Monday, October 10, 2011

Delving into Divergent

“Becoming fearless isn't the point. That's impossible. It's learning how to control your fear, and how to be free from it.”

- Divergent by Veronica Roth

Christina Lee at Write-Brained is hosting a 2011 Debut Author Spotlight .

Since I have a short story ("Allured" in Fangtales) bloggers are helping me promote, I should help new authors, right? Besides, I’ve read over 90 books so far this year. I had plenty of books to choose from! I chose:

Divergent by Veronica Roth.

I read 487 pages in less than 48 hours - it was that good.

Here’s the description on Goodreads:

Beatrice "Tris" Prior has reached the fateful age of sixteen, the stage at which teenagers in Veronica Roth's dystopian Chicago must select which of five factions to join for life. Each faction represents a virtue: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite. To the surprise of herself and her selfless Abnegation family, she chooses Dauntless, the path of courage. Her choice exposes her to the demanding, violent initiation rites of this group, but it also threatens to expose a personal secret that could place in mortal danger. Veronica Roth's young adult Divergent trilogy launches with a captivating adventure about love and loyalty playing out under most extreme circumstances.

Here’s my review:

At first I wasn't sure how I felt about Beatrice. First I thought she was too secretive, then too cold, but she grew on me as she grew as a person.

Beatrice lives in a world of factions. When you turn 16, you join one. If you chose a faction other than the one you're born into, it's scandalous. Beatrice doesn't feel comfortable in the ones she's in where's she's expected to be selfless. Once she decides, her allegiance should be faction over blood.

Then she trains.

In her training, she must figure out who she is, what she fears and how to deal with them, whom to trust, and how to survive. At the same time, she has to wrestle with feelings she has for one of her trainers. If this all weren't enough, when Beatrice realizes there are secrets that may jeopardize those she loves, she must figure out what to do to protect them.

It's got a lot of action, reminding me of second half of The Hunger Games. I thought the characters and scenario were realistic. The less we know of one another, the easier it is to demonize the other. That's an important theme of this book. I couldn't put it down and I can't wait for the next one to come out.

My biggest gripe was the level of violence in training. It didn't seem realistic or everyone would be walking around with rearranged faces and useless bodies. But it made more sense near the end. Sort of.

I like Tris’s strength as well as her realizations of her own flaws. The romance is realistic.

I’m looking forward to reading the next one.


  1. I'm impressed with how many books you read. I'm at about 50 though I have read some books twice.

    My daughter and I loved Divergent. Can't wait for the sequel.

  2. I haven't read this, yet. I'll have to put it on my list.

  3. I'm impressed by all the books you've devoured already! GO YOU! You're my inspiration to keep going!

    I've yet to read this but even my bookshop can't stop talking about it. I suppose it's time to finally pick up the deliciousness!

  4. I loved this book so much, I wanted a tattoo. Still haven't gotten one (other than the tattoo of Thumper on my butt, which I got in university).

    Can't wait for the sequel.

  5. Thanks for this honest review! I've been hearing alot of good things about this book!

  6. I love it when a book draws me in and takes over for a couple days as I pore over it. This is a great Debut series going on today ...

  7. I've got Divergent on my wishlist - it sounds like such a terrific book! :)

  8. Wow - sounds very manga!! Yay!! Thanks for the review and intro to this book, Theresa! Take care

  9. This one is waiting for me on my Kindle. Can't wait to read it.

  10. I read so much about this book. I'm going to have to read it soon. Thanks for the review.

  11. This is one of my favorite books that I've read this year! I can't wait for the next one in the series.

  12. I'm not a huge dystopian fan (it goes against my eternal optimism), but reviews like this DO pique my curiosity.

  13. I've heard so many great things about this book that I'm going to move it to the top of my TBR pile. But first I gotta buy it. :)

  14. This book really made me like it during the second half, once Tris's character was more developed. I agree she seemed a little cold at first, raised into a faction that does not approve of public displays of affection, but she grew up during her Dauntless training, and grew to realize the importance of having someone to rely on, like Four and some of her fellow initiates.

    Thanks for your review, Theresa!

  15. I still have to finish this one, but I love everything about the premise.

  16. 90 books! Wow, you are doing great!

    I bought Divergent before I left on my trip, but haven't read it yet. I have two arcs to read and review and then my dear friend Tess Hilmo's book just came out and I want to read it asap...So many books, so little time.

  17. Oh, yes, I liked Divergent too. Great pick!

  18. This was my first choice, Theresa, but you beat me to it!!! :-)

  19. Did you say 90?!?! *chokes on that number* wow!

    This was a great choice!!!

  20. I like the cover of Divergent. Maybe I'll get around to reading it one day, but I've still got a few hundred books on my shelf yet to be read. Reading, writing, blogging, working, watching movies, etc. --So much to do.

    Tossing It Out

  21. This one is on my list as well. I can't wait to read it. There have been so many good books out this year. I guess that happens every year... but this year they just seem REALLY good.

  22. If I hadn't snagged my crit partner's book I would have gotten this one. Uh-huh. Egad you read that book fast. And 90???????? *hangs head as she ponders her 42* I have done a lot of beta reading though. Does that count? If it does put me down at 560. *just kidding* hehe

  23. i'm 2/3 thru. it's good.
    my problem is i started reading it after hunger games trilogy...very similar beginning and violent "trials" and precious teen love to be discovered.

    i like it, but i wouldve liked it more at another time...

    great review =)

  24. I wasn't sure about this book when I first heard about it but the reviews have been so good. I think I'll have to buy it now.

  25. Divergent has one hell of a book trailer. I was blown away by the quality. The publisher has deep pockets to hire people to do this kind of special effects work.

  26. Such a good book! I read it quickly, too--it was almost impossible to put down!

  27. It sounds like a good book--I want to read it sometime!

  28. Yep, I read this book in two days (which is fast for me) and I loved it. Nice and pacy.

  29. I heard the same gripe from a couple people about the violence during training. I'm STILL waiting to read this. Sigh.

  30. You've read over 90 books this year? WOWZA!
    I've heard such great things about this book!

  31. I loved Divergent! i just can't believe I read it with such a long wait before the next book comes out. What was I thinking :)

  32. I didn't like all the violence either... it seemed like people should be more injured than they were. But on the whole, I thought the story was fantastic and really makes a person think. (I also met Veronica, and she's fantastic!)

  33. I loved Divergent. I read it faster than I thought I would, but that was because I found it addictive. I'll definitely read the sequel.

  34. Sounds good.

    The last book I read was a really silly romance, but I enjoyed it. :)

  35. @ Natalie, reading books twice counts. I'm doing the 100 Book Challenge, so I'm extra motivated. I probably won't do it again next year.

    @ Miranda, if you read it, I hope you enjoy Divergent.

    @ Jen, thanks.

    I think you'll enjoy the book.

    @ Stina, Thumper on your butt? How cute!

    I got two tattoos a few years ago. I'm so Dauntless!

    @ Creepy Query Girl, this book hardly needs my help. I think it was on the NYT Bestseller List.

    @ Old Kitty, it is, but without the pictures. You take care too!

    @ Christine, I hope you enjoy the book.

    @ Connie, it was well done, which I think is hard. Often books that balance action with reflection and growth are hard to pull off.

    @ Melissa, I can't imagine what's going to happen next.

  36. @ Joanne, I love when a book takes over too. Better than the ones I look for excuses not to read!

    @ Jemi, when you read Divergent, I hope you enjoy it!

    @ Vicki, I'd hate to crush your eternal optimism. Don't read The Hunger Games series then.

    @ Nicole, I recommend a move to the top of the list!

    @ Tere, couldn't have said it better myself. The action kept me going, but I didn't like Tris much until later.

    @ Anne, the action was good throughout. See Tere's comment above. I agree with her assessment.

    @ Sharon, so true! So many books, too little time.

    @ Elana, I think I remember reading about Divergent on your blog.

    @ Shannon, sorry! I wanted Across the Universe, but somebody beat me to that one.

  37. @ Christina, I'll probably never be able to reach 100 in a year again!

    @ Arlee, I know what you mean. I wish I had more time for reading too.

    @ Nisa, since I've been blogging, I get way more excited about book releases than I used to.

    @ Robyn, beta reading counts as reading, but it doesn't count towards the 100-book reading challenge I'm doing for 2011. I have the link to the right of the blog.

    @ Tara, The Hunger Games series and Divergent definitely shouldn't be read near one another. I had a similar problem. I went through a dystopian phase and got burned out by them.

    @ Patti, it definitely had a good combo of growth, depth, and action. Interesting society set up in it.

    @ Michael, I haven't seen the book trailer. Though I have played the "Which Faction are You?" game on Facebook.

    I hope someone makes a book trailer for me when I need one. I'm hopeless with that kind of stuff!

    @ Meredith, it was the kind of book that made you want to keep reading.

    @ The Golden Eagle, I hope you get to read it!

    @ Lynda, excellent pacing. I can learn a thing or two from Veronica Roth!

  38. @ Alleged Author, it certainly upped the tension and fear factor, but it seemed pointless to wreck people that badly if you need them to be strong.

    @ Kelly, I'm very competitive with myself, so if I sign up for a 100 Books Challenge for 2011, I'm going to do it!

    @ Susanna, it's excruciating to wait for a next book in a series when you loved the last one.

    @ Kristin, it made me think too. I didn't get the level of violence in training, but I assume training won't be an issue in the next book.

    @ Medeia, lately there are several future sequels I have no plans to read. But I'll definitely read the sequel to Divergent.

    @ LR, there are many different kinds of books to enjoy. Romance sounds fun!

  39. I like the concept of her not feeling comfortable being in a selfless faction. It would take a lot of courage to admit to not wanting to be completely selfless.

  40. Thanks for this review! I basically felt the same way as you about Tris. At first, I didn't know if I liked her, but her development throughout the story and the treatment of themes really sold the book for me. My major hang-up is with the set-up of the world/society, but that skepticism is mostly overshadowed by the power of the story and characters.

  41. @ Missed Periods, I agree. Who wants to admit to not being selfless? I appreciated the positive comparisons between dauntless and the selfless faction.

    @ Krispy, it is a powerful story. I think the characters were well-done too.