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4 Stars: Divergent by Veronica Roth Audiobook

I’m a bit behind the times when it comes to reading Divergent by Veronica Roth. However, I’m finally starting to get caught up with all these awesome 2012 books! It’s funny that I finally got around to Divergent when I saw it on audio from the library. I hadn’t been able to find time to read the physical book I bought a year ago (one of my first book blogger inspired purchases :D), but I have been so short on audiobooks that it worked out perfectly in the form! In any case, I know that some of my opinions on this one are likely to be disagreeable with many fans, but that’s why they are opinions right, hehe.

Divergent by Veronica Roth Goodreads Amazon | LibraryThing

Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Length: 11 hours 11 minutes
Genre-ish: Dystopia YA
Rating★★★– invigorating plot, quite sad

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, 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 to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating 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 a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her. — Goodreads

Strengths:

  • I am a huge fan of slow burn romances, those relationships that you start getting an inkling about in the beginning, but the characters certainly don’t realize it. Divergent did this wonderfully from Tris’ perspective since she starts annoyed and put off, but slowly gets to know Four and finds she likes who he is when he freaking relaxes!
  • The premise of five factions that focus on only one trait is quite interesting. I found myself thinking quickly about which faction I would end up in (Erudite) though it also seems likely I would have been born into it ;-). What faction do you think you’d choose? Do you think you would have been born into it based on your parents’ personalities?
  • The plot twists of Divergent are delicious :D. I saw this book going in a very different direction, so it was pretty awesome to see how things developed.
  • I thought the questions that Divergent brings up in terms of who should make up the government were really fun to think about and actually a good thing to consider. In the beginning there seem to be very good arguments for Abnegation, but is it really fair/good to have only one faction control government?
  • The narrator did an excellent job. I highly recommend you check out the audiobook version if you are interested.

Weaknesses:

  • There is only so much sadness and innocent death that I can take, and Divergent pushed up against that limit. I really didn’t think all of the bad things should have happened to some of the side characters. I understand some of it was necessary to show how cruel select candidates were, but it just went too far for my emotional health ;-).
  • I’m not a fan of the “saving the world with love” conclusions and Divergent definitely felt like one.
  • Just a generally word of caution that Divergent has abuse and assault situations at several occasions that might be more than unpleasant for some people.

Summary:

Divergent definitely brought the grittiness of dystopias to the table in addition to a fascinating premise and strong characters. While I wish it hadn’t been nearly so dark at times, I thoroughly enjoyed the brewing romance and developing character of Tris. Now that all of that has gone down, I’m excited to see what Insurgent has in store! I’ve heard it’s just as depressing, so I’m holding off reading it until I’m filled up on happy fantasy books, but I won’t be able to resist the questions long ;-).

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Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings – A

 

 Divergent by Veronica Roth

© 2013, Anya. All rights reserved.

Comments

  1. Divergent has been on my TBR shelf for QUITE awhile now. First started reading it on my Nook, while waiting for my mom during one of her doctor visits . . . still only half way through. Looking forward to reading more . . . when I get a block of downtime (sometime soon I hope.) Enjoy your reviews and how they are broken up into Strength & Weakness with a Summary to tie it all up. Thanks for the Heads Up!

  2. Holly David says:

    Hello!
    My name is Holly and I really enjoyed your review of this book! I read this a little while ago and I felt exactly how you felt about it. I loved the romance that slowly came between Tris and Four. Although I kinda felt at the end it was pretty annoying with them kissing and touching and stuff, but that could just be me. I also didn’t like Four to much, I mean I liked him, but to me he was just a little rude and he didn’t seem to change to being nicer through out the book. I agree with you on the point about all of the deaths. It was just way to much! That was one of the things I really didn’t enjoy also. Very good review! I loved reading it and finding that you had some of the same opinions as me toward the book! Thanks!
    Holly

  3. I loved this book – in fact, I thought it was a lot stronger than Hunger Games. I had difficulty determining WHY I didn’t find it as disturbing as I found Hunger Games…and I think it was the saving the world with love that you disliked. :)

    • That’s fair, haha. Since kids aren’t being actually forced to kill each other, some of them just do because they are horrible *shudders*

  4. I loved Divergent and Insurgent! I can’t wait for the last book! I agree with some needless violence, like a certain stabbing (wtf)! I’m also a fan of a slow growing love, sometimes quick ones are good, but not all the time!

    I’m glad you like this and hope you enjoy Insurgent as well! I like this series more than the Hunger Games! I can’t wait for the movie! This is probably one of my most recommended reads. And to think, I let it sit on my bookshelf for two months before reading it!

  5. I’m one of those who still did not read Divergent. I guess I am waiting for Veronica Roth to finish the series, to avoid slow death by clifhangers. ;)

    • Whew, I’m not the only one ;-) I’m hoping that I can get to Insurgent before the last book comes out so I can be excited with everyone else, hehe. I for some reason am resistant to cliff hanger death, they just don’t bother me too much

  6. GREAT review, and I agree with your bullet points. If you intend to read Insurgent: beware. I think there’s even more things in there that you won’t enjoy. But I’m not sure it will end with the whole “love will save the world” theme. Time will tell. I’m looking forward to your thoughts on Insurgent, if/when you get to it.

  7. I have had this one sitting on my shelf for like 6 months. I need to move it to my bedstand. I do enjoy me some nitty gritty dystopias.

    • Hehe, I know how the shelf delay problem goes! Moving it to your bedside is an excellent idea, it sounds like you would really it

  8. I really enjoyed this book, glad you did too! Tris and Four were the highlight for me – I loved the slow development of their relationship. Insurgent was just ok for me, I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts on it. But I’m SUPER excited for book 3. :)

    • I know, they were so cute :D. I’ll have to see if Insurgent is available on audiobook yet, since that would be fun to continue with!

  9. Asti (A Bookish Heart) says:

    Don’t worry, you’re not the last person to have ever read this! I finally just went out and bought a company like a week ago, but haven’t cracked it opened yet. Hope it lives up to my expectations though since everyone seems to love it! I don’t think the darkness will bother me as much as it did you, so I should be in good shape, but we’ll see…

  10. Totally agree! While I’m generally not against tragedy, there were parts of this book that were almost too much for me, but I really liked it overall. :D

    • Yeah, I’m not against tragedy at the end that’s all moving and epic, it was all the interspersed horrible things happening that I couldn’t handle D:

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