Eve Davids's Reviews > Divergent

Divergent by Veronica Roth
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Jan 04, 12

Read from February 23 to March 03, 2011

This isn't a bad book but it has some serious faults. First, violence for the sake of violence is never interesting to me. What was the point of someone getting stabbed in the eye? It in no way advanced the plot. All the sexual harrasment and groping seemed over the top to me. Now to the fights, basically Tris learns how to fight like a badass in a week? Really? With no prior training or anything? Major side eye to that.
It's hard to write a strong and sympathetic heroine. Tris is cruel, even she herself, admits it. Friends die and are forgotten instantly by her, she hits people when pissed and slams her fist on tables. The point is she isn't likable. Her sexual in securities help a bit since most females have experienced that at some point. Still, she isn't a likable or sympathetic heroine, but she isn't the worse out there. I really like that we don't have to deal with the plain heroine who is actually pretty trope and that earned this book an extra star. However, I personally prefer the hunger games route in this, don't mention whether the heroine is pretty or not but I suppose with Tris it helped explain her personal insecurities.
Also you don't kiss when you are bleeding all over and about to be executed. That is not normal human reaction because you are scared shitless. There is no way a boy you barely know's kiss can erase that fear.
The worst sin of all is that this book reeks of the hunger games which from reading the author's blog, I see she is fond off. Also, the way she killed off two important people at the ending was seriously random and felt contrived. They didnt need to die, and the way Tris brushed off their death and turned back to superhero girl, made me cut a star from this book.
The writing is top notch and this would have been a four star book if I didn't think all the violence and stunts felt very contrived to re-create the 'games' of The Hunger Games series. The problem is in that series Katniss was fighting for her sister's life, here Tris is going through these trials because she is SELFISH!
Oh the ending was so cheesy, I had to knock this to a 2 star. For everthing good, this book is too freaking long! 500 pages?! Sheesh
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Reading Progress

02/23/2011 page 1
0.0% "So excited to be starting this. I really hope this trumps all the slack ass dystopia flooding the market these days."
03/02/2011 page 74
15.0% "First thing to learn from Suzanne Collins. If throwing us into a protag filled with doubts make sure there is something at stake. Prim was at stake in HG. In this book, sure her leaving her family might be at stake but unfortunately its a stake she can control. She can simply choose to make a sacrifice. First major fail in this book." 1 comment
03/02/2011 page 74
15.0% "Katniss was strong. She wasnt selfish and cruel. Tris is walking the line to selfishness and cruelty here."
03/02/2011 page 200
40.0% "Here is the problem with this book. It all feels contrived. I feel as if I am reading someone's army training. My heart isnt pounding because for the life of me, I find all the tests and adrenaline stunts boring and useless. What is the point?" 10 comments
03/02/2011 page 200
40.0% "Ok, so they just stabbed someone in the eye for no particular reason whatsoever! WTF? No freaking reason. Just boom, we are sleeping, boom someone just got stabbed in the eye, boom onto the next scene. Ew, gross."
03/02/2011 page 200
40.0% "This book should be called "Gang Initiation" because that's what it reads like."
03/02/2011 page 300
60.0% "Alright. Her friend just dies after she threatens to kill him and she starts laughing that he cant fit into a body bag? WTF?"
03/03/2011 page 350
71.0% "Why is this book 500 pages? Do you guys realize that for the first 350 pages we are fed mindless action activities that have no driving force towards the stupid plot, whatever it maybe?"

Comments (showing 1-40 of 40) (40 new)

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message 1: by Alicia (new) - added it

Alicia Since I haven't read the book, I don't want to ask what you didn't like about the ending. But I do want to know: Is it a cliffhanger? Cliffhangers bother me. I feel as though there are less over-the-top, blatantly-in-your-face ways to leave open questions that keep readers interested in the series. But that's just my personal opinion, of course. (I added that last sentence in the off-chance that you are an author who writes cliffhangers and might therefore take offense at my dislike of them.)


message 2: by Eve (new) - rated it 4 stars

Eve Davids :) No, this book actually has a nice resolution at the end and I should probably give it an extra star for that since I hate cliffhangers too.


message 3: by Alicia (new) - added it

Alicia Thanks for the info!


message 4: by Cory (new)

Cory ooh. I wasn't expecting this to be awesome, but I didn't expect a two star review from you. You were repping it to me and Tatiana a few months ago.


message 5: by Eve (new) - rated it 4 stars

Eve Davids I guess I should eat my own words then. I fell for the hype and the point is, the book is very well written. It is an engaging story if you delete the thinking part of your brain.(I dont know how that's possible.)
It just has more flaws and rides the violence cocktail of Battle Royale ... my bad, The Hunger Games, too much.


message 6: by Cory (new)

Cory I'll still check it out if I see it around. Logic fails make my brain hurt, but I'm a fan of senseless violence if it's well written senseless violence. Still, if it's worse than the Hunger Games...I might just skip read Battle Royale instead. I've had the ebook on my computer for a few months and I still haven't gotten around to reading it.


message 7: by Phoebe (new)

Phoebe I'm about halfway through and all I keep thinking is, "Why would any universe operate under these rules?!" Humans generally don't act the way people are acting here. I keep waiting for there to be some explanation, but it might just be too implausible for me.


♔ Leah. Why am I dreading this now? Flawless review, btw! ♥


message 9: by Eve (last edited Apr 14, 2011 01:01PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Eve Davids Cory, you should check it out. If anything, I think she writes very well for someone so young.

You know, I had a feeling you wouldn't be please with this when I saw you started reading it, Phoebe. It gets worse also, but I wont say more so I dont spoil.
I didnt want to be too mean on my review, but I am sorry, none of the factions make sense. Why would people choose these factions and have to deal with the rules of these factions?
Also, to those saying her world is real and alive. What? As someone who has lived in Chicago, I was seriously underwhelmed with the world building.

I really wanted to like this and I did things I am not proud off to get an ARC, but oh well.

I will stop because I really dont want to be too critical on this book, seeing how young the writer is. I know its a big bias on my part, seeing how I rip Adornetto apart but ... I cant help it.


message 10: by Cory (new)

Cory TheDuchess wrote: "Cory, you should check it out. If anything, I think she writes very well for someone so young.

You know, I had a feeling you wouldn't be please with this when I saw you started reading it, Phoebe..."


If she rips Chicago apart with illogical nonsense, I dunno if I'll like this. I lived there for three or four years when I was younger and visit my grandparents there over the summer.


message 11: by Phoebe (last edited Apr 14, 2011 01:23PM) (new)

Phoebe TheDuchess wrote: "Cory, you should check it out. If anything, I think she writes very well for someone so young.

You know, I had a feeling you wouldn't be please with this when I saw you started reading it, Phoebe..."


I think you're being fair, TheDuchess. Roth's writing is undeniably strong and the book is very readable (I keep picking it up and, by the time I've looked up, I've read another 50 pages). I'm starting to realize that with all these dystopian novels, what's really important to me is that the people act in recognizable, realistic ways. I'm willing to forgive books that have clunky science (Wither), but with this, or something like Delirium, where I have to suspend my disbelief about the way I know humanity to be, I just can't do it (ironically, if this were harder sci-fi, and these were aliens, I'd probably accept it much more easily--but these are *people*, you know?)

For me, the moment when this started getting really implausible is when we were first exposed to the factionless. The degree of screening that the factions supplied here (testing and having teenagers choose a group) doesn't really make sense if you're just going to tell people to go screw if they don't make it past your initiation rights.


message 12: by Phoebe (new)

Phoebe Cory wrote: "TheDuchess wrote: "Cory, you should check it out. If anything, I think she writes very well for someone so young.

You know, I had a feeling you wouldn't be please with this when I saw you started..."


Oh, and so far, Cory, she hasn't done anything terrible to Chicago. It's just a little bland.


message 13: by Eve (new) - rated it 4 stars

Eve Davids Phoebe wrote: "Cory wrote: "TheDuchess wrote: "Cory, you should check it out. If anything, I think she writes very well for someone so young.

You know, I had a feeling you wouldn't be please with this when I sa..."


Thanks you put this well, "bland."


message 14: by Eve (new) - rated it 4 stars

Eve Davids Phoebe wrote: "TheDuchess wrote: "Cory, you should check it out. If anything, I think she writes very well for someone so young.

You know, I had a feeling you wouldn't be please with this when I saw you started..."


You know what, this is really funny but this book reminded me a lot of Delirium. Not because they are similar in any way, but because I just kept going, "Really?"
I know its not fair to say this, but what was the story in this book? My point is what was the defining story, the main unique struggle?
Do people realize what we have here is, "opps, I think I want to join the tattoo group instead of the study group. Oh guess what, lets make it that all of society has to join one of this groups, and of course they have to go through some big bad ass training where they jump of roofs to fit in one of these groups, and then lets put the groups against each other."
Why? Why? Why?
At it's core, the store isnt moving. It's suppose to be a coming of age tale about choices and blah, but it isn't.
This book and Unwind were my biggest disappoinments this year, to be honest.


message 15: by Phoebe (new)

Phoebe TheDuchess wrote: "Phoebe wrote: "TheDuchess wrote: "Cory, you should check it out. If anything, I think she writes very well for someone so young.

You know, I had a feeling you wouldn't be please with this when I ..."


Ooh, Sean Wills has been pushing me to read Unwind, because he didn't like it (he felt it was implausible), and it's been so widely celebrated and so it might make interesting review fodder. Ironically, your saying that makes me want to push it up on my list.

I think these books stand out as good examples of why applying science fictional concepts broadly, without any deeper underlying purpose or motivation, can really strike some readers as hollow. I'm with you--I keep asking myself, "Really?!" and "Why?" with these books. I think human plausibility and more widely-affecting themes are really difficult things to nail in sci-fi.

Also ironic: this conversation makes me more excited to finish this book and start chatting about it. ;)


message 16: by Cory (new)

Cory Phoebe wrote: "TheDuchess wrote: "Phoebe wrote: "TheDuchess wrote: "Cory, you should check it out. If anything, I think she writes very well for someone so young.

You know, I had a feeling you wouldn't be pleas..."


I think Unwind, Wither, and Delirium are very implausible. But Unwind was the most original and Wither had the best prose. Delirium was just boring. What happened Lauren Oliver? Before I Fall was great.


message 17: by Eve (last edited Apr 14, 2011 02:56PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Eve Davids Phoebe,
I think once you include just once science fiction concept into your book these days, it immediately gets labeled as Sci-fi. I'm sorry, but this is problematic. There is nothing Sci-fi about Delirium or this book for that matter. Delirium uses pseudo-science mixed with religious jumbo to explain its premise, and it still fails miserably. This book has nothing Sci-fi in it, in that, the elements included, seem forced to me.
I remember reading your blog post about this. I wanted to comment on this but my google act was acting up. The thing is this, I feel people are throwing the "sci-fi" word uselessly these days. What really makes Sci-fi? Does including plasma tablets for your MC's make your book Sci-fi?
Take a book like I am number Four, sure I skimmed through it, but I got the feeling they were confusing magic with sci-fi in some parts.
Growing up, I was a hard sci-fi fan because one of my favorite uncles was. (He used to buy me loads of books.) These days, I dont even know what I am when it comes to Sci-fi.
Phoebe, please read Unwind. I was very unhappy because everyone I knew liked it, and I thought something was off with me. I couldnt even write a proper review for it because my emotions were all mixed up.


message 18: by Eve (new) - rated it 4 stars

Eve Davids Cory wrote: "Phoebe wrote: "TheDuchess wrote: "Phoebe wrote: "TheDuchess wrote: "Cory, you should check it out. If anything, I think she writes very well for someone so young.

You know, I had a feeling you wo..."


What I hated the most about Delirium was the over description of everything and the melodramatic protag. Jeez, since when did it become a good thing to write such a pitiful protag? Also, like was used 732 times in the book. At least, Cassandra Clare changes it up with "as" and "as if" in her own books.


message 19: by Phoebe (new)

Phoebe TheDuchess wrote: "Phoebe,
I think once you include just once science fiction concept into your book these days, it immediately gets labeled as Sci-fi. I'm sorry, but this is problematic. There is nothing Sci-fi abou..."


Well, you know I'm inclined to use an inclusive definition of sci-fi--and traditionally, even very light sci-fi with dystopian or apocalyptic elements are included under that label. That being said, it's not always done WELL or in the best interests of the book. I do think some of these stories would have fared better if they lost the mantle of dystopian stuff and instead were set on a fantasy world (Wither's world building would have been fine if Destefano had done that)!

I'll take a look at Unwind--sometimes I'm reluctant to read a book so widely loved when I suspect I won't love it because I don't want to seem like a grump, but it sounds like it's ripe for conversation.


Melissa Nice review. Hmm... Now I don't know if I should buy Divergent or not when it comes out. Caught my attention months ago when I found out about it. I just finished Unwind though and I really enjoyed it. I'm on Feed by M.T. Anderson now. :]


message 21: by Ivan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ivan Tris attitude at the end is so irritable.


Peep (Pop! Pop!) Hey I see we are on the same page here! And I hate bloody kisses. I never understand when they write stuff like that. Unless you have instant cleansing and healing powers, it's just gross. I've warned my husband that if he has a bloody mouth he can expect a peck on the forehead!

Soooo many things about this book irked me!


Noelle So you dislike violence for the sake of violence. . . Seems like a lame reason to dislike a book. Case you didn't notice, this book takes place in America. America is pointlessly violent. The world is pointlessly violent. The characters were doing what they had to to survive. And as far as Tris being insensitive, I say she has nothing on Katniss. Katniss was hardcore.

If violence is such an issue, read a book of Ghandi quotes. These YA books might be a bit too much.


message 24: by Alicia (new) - added it

Alicia @Noelle: That didn't appear to be a respectful or constructive comment. Please be respectful of others here. Thank you.


message 25: by Peep (Pop! Pop!) (last edited Jun 21, 2011 07:23AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Peep (Pop! Pop!) I don't think TheDuchess knows that there have been replies since her last comments. I almost replied, I thought it was in response to my review for a second there.


message 26: by Eve (new) - rated it 4 stars

Eve Davids Alice and Peep, you know how we treat trolls around here right?
We let those bitches starve. We never feed them.

I was going to reply in a way deserving to trolls, but nope, they dont deserve it.

#Ilovewatchinglamebitchesstarve.

Again, this is the most generous three stars I've ever given a book. It's really a two star for me.


message 27: by Cory (new)

Cory TheDuchess wrote: "Alice and Peep, you know how we treat trolls around here right?
We let those bitches starve. We never feed them.

I was going to reply in a way deserving to trolls, but nope, they dont deserve it..."


She's a newbie with zero friends. She isn't even worth the effort.

Anyway, as the reviews have been trickling in, I've come to the realization that I probably won't read this. Even if the author is a member of YAHighway. I didn't like THG, and if this is to that like Hush, Hush was to Twilight, I'm not that ecstatic.


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

Eve Davids It's not that bad Cory, but from knowing you all this while and your preferences, you wont like it.

It's flimsy action, that you forget once you close the book. When I read reviews of people saying this is the best book they've ever read, I cant help but feel people really really need to read more.


message 29: by Alicia (new) - added it

Alicia TheDuchess wrote: I was going to reply in a way deserving to trolls, but nope, they dont deserve it.

Cory wrote: She's a newbie with zero friends. She isn't even worth the effort.


:)

Before this book was released, I was really excited to read it. But this and other reviews have dramatically changed my level of excitement. I'll read it eventually, most likely, but I'm no longer in a hurry to do so.


Peep (Pop! Pop!) TheDuchess wrote: "IWhen I read reviews of people saying this is the best book they've ever read, I cant help but feel people really really need to read more.
"


Hahaha! This applies to a ton of books!


Peachy Sweets One of the few reviews I agree with.


message 32: by Lissa (new) - added it

Lissa TheDuchess wrote: "Also, the way she killed off two important people at the ending was seriously random and felt contrived. "

Hello - I just want to pop in and say that Roth is a huge fan of the 90s sci-fi teen series Animorphs (she named Four after one of the main characters).She was clearly inspired by Animorphs yet again because at the end of the series one of the main characters dies. The author of Animorphs, Katherine Applegate, said that she couldn't have all of her characters come through unscathed, and that the death was necessary because it was a war story. The deaths at the end of Divergent, in my opinion (and I respect yours even though I disagree) were put in place because it's a war and in wars people die. You can't foreshadow random deaths.


message 33: by Eve (last edited Jan 04, 2012 02:30AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Eve Davids Lissa wrote: "TheDuchess wrote: "Also, the way she killed off two important people at the ending was seriously random and felt contrived. "

Hello - I just want to pop in and say that Roth is a huge fan of the 9..."


I know its a war, and I know that in war people die. I never said she should foreshadow random deaths. My complaint, and if you read other reviews as well, their compliant, is that the deaths were useless. They lacked emotional punch, and added nothing to the story. So perhaps, its the word 'random' that's confusing you. Maybe 'Useless' might be better.
I have no idea why what Katherine Applegate said matters here since we are discussing Roth's work. I have read some of Applegate's stuff, and all the deaths in her work, make sense. They dont seem useless or make you go, "oh really, what was that for?"
Unfortunately, with Divergent, that was what I felt.

Thanks for being nice and stating your opinion. If my reply doesnt sound as civil as it should be, I apologize.
Although I liked this book, I found it to be very flawed, and some parts didnt make sense at all. Since you read the author's blog then you should know she herself feels the book has its own qualms. Which is one of the thing I admire about her.


Sumayya i agree with you. I felt that she seemed a bit too selfish.


message 35: by Eve (new) - rated it 4 stars

Eve Davids Thanks Sumayya.


Poopers maybe this kind of genre's just not for you. i personally really enjoy tris's personality and the action and violence involved in this story. the book has a good plot, but good plots are nothing if the book is slow paced and boring. but the action totally kept me hooked, so i thought it was pretty good...


message 37: by Eve (new) - rated it 4 stars

Eve Davids My opinion has changed since then. Love the book now. Have to redo this review soon.


Poopers oh yeah - didn't see my comment was like 2 months late. well i'm glad your like it :)


Danielle I know this is many months late, but what made you change your mind about the book? lol


Smiley I think that Edward being stabbed in the eye did indeed advance the plot. It helped Tris realize that being 1st in the rankings was serious, and it could threaten her life. It also let everyone know really about how low Peter could go to be the best, and how cruel he really is. I do agree that it is improbable for Tris to be an expert fighter in just a week, but the way that they were being pushed does explain for some of it. Also, ou never know what powers someone could get when their life is being threatened. Four did tell her that fear does not shut her down, it starts her up, and maybe that was the explanation for her fighting expertise in such a short span of time. I do, however agree to some of the things that you mentioned.


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