Book Review of Divergent (Divergent, Bk 1)

Divergent (Divergent, Bk 1)
reviewed on + 215 more book reviews


This is a difficult book to gauge, except in comparison to other books within the same genre and audience, so I guess I'll approach it on that level. In many ways, the book read as though it wanted to be the next "Hunger Games," with a heroine reluctantly pulled into a struggle against a seemingly unbeatable system that ultimately seeks her destruction. Yet, it does not have quite what it takes to pull it off. I do enjoy the world that Roth created here. It reminds me very much of the best dystopian novels that I have read, while having a uniqueness to it which captured my attention. The central plot, however, is extremely slow to develop, leaving the whole book building up to the very end, when we finally catch on to what the trilogy apparently is meant to revolve around. This made it feel slow, and the writing did not help, though that did improve a bit at the end. Yet, I did feel that, in terms of my ultimate level of enjoyment, the book rightfully deserves four stars, mainly because it did leave off with what I hope to be a fair bit of potential (fair disclosure: I did start the second book already, and that has helped to form my opinion). Overall, it does not hold up to the greatest young adult works, in excitement or writing, but with it apparently being her first published book, I see potential talent here, and a story that has a lot of room to grow. After all, if even J.K. Rowling grew a lot as a writer as her series progressed, I cannot blame other authors for needing to do so too.