Reader-ramble's Reviews > Divergent

Divergent by Veronica Roth
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did not like it
bookshelves: ya-to-avoid
Recommended to Reader-ramble by: Sadly, I went looking for it.
Recommended for: I would burn it.

Okay, so the movie came out on disk, and I was surfing one of my favorite channels on YouTube, when I found this video by CinemaSins. It's a fun and irreverent bit of criticism. Enjoy!

Since I managed to get 100 likes before the movie came out, I will be reviewing Insurgent and Allegiant in the future. It may be a while though. Life is a bit in the way.

Okay, time to get serious. I wish I could be funny like my Mortal Instrument reviews, but my intellectual has kicked in because this book manages to be defined as part of a genre that I have always adored, especially in short stories.

Before I begin, my usual disclaimer that this review will contain logic, griping, complaining, spoilers, and the general deconstruction of everything that the fans hold dear. If you wish to berate me for this, don't waste your time. Nothing you say will convince me. This book is just that bad.

So, my initial reaction was thus:

Dramatic, I know. But not as dramatic as wanting to take a shot gun or lighter to a library book. I'm at least glad I didn't pay for it.

To get into the mood, some foreplay.

Beatrice - the main character - lives in a Chicago where everyone is divided up into six groups. The Abnegation (selfless people), Dauntless (brave people), Erudite (intelligent people), Amity (friendly people), Candor (honest people), and the Factionless. When a child reaches sixteen, they must take a test that will tell them what faction they belong into, but then they still get to pick the faction. Now, each faction has a specific lot in life.

Let's break it down, shall we?

Abnegation: (Noun) The act of instance of abnegating, or denying oneself some rights, conveniences, etc. This is Beatrice's faction. They are supposed to be entirely selfless. They wear all gray, eat insipid food, and everything is considered self-indulgent to them. You could say they are beyond Amish. Oh, and every member of the government is Abnegation. Every member. Yeah. They're referred to as "selfless leaders in government" at one point, but when is it ever smart to have one faction in control? Here is the kicker, they aren't the bad guys. They actually don't do anything wrong that an oppressive regime would do, like make the rest of the factions give up "indulgences" or go to mass every day. They are doormats.

Dauntless: (Adjective) Not to be intimidated; fearless; intrepid; bold. This is the faction Beatrice joins. They are defined as "protection from threats both within and without." They are the security forces of Roth Chicago. The truth is that the Dauntless are reckless idiots. Their transportation is a train that never stops, so they must jump from it. They dye their hair, get piercings and tattoos, and wear tight clothes. They are more like rebellious high schoolers than a militant force. I'll write more about them later since the reader spends the most time with this faction. I'll at least add that they are proof of Roth's lazy writing.

Erudite: (Adjective) Characterized by great knowledge; learned or scholarly. The faction Beatrice's brother, Caleb, joins. The book defines them as "intelligent teachers and researchers." If a society could have and R&D department, this would be it. I'm sad to say that smart people are not depicted well in this story. They are shown to be smug, mean, and power hungry. There are no scientists who understand that scientific break-throughs are a double edged blade; one side will do good and another evil. This faction is the bad guy because they believe the Abnegation are holding back prosperity and progress. That would make sense if their way of going about it wasn't so stupid. Slander and brainwashing never works in the end.

Amity: (Noun) (1) Friendship; peaceful harmony. (2) Mutual understanding and a peaceful relationship, especially between nations; peace, accord. Book defines as "understanding counselors and caretakers." They do the farming and smile a lot. That's the extent of it.

Candor: (Noun) (1) The state or quality of being frank, open, and sincere in speech or expression; candidness. (2) Freedom from bias; fairness; impartiality. Most of Beatrice's fellow Dauntless initiates are from Candor. The book defines them as "trustworthy and sound leaders in law." Yes. They are all lawyers that we know of. They're supposed to be honest people, but they're honest to the point of being rude and come across as being quite judgmental. They also dress like Mormon missionaries because they believe the truth is black and white. How has a faction full of completely honest people not killed each other already? It would be like living with a bunch of Sherlocks in a John Grisham novel.

The Factionless: Those that did not pass the initiation for their chosen factions or dropped out. They are essentially homeless day laborers who are paid in food and clothes. They live in old subway tunnels. No body loves them or wants to be them. The only thing people fear more than being factionless is the prospect of war. No executions or murders or anything like that. Just being factionless and an abstract idea of war. I have a headache now.

Okay, now that we have the basics, what is the economy like? Oh, Roth doesn't tell us. Then what world shattering event led to the formation of the factions? It says they were formed by different people who believed those were the most important traits, but not why? No bad weather. No nuclear war. No civil war. No raising tides. Nothing. Nada. Then why is Lake Michigan an effing marsh? Not only that, but do you know how many cities there are on the edges of Lake Michigan? How are they not fighting Chicago over water if it's scarce?

Okay. Okay. Maybe I'm over-thinking her TOTAL LACK OF WORLD BUILDING. I mean, I've seen more world building in short stories, and the short story format isn't even set up for world building. Despite the little bit of information on the factions, the reader knows almost nothing about this society Roth has set up. None of it makes a lick of sense. If I sat down and mapped out how the different functions interacted and what held them together, there would be squat. It's more entirely dysfunctional than a dystopia. And what makes a dystopia exactly?

I believe this paragraph from John Joseph Adam's Introduction from his anthology of dystopian short stories, Brave New Worlds, sums it up the best:

The roots of the word dystopia, dys- and -topia, are from the Ancient Greek for "bad" and "place," and so we use the term to describe and unfavorable society in which we live. "Dystopia" is not a synonym of "post-apocalyptic"; it also is not a synonym for a bleak, or darkly imagined future. In a dystopian feature, society itself is typically the antagonist; it is society that is actively working against the protagonist's aims and desires. This oppression frequently is enacted by a totalitarian of authoritarian government, resulting in the loss of civil liberties and untenable living conditions, caused by any number of circumstances, such as world overpopulation, law's controlling a person's sexual or reproductive freedom, and living under constant surveillance.

Now, I would love to put almost the entirety of Adam's tiny essay here, but there isn't enough room for it with this stinking word count limit. My point is, Divergence isn't a dystopia.

"But what about Tris being a Divergent, and not being able to see her brother, and being torn from her family? How is that not a dystopia? It's bad!"

Not necessarily. You see, because the Abnegation run the government, technically they can control the other factions, but they don't. They're inept. They actually have no way to enforce the rules that everyone follows. They have no security force of their own, or punishments. This society could not exist because it could not function.

"But the Erudite were in charge! And the brainwashing!"

The Erudite weren't in charge at first, and even then, not everyone would have been behind it. Also, the Abnegation's viewpoint on the world doesn't give them the back bone to push against at least three factions of obnoxious individuals. They should have toppled from power generations ago, but since Roth never gives us an idea about how long her Chicago has been around, the reader doesn't know. This society is not plausible. At. All.

Watch. Get five friends together and each have them represent a faction. Then have Selfless tell Intelligence, Honesty, and Muscle what to do. Think about it. Even the US Armed Forces push back against Congress.

"But she explains all your gripes in Insurgent."

Then let me talk about Tris, the main character.

She is the daughter of an Abnegation government official. She is small for her size and built like a boy. She wishes she was more selfless like her family, but instead lies and wishes vengeance on just about everyone that hurts her. She is a giant hypocrite.

Take her fight with Molly after she's "pantsed" in the dorm. Tris keep's kicking her while she's down out of vengeance. That is just petty and mean. If she keeps wishing she's selfless, that would be a moment where she could demonstrate it. And Al after he apologizes for trying to hurt her, she doesn't forgive him. Tris is a horrible, horrible person. She isn't Divergent. She's Dauntless through and through. She is not selfless, honest, smart, or friendly. She's suspicious, spiteful, and dense.

If she was the least bit pretty, I'd get why Four was into her. But she isn't, so I don't.

And that brings me straight to our hunky hero who is oh, so dreamy. He's a virgin, hot, wounded, and mysterious. He only has four fears. That is why he has a nickname reserved for science experiments. Isn't he the best!

Four has about as much life as a Ken doll. Probably the genitals of one too. His real importance is that he's also a Divergent.

Now I will talk about Divergents and the nuances of Dauntless now that I've brought up Tris and bitched about how this is not a dystopia.

I've already said that Dauntless were crazy people that do stupid stuff to seem brave. Roth tries to make the initiates go through a difficult training regimen, but they only beat on each other. There is no learning of throws, holds, or grabs. No learning of efficient ways to take down enemies without killing them or brutally beating them. Roth doesn't even know that most fights are won in the grapple. It's like she did no research about how to train security based forces what so ever.

It's even more apparent when she brings in guns. Yes, guns. To Roth, they are never rifles or pistols. They are never semi-auto or bolt action. She doesn't even know what a magazine is. Need an example?

"She pushes the bullet chamber open and peers inside. Seeing how many bullets she has left. Then takes a few out of her pocket and reloads."

Unless the gun is a revolver, which is unspecified, the magazine would have to be removed to see how much ammo is left and to reload it. And if I'm running around with a semi-auto pistol, I would try to carry loaded magazines with me instead of individual bullets if possible. Seriously, just the technical knowledge alone was torture to get through. I don't need to know how to field strip a P-90, but at least the basics is needed when you are writing about a militant faction.

And the Divergent thing. Basically, they can't be brainwashed. Roth tries to justify it wish an explanation given by Tris' mom:

"But our minds move in a dozen different directions. We can't be confined to one way of thinking, and that terrifies our leaders. It means we can't be controlled. And it means that no matter what they do, we will always cause trouble for them."

Do you see the problem with that one? Do you?

First off, they are Abnegation. THEY ARE THE LEADERS.

Second, I don't think Roth has ever read 1984, Brave New World, or Fahrenheit 451 where a bulk of the population's way of thinking was quite successfully controlled through fear or bliss. Sure, there were a few outliers, but in two of the three, they were dealt with through discreet means. And the sad thing, all three of those futures have come true in some sense or another. We will never come anywhere close to the world depicted in Divergence.

So, to sum it all up because I don't have enough words to keep going into the massive problems this book has, don't bother. Read The Hunger Games if you haven't yet (even though I thought Collins kind of dropped the ball in Mockingjay). Or you could pick up the anthology I mentioned earlier since it has awesome dystopia shorts written by women like Shirley Jackson, Usula K. Le Guin, and Carrie Vaughn. Or read anything else really.

And if anyone wants me to do Insurgent, I would have to get 100 likes on this review. Even if I do, I can't guarantee this wouldn't happen after I read it.

So it's been fun. I'm going to go bleach my brain now.

Edit 8/16/2013: There is this thing I've been thinking of for some time now. The Dauntless are always trying to have these kids get rid of fears. There is this saying that I think people should keep in mind, "Those without fear are missing a good friend."

If you don't quite understand it, it means that those who are fearless don't have an important survival mechanism. Fear is what stimulates the "fight or flight" response that sends adrenaline coursing through our veins. Bravery is controlling your fear, utilizing it, not getting rid of it. It really bothered me that this book interpreted bravery as the absence of fear. Bravery, courage, is taking a step forward and facing the thing that makes you want to piss yourself and dive for cover.

But fear should also be listened to. If someone says you have to jump off a building to prove yourself, and you know you could die, true bravery would be to look them in the eye and tell them it's stupid and pointless. It's to stand up for yourself.

Take the fact that Four turns down the position that Shower Curtain (Eric) takes over. That was cowardly. It would have been braver for him to take the position so he could protect the students from the corruption. He could also try to dismantle the corrupt from the inside out. Yeah, it's more dangerous, but if this book is supposed to be about utilizing your fear for change, then that would have been a perfect little parallel sub-plot. It's a shame Roth isn't a more talented writer.
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Reading Progress

March 19, 2013 – Started Reading
March 19, 2013 – Shelved
March 20, 2013 –
page 1
0.21% "If they are allowed to have a mirror, why an they only use it once every three months?"
March 20, 2013 –
page 2
0.41% ""The other factions celebrate birthdays, but we don't. It would be self-indulgent." How? Already this book doesn't make sense."
March 20, 2013 –
page 7
1.44% "The trains are only rode by Dauntless and never stop, so the riders have to throw themselves from it. There is a difference between brave and stupid."
March 20, 2013 –
page 23
4.72% "I don't get why Divergent is a bad thing. No one would fit just one of those personality types."
March 20, 2013 –
page 38
7.8% "What point does the test serve if they're allowed to choose?"
March 20, 2013 –
page 33
6.78% "The governing council is comprised of all Abnegation. That makes less sense than the personality types Roth chose for her factions."
March 20, 2013 –
page 40
8.21% "To pick, they have to cut their hand and squeeze it into the bowl of their choosing. WTF? Some poor sap has to clean all those stones. Not only that, but there is no sense to it."
March 20, 2013 –
page 47
9.65% "So the smart faction are dicks, the friendly faction are all mentally six, the honest faction are lawyers, the brave faction all sound like they belong in jail, and the selfless faction are boring. Yeah, this is going to be fun."
March 20, 2013 –
page 60
12.32% "Seriously? This guy's name is Four. What happened to One through Three? They miss the net?"
March 20, 2013 –
page 73
14.99% "These kids have to pass the initiation process to stay in or be doomed to be a homeless day laborer. Do they have limited resources or something?"
March 20, 2013 –
page 79
16.22% "Just from reading the last few pages, I can tell the writer knows nothing about training people to use a gun or gun safety, period."
March 20, 2013 –
page 96
19.71% "For being a supposedly military faction, the Dauntless brawl more than learn effective and efficient hand to hand for taking down an opponent. Writer fail."
March 20, 2013 –
page 104
21.36% "I seriously don't get why people think these sadistic assholes are brave at all. Or why this system lasted over a generation."
March 20, 2013 –
page 114
23.41% ""I could not be attracted to Al - I could not be attracted to anyone that fragile." Wow, Tris. Shallow much?"
March 20, 2013 –
page 123
25.26% "The train stopped! Shock! (Rolls eyes.)"
March 20, 2013 –
page 128
26.28% ""It almost seems like they don't want to keep something out; they want to keep us in.... That makes no sense." Tris is also dense. What is wrong with these YA heroines?"
March 20, 2013 –
page 156
32.03% "That was the most uneventful game of paintball ever. I'm going to go watch Community."
March 24, 2013 –
page 158
32.44% ""... pride is important to the Dauntless. More important than reason or sense." This made me laugh. I didn't know the Dauntless had reason or sense."
March 24, 2013 –
page 165
33.88% "(Four to Tris' anger.) "If I wanted to hurt you, don't you think I would have already?" No. Just no. This is not a healthy thing to hear from the love interest."
March 24, 2013 –
page 170
34.91% "Tris gets "pantsed" and decides to take revenge against the bullies. This is a YA book. That is not the mindset for young woman to learn."
March 24, 2013 –
page 188
38.6% "I don't get why Tris is so shocked her mother left the Dauntless. A quiet life over a bunch of psychos isn't that hard of a decision to make."
March 24, 2013 –
page 207
42.51% "In the wake of Ed getting stabbed in the eye, Tris realizes that the good intentions have been corrupted and the factions no longer mean what they used to. Ya, think? How many pages has it been?"
March 24, 2013 –
page 222
45.59% "When they're done with the zip-line, who caught the first member? Also, how do they return the slings to the top? Why am I asking? There is no logic in this book."
March 24, 2013 –
page 226
46.41% "I'm almost halfway, and there is only the tiniest inkling of a plot. This book is boring and poorly thought out."
March 24, 2013 –
page 244
50.1% "Tris gets pissy because Molly spoke smack about her family Um, what did she expect would happen after she beat the bully up? Tris is a moron."
March 24, 2013 –
page 256
52.57% "Still don't get the Divergence thing. Since all the characters are made of cardboard, I can't see how Tris is divergent."
March 24, 2013 –
page 284
58.32% ""It isn't right to wish pain on other people just because they hurt me first," says Tris, who has already done this with ease."
March 24, 2013 –
page 294
60.37% "I want this plotless POS to be over."
March 24, 2013 –
page 300
61.6% "Poor Al. It's pretty obvious that he needs help and no one wants to try. Tris, I hate you."
March 24, 2013 –
page 332
68.17% "They call him Four because he has four constant fears. Sigh. This book makes me want to hit things."
March 24, 2013 –
page 336
68.99% ""Four fears is unheard of." How is this a thing? This book is going to make me cry."
March 24, 2013 –
page 338
69.4% "Four and Tris finally hook up. I don't get what he sees in her. She's not pretty and her personality sucks. She's dense, a hypocrite, and doesn't trust anyone. She also has not problem manipulating her friends. Yeah, Tris is a real catch."
March 24, 2013 –
page 354
72.69% "Tris goes to visit her brother out of the blue. If there is a conspiracy going on, it's not exactly bright to be so conspicuous."
March 24, 2013 –
page 376
77.21% "Erudite plan to go to war against Abnegation using the Dauntless. Roth only set up her society to serve her meagre plot. There is very little logic behind this."
March 24, 2013 –
page 403
82.75% "Four is a virgin? Why? Don't say waiting for the right girl. Tris isn't worth it."
March 24, 2013 –
page 418
85.83% "Mind control. That is how the Brainiacs control the Wreckless. This book is utilizing a bad plot device from a sci-fi B movie. I kid you not."
March 24, 2013 –
page 405
83.16% ""One bad thing goes away, and another bad thing replaces it." Only if you let it, Tris."
March 24, 2013 –
page 418
85.83% "Jeanine's eyes are described as gray, and then we get this: "They reminded me of melted steel." Isn't melted steel, I don't know, orange?"
March 24, 2013 –
page 432
88.71% ""Monitored-robbed of free will. She has a gift with words." Or Jeanine doesn't see it as the removal of free will. Tris, stop thinking."
March 24, 2013 –
page 437
89.73% "Tris is worried she's going to drown in a tank full of water. She is shot in the shoulder. She has never been shot before. How is she not scared of bleeding out?"
March 24, 2013 –
page 446
91.58% "Tris kills Will instead of shooting for the non-vitals and then knocking him out. I hate you, Roth."
March 24, 2013 –
page 463
95.07% ""He lifts his head, and I click a bullet into its chamber, raising an eyebrow at him." Peter just shot at Tris, so there is already a bullet in the chamber. (Head-desk.)"
March 24, 2013 –
page 475
97.54% "Tris can kill Will, but not Four. i wish someone would shoot her."
March 24, 2013 – Finished Reading
March 25, 2013 – Shelved as: ya-to-avoid

Comments Showing 1-50 of 104 (104 new)

message 1: by Mark (new) - added it

Mark Was it that bad?

Reader-ramble Mark wrote: "Was it that bad?"

I'll justify myself soon, but yes. And I've decided I'm going to be as mature and academic about it as I can. Not a huge mean troll.

message 3: by Mark (new) - added it

Mark You can only say what you think about the book.

message 4: by Reader-ramble (last edited Mar 25, 2013 01:24PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Reader-ramble Mark wrote: "You can only say what you think about the book."

That's true, but I like to try to have concrete reasons why I don't think something is good. Saying "I don't like this" isn't really enough. Same for if I think something is good. I've read stuff that is really good, but I don't like it. I still say it's good though, but admit it's not for me.

message 5: by Mark (new) - added it

Mark i will be given it a go i am interested in how the author blends it all together.

Reader-ramble Yeah... Good luck.

And stay tuned for the rest of my review.

message 7: by Mark (new) - added it

Mark I don't think I shall bother now, I have plenty of other books to read.

Thanks for the review Lee Anna.

Reader-ramble Mark wrote: "I don't think I shall bother now, I have plenty of other books to read.

Thanks for the review Lee Anna."

Glad I could help. My whole goal in life is to save people pain and misery from bad writing. There are always better books to read.

Julia This was a great review. It was also funny.

Reader-ramble Josh wrote: "This was a great review. It was also funny."

Thanks for reading it. Pass it along to friends and see if I can get 100 likes.

Thank you for also thinking I'm funny.

Reader-ramble Palice Pottle wrote: "Good review! :)
About the part with Tris not being pretty - I'm not too sure, but this was in first person, right? I doubt we'd get characters who will say they're beautiful all the time. I don't t..."

That is true, but I think I was just being pissy by that point. So many of these YA heroines lack confidence in their appearance and only add to body image issues in young women. Most girls who do not fit the social norm of "pretty" in high high school end up growing into their own when they mature, as my husband pouts about from behind his computer. (Is that so-and-so? She's looking good, and she was huge.) Yeah, boys.

My point is, I would like to see a character who understands that she's not done growing through maybe an old family photo where her mom looked just like her at 16, especially if she thinks her mother is pretty. I'm just tired of the whining, and Tris doesn't help.

Besides, why would she care if she's going to put it in front of someone's fist anyway.

As for the 100 likes, I think I just want to see if I can do it at all. The most I've got is something like 28 on one review.

Reader-ramble Thank you.

message 13: by Sandy (new)

Sandy This review is better than the book! Hilarious.

Reader-ramble Sandy wrote: "This review is better than the book! Hilarious."

I'm just going to stand here and hand out "thank you" cookies.

message 15: by Mike (new)

Mike Thank you for saving what would have been a few hours of my life wasted. I was given this book as an unwanted present from a friend who said I would like it by page two I threw it at the wall. I love your analysis, this book really sucks and fortunately I did not have to read much of it to discover that. It's nice to be validated by somebody that did endure it


message 16: by Andre (new)

Andre Nice review. One thing though:
When you first mentioned the factions you wrote "Condor" instead of "Candor."

DavidO What's that last GIF from? It's hilarious.

Reader-ramble The IT Crowd. It's a British sitcom. I think Hulu or Netflix has it.

message 19: by Meera (new) - added it

Meera I haven't even read the book and this review had me laughing. I want to read now just to see how bad it is.

Derrick You're one hilarious chick!

message 21: by Ally (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ally Awesome review - the gifs and pictures are perfect LOL!! :D

message 22: by Mary (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mary What you said. Especially about fear being USEFUL; I said the same on my blog. The Dauntless just strike me as a bunch of cruel, callous, unimaginative idiots. Hard to read about people like that!

Eliza That's horrible I thought it was pretty good compared to a bunch of other books I have read.

Books_at_Tiffany’s Ok, I just read all 3 books. I really liked the first book, the second one was ok and hated the third. I'm re-reading book 1 right now and I'm finding myself questioning some things I didn't think about while reading it the first time.
Why didn't Tris tell Four what she learned about Eric working for the Erudite after she put it together coming back from visiting her brother?

Why didn't Tris tell Four about her conversation with her brother that "something big is going on" part after Four took her on the train ride to show her the Erudite building keeping its lights on at night?

Both of these things could've come up naturally on that train ride. It makes no sense. Was she too busy kissing him to think?

And how in the world could she fall asleep after figuring out they were gonna be used as killer zombies?

Reader-ramble I know, right? I'm the same age as the writer was when she wrote this and I could tell nothing fit together. It's like she just threw a bunch of oppressive-like stuff together in a B-movie pot and then didn't even finish cooking it. If Divergent's tone was changed, it could have been a hilarious send up of dystopian YA.

Eliza If I may say sometimes the author has a different point of view on how she wrote the book and you may not be seeing it as she would sometimes rereading helps.

Books_at_Tiffany’s One more plot hole I've noticed by re-reading 2!
1. If Four figured out Tris was Divergent by her breaking the glass of the water tank she was in: why would she do the same thing when she went through the "fear landscape" when she was trying not to "change" the simulations?
2. When initiation was over and they announced that Tris was number 1, and Tobias asks if it would give too much away if he hugged her and she kisses him: how would that not be a huge deal? Eric would be wondering if they lied to him that day Tris came back from Erudite headquarters. People would still always wonder if her getting number 1 was b/c of her relationship with her instructor. And I think Christina would've had a bunch if questions.
But that's all just glossed over and they go party.

Reader-ramble I think the sci-fi B-movie plot was the final face-palm for me.

And to quote Seanan McGuire, "Author intent is worth the paper it's not written on." Absolutely nothing.

Books_at_Tiffany’s I know Roth is running around explaining her intentions for book 3...if you have to explain yourself you missed the mark big time!

Reader-ramble Tiffany wrote: "I know Roth is running around explaining her intentions for book 3...if you have to explain yourself you missed the mark big time!"

Exactly. Sometimes writers do miss the mark, and they have to accept that. I know I will have to as much as I don't want to. It's part of a writer's job to use the correct words to demonstrate what they mean. That is what makes writing so hard.

Eliza Do you ever say anything nice about the book I mean seriously!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Eliza It's okay to not criticize it into where people hate it sometimes

Eliza I bet you couldn't write a book as good as this one.

Eliza Thanks it's just horrible to say things like that to an author because I mean what if you're just not seeing it in the authors point of view.

Reader-ramble "Do you ever say anything nice about the book I mean seriously!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

The technical aspects of the writer's writing are okay. It's nothing spectacular, but I've seen far worse. Although, the passage about checking for bullets still makes me cringe.

And she does do emotions well in a couple of scenes, but is sadly not consistent.

"It's okay to not criticize it into where people hate it sometimes[.]"

It's okay to love something too. I'm not going after fans. I can understand the appeal of works like this, but I am also free to think about it critically. If people read my review and decide to read it or not, then that's all them. If you convince them otherwise, fine. That's the point of a review. You are trying to write a persuasive argument about why a person should or shouldn't buy a product. In this case it happens to be a book, which also takes time to read, so people rely on sites like this to see if they want to spend that time. While I am writing to inform, I'm also writing to entertain, and could care less if someone actually reads it or not. If they do, and enjoy it, then we simply don't agree. I'm not going to complain or say they're wrong. We each have our own opinions.

"... it's just horrible to say things like that to an author because I mean what if you're just not seeing it in the authors point of view."

If I'm not seeing it from the author's point of view, then the author has failed as a writer in some sense. She (or he) has not been able to tell me what their intent is in the work they've written. Like I've said before, writers must communicate their intent to their readers through the book. Once it's published, he (or she) can't run around and correct people. That is how it works.

I'm a writer, albeit unpublished. I have had people give me unfavorable critiques of my work. I know the feeling when you want to scream and shout at the person dragging your soul behind a speeding car. Despite the pain, they often tell me something that I failed to see, and because of that I improve. (Unless you get some straw-man shouting troll, but that's a different argument for another time.) I tell them thank you for taking the time out of their day to consider my work, and move on. Not everyone is going to pat me on the back, but I would give them points for making me laugh.

And honestly, I picked up this book with the hope that it wouldn't suck. I hoped the negative reviews were wrong. It didn't work out like that.

"I bet you couldn't write a book as good as this one."

Now that's just low. And I believe the word you're looking for is "marketable."

message 36: by Chloe (new)

Chloe I love your review!! I laughed so hard. LOL ~ After I finished the movie, I was actually thinking of getting this book. Then I came here and found your review, and I totally agreed with your point of view. I found all these weird plots in the movie as well, and I thought maybe there would be some explanations in the book. Guess I was wrong. ~

Reader-ramble Thank you! I hope to get around to the next books in the near future.

message 38: by Diana (new) - rated it 1 star

Diana Thank you so much for this. I'm glad I'm not the only one who cringes whenever Divergent is mentioned. YA has basically gone down the drain... I can barely even stomach it now.

message 39: by Nom (new) - rated it 1 star

Nom Deplume "Four has about as much life as a Ken doll. Probably the genitals of one too. " Quote of the DECADE! Thank you!!!

Wendy Okay, I agree with most of this review. I didn't really like Divergent (though I thought it was an entertaining read during a long car ride), and you did a good job of explaining exactly why it's not as amazing as some people say (in my opinion). I just say it doesn't do anything to stand out or make it vaguely interesting or unpredictable.

I do think that the next couple books improved, at least in the world building and complexity. I liked Allegiant to some extent simply because it surprised me and was different, and Divergent was simply uninteresting and pointless, especially because there was absolutely no background and the protagonist didn't learn anything new or interesting or secret.

Not really sure what the point of this comment was… just wanted to put my two cents in. I think you wrote a good, well thought out review of the book.

message 41: by Andre (last edited Sep 13, 2014 04:38AM) (new)

Reader-ramble No I haven't, but I freaking love Honest Trailers. Thanks for that.

message 43: by JosieQ (last edited Nov 12, 2014 02:50AM) (new)

JosieQ Hah! I just found this review while searching for:

+divergent +bullet clicks into the chamber

I didn't notice it the first time specifically, but after the second time someone's hearing a bullet clicking into a chamber I became like, wait... what the fuck, are they pulling back the slide? Or is she trying to say that everyone is carrying a revolver? Are they... are they seriously... all carrying revolvers??

And even if that's the case (which is lame), it becomes ridiculous after her fight with temporarily-brianwashed Four that she gives up and THEN the bullet clicks into the chamber. So the whole time you're going around fighting with your gun un-cocked? Okay sure, maybe, for safety. But then, really, he's going to brainwash shoot you and he's actually taking the time to cock it rather than just double-action shooting you, all suspensefully cocking it? No I think he'd just shoot you.

And also, a bullet doesn't even click into a chamber in a revolver. It's already IN the chamber. The chamber clicks over or the hammer clicks back, so even if everyone's carrying a revolver the description's just completely... wrong.

Revolvers. XD

Anyway, good review my dear lass.

Sabrina Loved your review! It seems like this latest wave of 'dystopian' fiction has been corrupting the traditional idea of what a dystopia was supposed to be---kind of like how Twilight totally ruined traditional vampires with something so much more inferior.

Even Collin's trilogy had a satirical take on reality TV and our relationship with war. It's not a future that's likely, but at least it had something interesting to say about the society we currently live in. Divergent doesn't offer us any of that -_-

Reader-ramble Andi wrote: "Loved your review! It seems like this latest wave of 'dystopian' fiction has been corrupting the traditional idea of what a dystopia was supposed to be---kind of like how Twilight totally ruined tr..."

I agree about the definition of dystopian. It used to be just a niche genre in a way, but it's blossomed out and lost all it's intended purpose. People think anything post-apocalyptic is dystopian these days. Or anything seemingly oppressive. It's sad.

Ashley Wright I will do my best to keep this brief, because I'm not one for ranting, but I disagreed with almost everything in your review. First of all, you make Tris out to be the biggest hypocrite mankind has ever seen because she refused to forgive Al, becoming the cause of his death. I can't imagine what would lead you to think that because I would NEVER forgive someone who tried to kill me. Would you? Secondly, you seem to be strictly against the romance between Tris and Tobias (Four). You were confused as to why Tobias was ever interested in her seeing as she wasn't even pretty. I have a fairly decent explanation for that. Tobias noticed her at first because she was a "Stiff", yet was the first jumper, and he was from Abnegation himself. I personally don't find it that far-fetched at all, but we are all entitled to our own opinions, aren't we? Lastly, as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (a.k.a. the Mormon church), I find myself extremely offended at the stereotype you have displayed in your review. I would appreciate it if you would do your research before spewing false information for the whole world to see. There are enough terrible stereotypes out there as is, please do not add to the ever-growing pile. Thank you.

message 47: by Andre (new)

Andre Ashley wrote: "I will do my best to keep this brief, because I'm not one for ranting, but I disagreed with almost everything in your review. First of all, you make Tris out to be the biggest hypocrite mankind has..."

Than how do Mormon missionaries dress?

Reader-ramble Ashley wrote: "I will do my best to keep this brief, because I'm not one for ranting, but I disagreed with almost everything in your review. First of all, you make Tris out to be the biggest hypocrite mankind has..."

First off, I grew up in a town that was very, very Mormon. I know a lot about the church, well, what the church will allow non-members to know. Mormon missionaries do wear black slacks and white shirts. That was all I was saying about Candor. That is what Kristina and the rest of the faction are described as wearing. That's it. That is all I was implying. Yes, I do know that some Mormons do mission work that isn't knocking on doors and riding bicycles, but those who do wear black and white. It's called a metaphor. Sorry you were offended by my metaphor, but I wasn't lying.

The Al thing is kind of weird. The scene where he helped Peter is so poorly written that I couldn't figure out who was actually at fault. I've had people say Al was responsible, but the book makes it out be like Peter roped him in to trying to kill Tris, which I believe. Not only that, but Al had problems before that and tried to talk to Tris, but she doesn't really communicate with him well. I give Roth credit for writing some decent emotional scenes, and in these she does a good job of putting red-alert-mentally-unstable flags above Al's head. In the scene he apologizes to Tris, it comes across that if she doesn't at least forgive him verbally (she doesn't need to emotionally) he might do something like hurt himself or someone else. Al needed help, and Tris ignored the signals. That is what upset me.

I'll be honest, kind of tired of a female character's awesomeness having to be validated by a male love interest. Also, Tris is a hypocrite. She hates being bullied, but starts kicking Molly while she's down, literally. In sparing, that is an awful thing to do.

And if you read the comments, you would know I already said I kind of regret the "not pretty" comment, but having integrity and didn't change it. I make mistakes, and live up to them.

And honestly, I didn't mind that their romance existed, it was just really boring. Mostly because Tobias was boring. He felt so blah. That's why I made the Ken doll joke. I didn't really have much to say about him other than he exists.

Ashley Wright The exact same way you dress when you go to church.

Ashley Wright The exact same way you dress when you go to church.

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