Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Title:  Divergent
Author:  Veronica Roth
Series:  Divergent #1
Publisher:  Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins
Publication Date:  May 3, 2011
Pages:  487
Format/Source:  Hardback/Purchased

Age Group/Genre:  Young Adult/Science Fiction, Dystopian

In a future Chicago, 16-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.  (From Goodreads)

A Great Re-Read…

I read Divergent late last year, but I decided to re-read it so that I could refresh my memory before diving into Insurgent, and also so that I could write a review for my blog.  Plus, any of my re-reads count toward the Read Me Baby, One More Time reading challenge hosted by Kate at Midnight Book Girl.

I’ve mentioned before (in my review of Across the Universe by Beth Revis) that I often get songs or even words stuck in my head, especially when a book has the same title as a song (like Across the Universe).  And the first time I read Divergent, somehow I got Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” stuck in my head, only I was singing “Divergent” in place of “Like a Virgin.”  My dorkiness took hold and I came up with some new words for the Madonna song, and soon I was singing “Di-i-vergent (Oooh!), Brave for the very first time!  Di-i-ver-er-er-er-gent, Let’s be Dauntless, You and I.”  And now you’ve got that in your head, too, don’t you?  You’re welcome.

Lots of Book Love…

Anyway, dorkiness aside, I really loved Divergent.  I think I enjoyed it just as much the second time around, even though a lot of the suspense was lost, because I knew what was going to happen.  And in my re-read I noticed a lot of foreshadowing, which is always fun to see!

After reading Divergent the first time, Four became one of my book boyfriends. And while I still love him in this book, I had forgotten just how much of a jerk he was to Tris in the beginning.  I mean, I know he explains that later, and I’m really glad that they don’t have an insta-love relationship, but it’s still not cool.

And I love the pacing in this novel.  It isn’t constant action, but there isn’t ever a dull moment, even when the waters are somewhat calm.  And there’s that great ending, which is full of action and suspense, and it really leaves you aching for more.

I also love this world that Roth has created.  Everyone is sorted into these factions, and each faction holds one virtue higher than the others.  The whole society is made up of black and whites, with no gray, and even the scenery feels like that at times, with high contrast.  Yet over time, Roth reveals more and more of the grays, the middle grounds, the complexities of the system and all of the characters.  It’s really just a completely well-written book, one that can be read again and again and each time a new layer can be found.

My favorite quote:

“He told me once to be brave, and though I have stood still while knives spun toward my face and jumped off a roof, I never thought I would need bravery in the small moments of my life.  I do.”

That quote, along with Dauntless’s manifesto, really resonated with me, because I believe that there are so many small moments in our lives where we have to be brave, or we have to do something that scares us, or we have to be brave for others, and often those things go unnoticed.

My rating for Divergent by Veronica Roth:

Five huge stars.  It was one of my favorite reads of 2011, and I loved reading it again.  I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys Dystopians.
Find it:  Goodreads │ Amazon │ HarperCollins
You may also enjoy: The Hunger GamesDelirium
Disclaimer:  I purchased this book myself.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.


  1. pagesunbound

    May 18, 2012 at 6:00 am

    Divergent does have some really good quotes! I like how they're sometimes a little unexpected for something that is often a very exciting, action-filled book.

    I think it might actually be good for me to reread it before getting to Insurgent. I listened to the audio book, and as Krysta was reading Divergent recently, she kept asking me about things I barely remembered happening!

    Great review!

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      May 21, 2012 at 7:28 pm

      Thanks! I think it definitely helped me to re-read it first – I remembered certain parts, but I had forgotten a lot of other parts!

  2. LHughes

    May 18, 2012 at 11:37 am

    HAHAHAHA! You're song is so funny! I love it!

    And that is an excellent quote. As much as the book seems to focus on the extreme things the Dauntless do like jumping off trains and shooting guns, I like that Roth highlighted that there are other kinds of bravery that test a person just as much.

    Eager to see what you thought of Insurgent!

    Lauren @ Hughes Reviews

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      May 21, 2012 at 7:43 pm

      Lol, thanks! I sang it to my husband and he didn't seem to happy about having it in his head! My review of Insurgent should be up tomorrow!

  3. Bittner

    May 18, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    I promise that one of these days I will get around to reading/listening to this one I just can't promise it will be anytime soon. I am excited to see what kind of impression Four will make on me when I finally read it.

    And just so you know, no, you did not get your little song stuck in my head. "I got a pocket, got a pocket full of sunshine. I got a love and I know that it's all mine, Oh. Oh-oh-oh" was stuck in my head before I read your review, while I read your review, and yep, it is still stuck in there!

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      May 21, 2012 at 8:09 pm

      Yeah, that's a song that I've had stuck in my head plenty of times, too!

  4. fakesteph

    May 21, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    I always felt like the point of the book was the small moments. The big things were how bravery was misconstrued and while they are brave actions, in the end, they aren't the actions that mattered. I loved this book. Can't wait to start Insurgent.

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      May 21, 2012 at 8:12 pm

      I agree. I think Roth really did a good job showing that these characters are supposed to act one way because they're born into or have chosen a faction, but the characters are always so much more complex than just being Dauntless, or Selfless, or whatever. Each character (and each faction, for that matter) finds those qualities in the huge choices that they make, and also in the small, everyday moments. And they also find themselves behaving like the other factions at times. It's just such a great story…

  5. Bengal Reads

    May 23, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    I really loved reading Divergent, I heard a lot of great things about it and so I bought it and thought…. it can't be that good but oh it is! I would really like to re-read it too!! Great review Andrea :D I hope you have a great day!

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      May 24, 2012 at 3:26 am

      Thanks! Yeah, Divergent was definitely one of my favorite reads of last year. It was fun re-reading it!

  6. Andrea @ Cozy Up

    May 23, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    I am so excited to read this (I don't know why I've put it off so long… part of me was waiting for Insurgent to come out). And yes I absolutely love your Divergent rendition of Madonna's Like A Virgin (reading that actually made my day!) Great review!

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      May 24, 2012 at 3:27 am

      Awww! I'm so excited that my dorky song made your day! :D You should totally read Divergent and Insurgent, especially if you like dystopians! Such great books! I liked Divergent more, but Insurgent was good, too!

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