Review originally posted [here].
**This review contains spoilers**
Extremely overrated. A few things I had an issue with:
I don’t mind the completely illogical and unbelievable society Roth creates. The idea of five factions based on character traits is interesting. I would have liked to be given more insight to each faction; that would have actually been interesting. I would have preferred to read about the five factions interacting, their histories, or how they functioned, rather than the horrible initiation process of the Dauntless faction, which the entire book focused on. The premise of the book had a lot of potential, but I just did not like the direction Roth took the story in.
This book glorified violence to the point where it became disturbing. Especially when the book is targeted towards teenagers and young adults. The narrator (a sixteen year old girl who previously spent her entire life attempting to be selfish and having no individuality or say in her life) quickly becomes violent and deadly. Characters are forced to physically, mentally, and emotionally hurt each other just for the chance of being accepted into the Dauntless “community”. Many characters enjoy this and want to succeed. I have no idea why this is appealing to people.
Tris and Four. I get that every young adult novel needs a romantic aspect. Whether it is the ever-popular love triangle or just a complicated relationship. However, Tris and Four relationship is poor executed (haha) in their violent world. Okay, it is sweet that he helps her while training, the small and helpless girl who is actually top of her initiation class (She’s divergent...what did you expect...). I did like them talking about their fears to one another and how they can relate on both being Divergent and transfers from the Abnegation faction. But one chapter they kiss, the next she slaps him, and then they barely mention it and are kissing again! Abusive! At one point, Tris decides she can’t kill Four (even after watching both her parents die and killing countless people as well as a close friend) and would rather die herself. Her death and Four’s survival would mean that the war between three factions continues and thousands of mindless zombie-like Dauntless “soldiers” - her new family - would kill thousands of innocent Abnegation citizens - her old family. OKAY THEN (girl, you clearly never belonged in Abnegation!)Four is in a trance due to serum developed by the intelligent Erudite faction, and by their genius leader at that...but being Divergent and in love the sound of Tris’ voice magically wakes Four up and neither has to die or kill their beloved. Well then.
The ending? Three fourths of the book is about Dauntless initiation and yet the ending is a rushed mess of a violent and sadistic war that is hardly mentioned or processed by the main characters who survived it (because they are so in love and the two of them are alive and that is what matters). Tris tells Four her parents are dead, they died for her. He responds by telling Tris he thinks he loves her and they then proceed to make out in front of Tris’ brother, Four’s abusive father, and some guy who tried to kill Tris that one time as they all ride off into the sunset. I don’t know either. This war is very rushed and the set up leading to the war is lacking.
There are other things I disliked such as Tris’ familial relations and the way Roth handle’s the topics of intimacy and suicide. I won’t get into either though. In my opinion, Divergent is very overrated and I’m glad it was a quick read. (Unsure if I will read Insurgent...)