright? Hoooooottie.


message 11: by Cait (last edited Jul 20, 2011 11:03AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cait Lyndsey wrote: "Cait wrote: "Ohhhh..... I could live with that! Or the other guy from the same show!


I know you can't tell but his eyes are blue, and he was hot when he was younger like in this picture, or, a..."


Yes he is! I could definitely live with Four if he looked like that, that's for sure ;)

Yeah, that description was terrible! I appreciate that Tris doesn't have a fetish for his eyes or wings or something like a lot of other girls from books seem to have these days ( we understand that the MC loves the guy, authors! No need to repeat it about a million freaking times) But Roth's was just not enough; it's one of the few times I wished the MC would look at the guy more and describe him in better detail.


Lyndsey Sure, Flann. Gollum is SUPER hot. If you like the emaciated, gray skin, extremely small genitals look...


Flannery Who doesn't like that?


Crowinator Now I'm going to have a mash-up of Ian Somerhalder and Gollum in my head when I remember this book. Creeeepy.

Great review, very insightful and funny. I always love your pictures.


message 15: by Bridget (new) - added it

Bridget Loved your 'blinded by Barrons' comment. Great review.


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

You crazy rebel, you made out with a teacher at camp?

I love the five traits device. They need a Slytherin in there, though.

Gollum is crazy hot. Total body confidence, guy wears a loincloth and works it.

It sounds very good, Lyndsey. Fabbo review as always.


message 17: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Your list of dystopian shenanigans has made me see this book as a Final Fantasy game.


Lyndsey Andrea wrote: "Your list of dystopian shenanigans has made me see this book as a Final Fantasy game."

Haha. Really? I haven't played any Final Fantasy yet, but I'm a huge RPG fan, particularly for all things Bioware. But now that you mention FF, I might have to give it a try. I've always wanted to anyway.


Lyndsey Moss wrote: "You crazy rebel, you made out with a teacher at camp?

I love the five traits device. They need a Slytherin in there, though.

Gollum is crazy hot. Total body confidence, guy wears a loincloth..."


I think that Dauntless is kind of the Slytherin of Divergent. Or at least certain characters look at them like they are. They are the "crazy" ones. Except that Slytherins are a bunch of bleeding cowards, they only pretend to be fearless.


message 20: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Almost all FF worlds are dystopian. And there seems to be a lot of tower-climbing and train-hopping involved in some of them. If you're going to dip your toe in, start with 7 (old graphics and all) or 10.


Lyndsey Yeah, I've had somebody tell me that I would like 10. At least, I think that's the one they said. There's so many that I don't even see how people who've played them can keep them all straight.


message 22: by Andrea (new)

Andrea No harder than keeping Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale and Torment straight (except, of course, the lack of distinctive names). But they're all different worlds, with different plots and more or less different characters (if you count the long array of gutsy/angsty/rebellious young men as 'different characters'). Except for the most recent, they're all strong stories, which is what makes rpg's work for me. [Though I'm playing The Witcher at the moment and finding that clumsy gameplay makes strong story hard to appreciate (and it's kind of 'blokey' strong story as well, which isn't quite working for me).]


Gloria Mundi Talking of being blinded by Barrons, KMM has realeased a scene from Barrons' POV on her website yesterday.


Lyndsey Seriously, Gloria?!! Eeeeeeeeeeep! *runs off to KMM's website*

Andrea - I've totally been spoiled by the movie like experience of Bioware games, I'm not sure that I could get into The Witcher, especially since I haven't heard many good things about it


message 25: by Gloria (last edited Jul 22, 2011 11:00AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Gloria Mundi http://www.karenmoning.com/kmm/jzbsce...

It's quite hot. Not what I was expecting, though, and I am choosing to think it's all in his head as I don't really like the implications. One of the things I like best about Mac is that she doesn't fall into his lap and gives him as good as she gets.


message 26: by Lyndsey (last edited Jul 22, 2011 11:11AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lyndsey Gloria wrote: "http://www.karenmoning.com/kmm/jzbsce...

It's quite hot. Not what I was expecting, though, and I am choosing to think it's all in his head as I don't really like the implications. One of the..."


Hhaahaha. Good grief. I literally just stabbed myself in the eye on accident when I opened that page. How? I'm still not sure, but it actually happened. Phew!! Okay, now my vision is all blurry and I'm not sure I'll be able to read it! Dammit. Ah well, I'm going to try anyway.


Gloria Mundi Oh no! Hope you are ok. That picture is a bit... Khmmmm....


message 28: by Katy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Katy Curse you JZB for ruining us all any other male leads! I am going through this now with ALL the current readings, but Bones has made it a little more enjoyable ; )


Isabel My Beatrisssssssssssss.

This part made me laugh so hard that I still have tears in my eyes. Ohh, Lordy. You are so hilarious. ;-)


message 30: by Ami (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ami Blackwelder loooooooved it


ShyStar i loved the book... i genuinly cant wait for the second part! i definitly agree with the review regarding four as the love intrest as it was too obvious and not as exciting. i was wondering if anyone could recommend any more books to me like divergent.. ive read the hunger games but i think thats about it in terms of the adventure/action genre.. but i am hooked and would love to read more! thanks


Rebecca ♥ Kishan & Warner ♥ What is all this talk of being blinded by Barrons? I am not catching the reference. If its another YA romance I need to read it! I have been trying desperately to find a love interest as amazing as in The Iron Fey, but with little success. He is my standard, as it seems Barron is for you.


Lyndsey Well, it's definitely not YA. It's adult urban fantasy and it is very adult. There are some graphic scenes in the later books. It's the Fever series, starting with Darkfever. If you don't think the content will bother you, then the series is amazing.


Rebecca ♥ Kishan & Warner ♥ Oh, haha. Well I'm not actually YA. I'm 27, but I just like reading it. But I also read some adult urban fantasy as well. So thanks for the info. I'll definitely look into it.


Rebecca ♥ Kishan & Warner ♥ *marks as to-read* And its about Fey too! I like fey atm because of my current obsession, The Iron Fey series. But it's YA so it's super light compared to Fever.


Heather Sellers @Cait-thank you so much for suggesting that Four looks like Ian Somerhalder! I just read this book and the whole time pictured Ian. So nice. :)


Lyndsey Awwww. Yay! I'm so glad. I laughed the first time I read the description of him and I immediately pictured Gollum for some reason. I have a strange imagination, lol.


Emily AAAH, the Gollum comparison made me laugh until I had tears in my eyes. THANK YOU. Great review.


message 39: by Soo (new) - rated it 4 stars

Soo =) Just wanted to say I skimmed your review of the book & it made me chortle. The first descriptions of Four/Tobias were okay. I had the impression of impressive blue eyes & hot geek. Though the turning down of lips & all that made me think he frowns a lot. Slender fingers are attractive because that makes me think of expressive, strong musician/artist hands.

I did think about Hunger Games when I read this book but I thought of Battle Royale when I initially read Hunger Games. HG is NOT BR. HG & D are similar but also, in the end, not the same. I like Divergent more than HG.


message 40: by Hp (new) - rated it 4 stars

Hp Tan I really like your review!

"I have to say that, although the world itself doesn't make much sense, since when does any oppressive society make SENSE? At least to those of us who have common sense. Horrible and ridiculous things happen all the time and there have been many ages of oppression throughout history. None of them make a hell of a lot of sense. Slavery? The holocaust? Genocide? Nope, I don't get it. But that doesn't mean it can't and won't happen.

If you are one for analyzing the politics and economics of the world you are reading about, then this one may fall short for you. If you are someone who can easily suspend your disbelief in favor of action and new experiences, then you just might love this. Me? Well, I fall somewhere in between, but more toward loving it."

I completely COMPLETELY agree! :D

And ooooh, that's a pretty thought!! That Peter might have been a Divergent and was acting as a jerk.. Still, he was a serious jerk, and I'm kinda glad he isn't Divergent. :)


Lyndsey Thanks, HP! Mostly, I thought the Peter thing would have been an intriguing twist. I LOVE when unexpected things happen and that would certainly be unexpected.


message 42: by Hp (new) - rated it 4 stars

Hp Tan Lyndsey wrote: "Thanks, HP! Mostly, I thought the Peter thing would have been an intriguing twist. I LOVE when unexpected things happen and that would certainly be unexpected."

Yes, I know what you mean! Well, perhaps we'll see more of Peter, though.. Now that Tris's loved ones are dead and her enemies are travelling with her. Serious sad fact


Jules:) I just have to say OMG I'LL BAKE YOU PIES IS LIKE THE BEST THING EVER. :P


Muntoo Meddler Automatic +1 for including Gollum. Yessssssss....


message 45: by Tom (new)

Tom Whitfield HAHAHAHA That was great....


Stephanie It's kinda funny the two people representing Tris and Four on your blog post are starring in a movie together (as love interests) in The Host :)


❀Andrea❤ LOL! That was so funny:D


Hannah D. most entertaining review i have ever laid my eyes on:D


Ronyell Awesome review Lyndsey!! I really enjoyed this book too!


FoxyBrain Aw... Luke!


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