Nicole's Reviews > Divergent

Divergent by Veronica Roth
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Nov 05, 11

bookshelves: won-arc, favorites, dystopian, signed-by-the-author
Read from May 17 to 19, 2011 — I own a copy

You can find this review and many others on my blog, The Reader's Antidote


If I could give this more than 5 stars I would. It was simply amazing. I had a lot of thinking to do for this one. So much thinking that I decided I needed to read it again to give you a proper review. It was much better than I expected (I was unaware of the hype it was receiving) and I felt like I raced through it the first time. The truth is, I just couldn't get enough of Four... [sigh]... or maybe it's that this book is simply made of awesome sauce.

Beatrice in the beginning was so boring for me the first time through. She was dull and constantly chastising herself for being the tiniest bit selfish. I know that her faction is selfless, but I mean she can't even look at her reflection in the mirror? Veronica Roth, you are terribly, amazingly brilliant. Her growth was clearly visible and I can't wait to see what happens to her in the next installment. To be truthful I hope the next one isn't as heartbreaking. I can't take much more bloodshed.

The synopsis doesn't give you much, does it? Well, I guess I'll have to move on to spoilers then, because believe me with this one, you'll want to be surprised. 2012 is way too far away! I very highly recommend this one. If you haven't read it, well, what are you waiting for?!

*SPOILERS*

Where to start... Well, first off, I had no idea what to expect coming into this. As I said, I was unaware of the hype it was getting. I became a fan of the HarperTeen Facebook page and ended up winning an ARC of Divergent on the date it was released. That's when I came over to Goodreads and checked out the ratings. I'm not a dystopian connoisseur. My only experience with them was Carrie Ryan's The Forest of Hands and Teeth series, and I don't even consider that really dystopian. And no, I am one of the few that hasn't yet read The Hunger Games trilogy; though the whole series sits on my bookshelf beckoning me, I have yet to answer. After reading Divergent for the first time, I also read Across the Universe by Beth Revis, and both were very different dystopian views. I guess it's become a sort of craze that started for me with Incarceron, when I didn't even know what dystopia was. I guess, what I'm trying to say is, I'm not going to lump this into a dystopian vs. paranormal pile, because truthfully, it was an amazing book overall.

I can only imagine the man hours that went into this thing. Like me, Roth wrote most of Divergent in college. And it's not like it's a short novel. Sometimes, I think it's almost easier to create your own world. There's no guidelines to follow or facts that you have to get right. Everything comes from your head and no one else's. I guess I can see that's why some of these dystopian novels fail so miserably. Ideas we think are good ones, may not appeal to our target audience. That was not the case here. Roth builds a world in a place known to everyone at least in the United States, and a place I've thankfully visited so I know a little about the area (the ferris wheel for instance; the sight of that is burned into my brain thought it's been years since I've been to Chicago). She created a place where most everyone is put into factions at the age of 16 (psh, who needs a driver's license when you can be Dauntless?), and these factions have different personality traits. It's not complicated really, though if I was forced to choose I'm not sure which I would pick. I want to say Dauntless, but only because I can't imagine myself in the other ones. Am I Divergent?

Beatrice (Tris) ends up with inconclusive results, which makes her a Divergent. We don't find out why that's bad, until the very end. It turns out, Divergent's are basically scatter-brains and are therefore difficult for the leaders of the factions to control. Anyway, she ends up choosing Dauntless. We can already figure out that Abnegation is out of the question. Tris is too selfish, but she's just selfless enough not to let the Dauntless way of life (which apparently has been skewed horribly over the years) take over her will. I love that she was the first of the initiates to jump off the roof. It already proved to us that no matter what kind of doubts she had, she belonged in Dauntless.

All I can think from that first fisticuffs with Peter is: Poor Tris. I'd like to put it out there that I hate Peter with a burning passion. It's not because she's a girl, it's because she's Abnegation that he hates her, and he's jealous and afraid of losing. He's a coward; a coward that packs a powerful punch. I can't believe he's still alive in the end. As Tris said, it doesn't seem fair that her mother and father get killed (both shot in the stomach trying to save her) and two of her worst enemies (Marcus, Tobias' dad, is with them) get to live. Am I freaking you out yet? Let's count the death toll, shall we?

~Al: I'm torn on my feelings for this guy. He was nice to Tris, liked her more than a friend, and then kidnapped her... heh? I know, it doesn't make much sense to me either, but a person will do anything if they're desperate enough. I feel like a bad person when I felt nothing after they fished Al's body out of the chasm, but it's hard to feel sorry for someone that acted nice the whole time, kidnapped you for god's sake, and then begs for your forgiveness. I feel as heartless as Tris.

~Tris' Mom: I'll admit it, I cried. It was so unexpected. One minute they were trying to find where her father and brother were hiding, and the next thing I know, her mom is rushing off to sacrifice herself so that Tris can live. I guess it proves that she is both Dauntless and Abnegation. Maybe selflessness is a type of bravery. All I know is that, not only is Tris bleeding out from a bullet wound and thinking Tobias is lost to the serum, but now her mother's dead. Talk about pain. It was good to see her mom being strong though. In the beginning, I didn't like her. But when she shows how brave she can be, I grew to love her...

~Will: That was just horrible. After the second time reading this, I asked myself if she could have shot him in the leg instead. But then I realized he's so brainwashed he would have kept going. Would have shot her even after she shot him in the leg. It was her or him, and she chose herself. I just wish he hadn't gone out that way. Stupid bastard Erudite! Sorry, calming down now. His death made me think of Christina, and I wonder if she's dead. No doubt she'll pop up in the next one.

~Tris' dad: Yeah, as if things couldn't get worse, her dad dies only like half an hour later, trying to lead the guards away from her. Can you say guilt? And pain, more pain. It's like you have to read these parts over and over, to convince yourself that it really happened. All I can say is, at least she has Caleb, her brother. At least she still has family left. And she has Four, who sadly still has family left as well.

So... Four is Tobias... did not see that one coming. But that matters little to me because damn it all I want him! He looks at Tris like she isn't something that can be broken, but is strong enough for anything. It reminds me of Jace and Clary from The Mortal Instruments. That's how he always held her: tightly, knowing that she wouldn't break. Tris and Tobias are just adorable, and were a nice reprieve from all the craziness. I loved their little conversation of how they both basically have intimacy problems, and it makes me wonder how their relationship will progress in the next one. I nearly cried the first time I read the part where they injected him with the serum and he didn't know who she was and even tried to kill her... At least she snapped him out of it. And he told her he loves her on the train over to Amity (heart literally melting here people). I want more Tris and Four right now (one of the main reasons I re-read this one). I loved learning about Four's past. Marcus, his father, is just as horrible as Erudite said he was. I can't believe his own father was one of his four fears (I did think it was funny that Four was one of Tris' fears, with the intimacy thing. So cute!). I wonder what kind of role Marcus will play in the next one.

Okay, Veronica, I'm done waiting now... You can come out with the second one, like now! Ugh fine, I'll wait... meanie face. :P
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Quotes Nicole Liked

Veronica Roth
“Peter would probably throw a party if I stopped breathing.'

'Well,' he says, 'I would only go if there was cake.”
Veronica Roth, Divergent

Veronica Roth
“You think my first instinct is to protect you. Because you're small, or a girl, or a Stiff. But you're wrong."

He leans his face close to mine and wraps his fingers around my chin. His hand smells like metal. When was the last time he held a gun, or a knife? My skin tingles at the point of contact, like he's transmitting electricity through his skin.

"My first instinct is to push you until you break, just to see how hard I have to press." he says, his fingers squeezing at the word break. My body tenses at the edge in his voice, so I am coiled as tight as a spring, and I forget to breathe.

His dark eyes lifting to mine, he adds, "But I resist it."

"Why..." I swallow hard. "Why is that your first instinct?"

"Fear doesn't shut you down; it wakes you up. I've seen it. It's fascinating." He releases me but doesn't pull away, his hand grazing my jaw, my neck. "Sometimes I just want to see it again. Want to see you awake.”
Veronica Roth, Divergent

Veronica Roth
“I might be in love with you." He smiles a little. "I'm waiting until I'm sure to tell you, though.”
Veronica Roth, Divergent

Veronica Roth
“Then I realize what it is. It's him. Something about him makes me feel like I am about to fall. Or turn to liquid. Or burst into flames.”
Veronica Roth, Divergent

Veronica Roth
“For a few minutes we kiss, deep in the chasm, with the roar of water all around us. And we rise, hand in hand, I realize that if we had both chosen differently, we might have ended up doing the same thing, in a safer place, in gray clothes instead of black ones.”
Veronica Roth, Divergent

Veronica Roth
“What is it with you today?” says Christina on the way to breakfast. Her eyes are still
swollen from sleep and her tangled hair forms a fuzzy halo around her face.
“Oh, you know,” I say. “Sun shining. Birds chirping.”
She raises an eyebrow at me, as if reminding me that we are in an underground
tunnel.”
Veronica Roth, Divergent


Reading Progress

05/18/2011 page 27
5.0% "the pages are a little off since I have an ARC version, but so far it's sounding pretty good... I like the writing style so far and can't wait to see how she describes the action parts"
05/19/2011 page 246
50.0% "umm can you say awesome???"

Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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Esther Were you every bit of pissed as I was when you found out his real name? Everytime I think of (real name here) I think creepy man from arrested development.


Nicole Haha yeah a bit, though I was surprised that they were the same guy at all! That name just doesn't fit him, and Four totally does... oh well


message 3: by Amilah-phobia (last edited Jun 02, 2011 01:43AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amilah-phobia Is the divergent really that gr8 I have it sitting on my shelf?? :)


Nicole Yeah, it really is. You should definitely read it next!


Cheryl I can most definitely relat to the Arrested Development comment. Fantastic review! Amazing book!


Mary Eveleen i really hate fours real name too... :)


Kelsey I personally love Tobias's name! :) I mean yea, it's a little weird but I still love him! And I read the book multiple times for the same reason! I just couldn't get enough of Tris and Tobias and their awkward intimacy issues!


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

I love your review and I can't get enough of Tobias and Tris. Or shall we say, Four and Six? Also, Tris' mom and dad's names are Natalie and Andrew Prior. I think a lot of people missed that because they were just so shocked and excited by the action and romance. What's weird, for me, is that I think Veronica writes romance better than most romance writers. Am I the only one that's thinking that Tris and Four are probably one of the most realistic and plausible relationships? In LITERATURE? This is a little sneak peek that Veronica gave to her fans on Twitter and I'm guessing this is Marcus talking to Tris about Four and her.

"My dear girl. I am his family. I am permanent. You are only temporary."

It's like just when you think Marcus can't get worse, he does!


Nicole Yeah Marcus deserves a good punch in the face lol and yeah I love their romance.


message 10: by Ashley (new)

Ashley I like your use of the word awesome sauce! You forgot to mention the guy who died jumping off the train in the beginning, but he really doesn't count as a character*


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