June 15, 2020

[REVIEW] Divergent

title: Divergent (Divergent #1)
author: Veronica Roth
genre: young adult, science fiction, dystopia
published: February 28, 2012 by Katherine Tegen Books (first published April 25, 2011)
my copy: trade paperback, 487 pages
purchase: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository
rating: 4 / 5 stars
In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself. 
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.
an oldie but goodie.

This is a reread.

I first read this waaaay back in 2014 when dystopian series were a thing and all we think about is this teenage chick who'll get stuck in an eternal love triangle and eventually save the day. And oh how I miss those days. I never went off the dystopian train though even though trends have changed.

I picked this up because I wanted to finally finish the series. I've had Allegiant since 2014 (or 2015. I'm not sure at this point) and haven't touched it and have no interest in it since coming across that major spoiler. But here I am rereading the first two books to finally get through with this series. AND even though it's a reread, even though I still know exactly how this will go, and even though I know that the second book will suck, I read it and enjoyed it 😊

In our factions, we find meaning, we find purpose, we find life." -p43

Divergent follows Tris prior who lives in a world where society is divided into five factions that focuses on different virtues. Upon reaching the age of sixteen, Tris must choose which faction she's going to live the rest of her life. After going through the test that would help her make her decision, Tris must choose between staying with her family or following what she believes where she truly belongs. However, things don't just end with Tris making her decision. There's something more interesting going on behind the scenes that may change the way they view the way the factions are divided.

What really pushed me to get into the hype train then was the interesting world of Divergent. I like the concept of the five factions with different central virtues. It's kind of an interesting way of putting together people with the same ideology. I also like the dystopian aspect of this (aka the fight for power). At this point, I still think it was well thought of.

'We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.'" -p206

I kind of like how Tris developed from the uncertain girl to someone who's so sure of herself and her abilities. I like her uncertainty and how much of stubborn yet reasonable heroine she is in here (Yes, I probably did not like her after this book). The rest of the characters were also interesting and some are obviously frustrating and that's the good thing about it. They make you feel things. I'm mostly eyeing on Peter on this one tbh. But Christina and Will and Caleb were really some of the characters that really got to me throughout the novel (and Christina and Caleb throughout the series). 

However, what I didn't like here is how cringe-y it actually is when it comes to the romance side. I am not entirely sure if it's just me or if it really is the state of YA SFF books at that time. But I put tabs on those scenes I found cringe-y and they were a lot. But as a whole, nothing to fear in this books, to be honest. Despite that, I still liked it.

"Fear doesn't shut you down; it wakes you up. -p313

OVERALL, Divergent is still quite a recommended book. If you've never read it and like dystopian novels, I really suggest to try this one although I cannot completely vouch for the entire series since there are mixed thoughts (although personally, I was generally okay with it). 

let's connect!


  1. If I had known how this all would end, I would have never read this book. I did really enjoy the first two books though.

    1. I didn't like Insurgent that much, to be honest. Kind of bored me also somewhat infuriated me. But as a whole, I'm kind of glad the series worked out well for me.

  2. Omg I read this book when I was in the 8th grade and I remember everyone in school were into Divergent as well. We were all in a dystopian book phase then :) I thought I was the only one, but I also didn't read Allegiant because a classmate posted on Instagram a very big spoiler, and I completely lost interest after seeing it. I loved Divergent and Insurgent though. I agree with much of your review and how the characters are simply great. Looking back, I find the romance cringe as well haha. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this, super interesting :)

    jillian @ jillian etc.

    1. I love the dystopian phase despite the extra predictable and somewhat annoying love triangles then. Totally understandable on Allegiant though. I hold off reading it for so long because of the spoiler I came across back then. But decided to to just finally go through it recently. hahaha.

  3. Like Sam, I really enjoyed the first two books in the series but wasn't the biggest fan of the final book. The first one was definitely entertaining though. Great review!

    1. Thank you, Suzanne! Everyone I know so far, didn't like the final book and I guess I kind of understand that :)


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