Thursday, May 29, 2014

Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth

 Title : Divergent
Author : Veronica Roth
Series : Divergent Trilogy #1
Genre : Young Adult Fiction, Science Fiction (Dystopia)
Number of Pages : 487

Rating : 

Title : Insurgent
Author : Veronica Roth
Series : Divergent Trilogy #2
Genre : Young Adult Fiction, Science Fiction (Dystopia)
Number of Pages : 525

Rating :

Title : Allegiant
Author : Veronica Roth
Series : Divergent Trilogy #3
Genre : Young Adult Fiction, Science Fiction (Dystopia)
Number of Pages : 526

Rating :

I choose which books I review on my blog and on my Goodreads profile. I do not receive monetary compensation for my reviews. My reviews are always honest...I never lie about books. My opinions are my own and may be positive or negative depending on my feelings about a specific piece. Keep in mind, just because I may like or not like a book may not mean that you will feel the same way.

I was originally going to write these as three separate posts, but it just made more sense to put them all together since I would repeating myself a lot otherwise. I am going to do my best to avoid any spoilers so that if you've only read a portion of the series I won't blow the whole thing for you.

First about a few plot descriptions? (I've abbreviated these from the Goodreads versions because they were just too darned long and I wanted to remove as much potential spoiler information as possible.)

#1 - Divergent:
 In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular value--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.

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 unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves...or it might destroy her.

#2 - Insurgent:
One choice can transform you--or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves--and herself--while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. Transformed by her own decisions, but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

#3 - Allegiant:
The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she's known, Tris is ready.

But Tris's new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature--and of herself--while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Alright, now...let's get down to brass tacks.

First off, you know you're reading a good book when it's 2am and you're still reading, despite the fact that your alarm is set for four hours later. I did that with Divergent twice. And I wasn't sorry. Right off the bat, this series reminded me of both the Matched and Delirium series. I think I might have a thing for YA dystopian fiction...who knew?

I was very impressed with Veronica Roth's writing from the beginning to the end of the series. She is extremely good at telling a story that you can easily picture in your head. She makes you want to root for her characters. I found myself extremely emotionally involved in the plot.

Tris was very well written. She was a full character and I really liked her. I think I held my breath for her on more than one occasion. But she wasn't one of those overly perfect characters either. She had her flaws. There were times she made stupid choices and I felt frustrated with her. There were also points in the story where she made choices that I never would have made, for both good and bad. I enjoyed her unpredictability, it is that character detail that makes her so perfectly written for this trilogy.

I was bothered greatly by Beatrice's father as well as Peter. Their characters made me very uneasy and just felt slimy from day one. 

Four grew on me. At first I didn't like him at all. I found him cocky and antisocial. I think it was more of his being a mystery that rubbed me the wrong way. But over time, I warmed up to him and I decided that he was just what the story needed as well.

I loved the basis for her society. In a world where societal classes based on all sorts of different parameters (age, sex, race, religion, economical status) are so incredibly prevalent, it made sense that at some point society would break you up into groups based on personality. And those groups were also very well developed. Just like her characters, the world that Veronica Roth creates feels believable and real.

Believe it or not, this was one of those series where the sequel totally held up. I loved Insurgent almost as much as I had Divergent. The story continues very well from where Divergent left off; so perfectly so that they really could have been left as just one large book.

It was during Insurgent that I gained a good appreciation for Roth's talent in writing action sequences. I'm not typically an action/fighting type of person, but she made it so so good. It's all there and in your face. Again, her descriptions really come through and the picture she creates in your head is just full and amazing.

I didn't have Allegiant immediately handy when I finished Insurgent, but it worked out alright. I was left with a very strong desire to read the third book, but I wasn't completely left hanging. It wasn't a frustrating ending to the second book, a very rare commodity that I thoroughly appreciated as a reader. 

I unfortunately didn't like the finale as much as the other two books in the series, but it was still a very good read. It started off strong again and kept my attention. I did find that the small break in time I had between the second and third books did cause me to forget a couple of things, so it took me a little bit to get back on track.

Allegiant is written with a two character narrative, which was a big difference from the first two books. Though it was necessary for the development of the plot, the dual narration did throw me off slightly. To a certain extent, I almost wish she would've used the two person narrative style earlier in the series so that I didn't feel so lost in the third book.

Allegiant made for a great book, but I just liked the other two better. I felt like the story was a little rushed in the final book and (oddly) still somewhat slow in some instances.I don't know how that's possible, but that's what it felt like. I was probably just being an impatient reader. I will admit though, I probably wouldn't have rated Allegiant as high as I did if I hadn't loved the other books so much. Still...four stars is a pretty good rating. I can't poo poo it too much. It definitely didn't ruin the series for me and it wasn't a complete let down.

Let's put it this way...if you like dystopian fiction at all then this is a series you need to read. It's kind of the king of them all from my perspective. There may be a couple of other close contenders, but I very much enjoyed the entire Divergent trilogy. It's a series that I will read again in the future. Books one and two (Divergent and Insurgent) each rated at a full five stars and Allegiant rounded out the series with a four star rating. Not too shabby.


  1. I saw the previews for the movies a while back and thought the books would be interesting. Thanks for your review. Now I will definetely have to check them out!

    Sean at His and Her Hobbies

    1. I haven't seen the movie yet, but I'm interested in it as well. I'm always hesitant to watch a movie when I love a book, it's always a risky endeavor.


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