Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Book Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

I've seen a few lingering reviews of Divergent popping up every now and then, so I don't think I'm the actual last blogger to read this one, but I know I'm close.  I bid on (and won) my copy from All 4 Alabama, which was hosted by my friend Crystal, but it took a while for it to arrive due to the same address mix up that has plagued me ever since we moved last year.  Anyway, it finally came and I'm so glad I made it a priority because it was awesome.  I am not usually a fan of books that are promoted as "the next Hunger Games" or "the next Twilight" or whatever, so I was suspicious about this one.  I still don't like all of the comparisons (just because two books are dystopian does not mean they automatically need to be compared), but the book is phenomenal in a completely different way that is all it's own.

One of the things about book blogging is that I've become much more critical of my pleasure reading.  I'm more aware of things like quality of writing, since I know I'm going to be writing about it and that I'll need to justify the reasoning behind my review.  In this one, for the most part, I was so into the story that I didn't notice the writing one way or the other.  But I did get a Tweet from a more literary-minded blogger as I read that led me to look at the book beyond just how awesomely amazing the story was.  And I think it held up pretty well.  There were parts (the romance aspect) that I felt were less believable and possibly were in the book mainly as a plot device aimed at what is expected of most YA fiction (boys and girls falling in love and kissing).  I think Roth did an excellent job at keeping those plot devices to a minimum though, and that she told her story well.

Entertainment Value
Off the charts awesome.  It's one that I honestly couldn't put down - I read it in less than 24 hours.  While the literary part of me felt like maybe some of the romantic elements were a plot device, the girl in my loved the kissing.  And I've written about the romance twice now, but please do not misunderstand and think that is waht this book is about.  The issues surrounding familial love and the idea of growing up and choosing your own path is expressed beautifully.  I loved how Roth was able to bring in something that all teenagers, and I think adults as well, can identify with (growing up and away from your family of origin) and magnified it (choosing a faction at the age of 16), but managed to keep it relatable.  I highly recommend it.


  1. Well now I have to go and get it and read it. I've been debating back and forth.