Miranda Reads's Reviews > Divergent

Divergent by Veronica Roth
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did not like it
bookshelves: ya-series, literally-painful-to-read, mary-sue-i-will-kill-you, audiobook, dumpster-fire

Divergent - the Walmart of Young Adult

Enjoy the selflessness of Katnis? Love the Harry Potter houses? Adore the will-they-won't-they love from Twilight?

Well, here's the watered down combination of every YA series out there.

There's Tris - the most annoying main character I've met in a while.

The pendulum swings from - from "oh look at me I am such an innocent little abnegation gal - I don't even look into a mirror cause I'm so selfless" to (and this is within a couple of chapters) "I'm the strongest girl ever, selfish to the max, got a hot boyfriend, suck it"...and back again... Constantly.

There's character development and then there's multiple personalities.

There's Four - the super-hot looooooove interest.

He fulfills the roll of Slightly Creepy Older Guy Fixating on the Innocent. He's her teacher and she's completely sheltered - cue the romance. Okay, they're only 2 years apart, but that's still statutory in my state.

Like I get it's supposed to be a steamy PG romance, but this seems borderline abuse:
"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."
This book focuses far too much on forcing the relationship and shoe-horning Tris into the self-sacrificing hero role that there's little time for anything else...like a plot.

So, I could go on...and on...and on with my nitpicking on this series but instead, I will leave you with my favorite scene of the book.

The Shower Scene aka the let's get Tris naked ...BECAUSE REASONS

This is the scene where Tris learns that she can't fit in her clothes cause her thigh muscles were SO BIG after training in dauntless for a couple of weeks.

While this raises a number of concerning questions, namely - HOW did they grow in the 15 minutes it took to take a shower? and if she is such a body-shamed abnegation girl, then why in the world couldn't she just wear her old clothes back to the dorm?

But we will disregard the obvious logic and solutions for the sake of the plot.

Due to her thunder thighs, Tris was "forced" to walk back in a towel to the dorms. The tension to skyrockets with this completely unnecessary nude scene which consisted of several rape-y vibes and the complete humiliation of Tris - all to let the audience know that the Bad Guys are really Mean.

(slow clapping in the background)

Overall, not particularly excited about reading the next one.

Audiobook Comments
Honestly, not that memorable. BIG pile of meh.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
May 12, 2017 – Finished Reading
November 7, 2017 – Shelved

Comments Showing 1-50 of 107 (107 new)


message 1: by Scarlett (new)

Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance Never read it, but tickled about this review :)


Carmen Great review!


Audrey This is still the best one of the trilogy by far.


Miranda Reads Oi Vey...something to look forward to then :P


Audrey Just a heads-up. :/


message 6: by Alexandra (last edited Jan 01, 2018 07:56PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Alexandra I liked Tris better than Katniss LOL, and I liked this one fairly well, but I see your point :D


Audrey The next two books could be called "Tris and Four: How to Not Have a Healthy, Mature, Stable Relationship."


message 8: by Alexandra (last edited Jan 01, 2018 08:22PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Alexandra Audrey wrote: "The next two books could be called "Tris and Four: How to Not Have a Healthy, Mature, Stable Relationship.""

LOL

Sadly, I think that's pretty typical for YA these days, at least those that include a romance angle, which seems to be the vast majority.


Miranda Reads I keep thinking the new YA books are getting worse...but it could just be me getting older :P


message 10: by Eric (new)

Eric Plume "Sadly, I think that's pretty typical for YA these days, at least those that include a romance angle, which seems to be the vast majority."

You're right, and here's what's weird about that...

The boys in my generation were raised on action movies, which A: usually had a romantic sub-plot and B: said sub-plot was usually problematic as hell from a relationship-health angle. The current YA novel explosion is being marketed to the same age group and has exactly the same problem, except the target audience is generally girls, not boys.

(The prevailing assumption these days is either "boys don't read" or "boys won't read something with kissy-face in it", which is problematic all by itself but that's a whole 'nother ball of wax.)

So yeah. Not sure what to make of that beyond being faintly disturbed.


Audrey I don't know if it's just me, either -- being an old married person, the insta-love-triangle stuff just isn't appealing.


Alexandra Eric wrote: ""Sadly, I think that's pretty typical for YA these days, at least those that include a romance angle, which seems to be the vast majority."

You're right, and here's what's weird about that...

The..."


Yup.

"(The prevailing assumption these days is either "boys don't read" or "boys won't read something with kissy-face in it", which is problematic all by itself but that's a whole 'nother ball of wax.)"

Oh, I know it! I've struggled for many, many years trying to find good books for boys from beginning readers to YA, and it's really tough. I'm still always on the lookout.

Another assumption these days that annoys me is that girls won't read YA stories unless there is a prevalent romance. I'm a Sci-Fi and Fantasy reader, always have been. I am *not* a Romance reader. I don't mind a bit of romance, however I certainly don't require it, and I really, really do mind books that are really Romance books marketed as Sci Fi and Fantasy.

It's perfectly fine that there are these kinds of books (problematic relationship issue aside), obviously many people enjoy them, but there should be books for those of us who do not want a heavy romance-focus story too. We exist, and we need books too.


Alexandra Audrey wrote: "I don't know if it's just me, either -- being an old married person, the insta-love-triangle stuff just isn't appealing."

I don't think it's being an old married person. It's never appealed to me. I also don't have a lot of tolerance for teen angst. It's one reason I've never really been into Contemporary stories and also Romance stories.

I am old enough to feel cranky it's now invading Sci Fi and Fantasy LOL. But, that's fine, for those that enjoy that stuff, as long as it's marketed honestly, and there are other books for the rest of us.


Alice Cai Alexandra wrote: "Eric wrote: ""Sadly, I think that's pretty typical for YA these days, at least those that include a romance angle, which seems to be the vast majority."

You're right, and here's what's weird about..."


It's pretty easy to find YA books for male readers, but you can't take recs to find it. I have to find it myself if that's what I'm looking for.


Audrey I feel betrayed when I deliberately choose a sci fi or fantasy book and find out it's just an immature romance in disguise.


Jen/The Tolkien Gal/ジェニファー I love this review.


message 17: by Alexandra (last edited Jan 02, 2018 02:11AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Alexandra Audrey wrote: "I feel betrayed when I deliberately choose a sci fi or fantasy book and find out it's just an immature romance in disguise."

Yup. I feel duped. It's one of my huge pet peeves. Sure Romances can take place in Sci Fi or Fantasy worlds and have a Sci Fi or Fantasy surrounding plot. But those are sub-genres of Romance *not* Sci Fi or Fantasy, and should be marketed as such.


message 18: by Alexandra (last edited Jan 02, 2018 02:18AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Alexandra Alice wrote: "It's pretty easy to find YA books for male readers, but you can't take recs to find it. I have to find it myself if that's what I'm looking for."

I can find some, but I find it very hard. Most YA seems written for the female audience. They're out there, but I have to really look and pay attention.

It's easier in YA than Children's and Middle Grade though.


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

Great review. Thanks.


April Hawkins Oh man really? I loved Divergent. To each her own.


Miranda Reads April wrote: "Oh man really? I loved Divergent. To each her own."

I did read it on a YA lit binge...so my opinion is slightly marred from that


message 22: by Avalon (new)

Avalon Miranda, you are at it again with your hilarious reviews.
Was this at all enjoyable in a guilty pleasure way like Twilight? I'm guessing not if you rated it 1 star.
Also, was this worse than The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard? I really didn't like that one.


Miranda Reads Oh gosh. This one I was more annoyed by the lack of originality - it's just so unbelievably average YA. Plus, I thought the Four-Tris relationship was creepy - like, if Roth made Four less hot, then all of his actions scream abusive and predatory.

But is it worse than Red Queen? Heck naw. Red Queen is the pits...the only thing worse than RQ is First Life by Gena Showalter (*shudders*) and Bear by Marian Engel (*more shuddering*)


message 24: by Avalon (new)

Avalon Haha! Good to know, thank you :) And I count myself lucky to not have read First Life and Bear. Thank you for saving me from a grave misfortune.


Miranda Reads LOL - you are welcome. Though, honestly, I buddy-read First Life...and we had so much fun tearing this one apart that it was almost worth it :P We still laugh about it (~4 months later).


message 26: by Avalon (new)

Avalon Hmmm... I have a friend who would probably love to buddy-read a ludicrous book. Good to know ;) lol


message 27: by Jack (new)

Jack Chaucer There should be an audiobook for your fun-filled scathing reviews! This is a classic!


message 28: by Sarah (new)

Sarah "the walmart of YA series" I LAUGHED 🤭


paigeee [ a bookish brat ] I still haven’t read this series.


Warda divergent hype died 4 years ago. its not worth it. i dont think anyone considers the last book as canon


Bhavik (Semi Hiatus) Lmao good review!
I dnf's Divergent and then watched the movie to see if I can get into it but noooo the movie sucked too and "I am Divergent" did not make any sense to me so I did not even bother with the rest xD

Also Twilight is better than this and thats saying something u.u


Miranda Reads Jack wrote: "There should be an audiobook for your fun-filled scathing reviews! This is a classic!"

Lol. That does sound rather fun :)


Miranda Reads Sarah wrote: ""the walmart of YA series" I LAUGHED 🤭"

honestly, i couldn't find a better way to describe it :p


Miranda Reads paigeee [a bookish brat] wrote: "I still haven’t read this series."

Some people love it. . . But it wasn't for me


Miranda Reads Warda wrote: "divergent hype died 4 years ago. its not worth it. i dont think anyone considers the last book as canon"

Are you referring to the last from the main series or the companion novel? B/c by the time i suffered through the 3 books, i welcomed that end. Ugh.


Miranda Reads Bhavik wrote: "Lmao good review!
I dnf's Divergent and then watched the movie to see if I can get into it but noooo the movie sucked too and "I am Divergent" did not make any sense to me so I did not even bother ..."


LOL totally agree. . . And twilight will always hold a special place in my heart (too many teen memories)


Miranda Reads Craig wrote: "Great review Miranda! You actually bring some interesting points up! Thunder thighs though...ahaha 😁"

that scene. Ugh. What was Roth thinking? !


Alexandra Tefft I absolutely loved Divergent, it was one of the first trilogies I read that really got me hooked on YA and a big part of why that's what I mostly read now.


Miranda Reads There's nothing like your first YA.

Mine was twilight - no matter how bad those books are, I absolutely loved it (and still love it).


Iryna *Book and Sword* it gets worse with book 2 and 3 is just, well, garbage :D


Miranda Reads Iryna (Book and Sword) wrote: "it gets worse with book 2 and 3 is just, well, garbage :D"

LOL - lovely :P


Katie Sue Your review made me laugh and I enjoyed reading your opinion. I think if I read these books now as an adult I would feel the same way but this book along with the Hunger Games books were the first YAs I ever read (in 2012 before their big hypes) so of course I loved every minute of it. But after so many YA books its hard to love them as much. YAs seem to have the same plots just different story so I get quite bored with them now.


Miranda Reads Katie Sue wrote: "Your review made me laugh and I enjoyed reading your opinion. I think if I read these books now as an adult I would feel the same...

I think that was my problem with this series (my first YAs were Twilight and the Hunger Games - and I absolutely adore them to this day).

But for Divergent, I read it coming off of a YA binge - and I had read a few really good ones - so this one just didn't sparkle for me.


Danielle Tremblay Excellent review! Exactly what I think. :)


Miranda Reads LOL - glad we feel the same.


message 46: by Danielle (last edited Jun 15, 2018 08:33AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Danielle Tremblay Miranda wrote: "LOL - glad we feel the same."

We are just a few who didn't give 4 or 5 stars to this book, so we have to stick together. ;)

And by the way, if you want to read a good SF dystopian novel, try Foe by Iain Reid.


Krista Great review! My friends couldn't get why I didn't love this book. Your review is exactly how I felt!!!!


Nana☆ (The Novelty Notebook) Honestly thought it wasn't great either. The romance and bullying aspect took up most of the plot after the 50% point.


Miranda Reads Danielle wrote: "We are just a few who didn't give 4 or 5 stars to this book, so we have to stick together. ;)

And by the way, if you want to read a good SF dystopian..."


LOL and thank you for the tip :)


Miranda Reads Krista wrote: "Great review! My friends couldn't get why I didn't love this book. Your review is exactly how I felt!!!!"

I think I've just read too much YA to truly enjoy this one :P


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