Thursday, 5 June 2014

Divergent by Victoria Roth- Review by Carlyn

Divergent by Veronica Roth is a young adult novel set in a dystopian future. In the book, society is divided into four factions because they believe it’s the best way for people to get along. The factions are Dauntless (for brave people), Amity (for peace lovers), Abnegation (for selfless people) and Erudite (for smart people). Beatrice Prior lived in Abnegation with her family until her sixteenth birthday where all citizens must choose a faction to begin their adult life.

 The problem with Beatrice is that her test is inconclusive. She doesn't have one strong leaning to any side; she is a mix of everything. So she is told she is divergent by the test administrator, who warns her to tell no one of her result and to pick any faction.

 The society that Beatrice lives in survives because everyone is categorized and they can’t have anomalies like Beatrice ruining things. Beatrice chooses Dauntless, a faction so different from her own. It is a faction where Beatrice can speak freely and challenge herself physically and emotionally.

After choosing her new faction, Beatrice goes through an initiation where she must earn the right to be in Dauntless. The Dauntless faction are soldiers who guard the city. It is tough for Beatrice being the weakest and smallest there and coming from Abnegation, a faction where people are selfless and kind. The Dauntless only let in a small quota of recruits so everyone is competitive and some are ruthless. Eventually she grows stronger which makes some of the recruits jealous of her and plot to kill her.

What hindered my enjoyment of this book was the society in which Beatrice lived in. I found it hard to believe in a society divided into personality groups and I think most people would be divergent. I know the book is set in a dystopian society but anyone can see that it wouldn't work and it’s amazing how they have lasted that long.

 In the book, those personality traits are taken into extremes. For example, in Beatrice’s original faction Abnegation (for selfless people), they wear drab gray clothes and are not allowed to look in a mirror because they are to not think of themselves. In Dauntless, they always have to jump onto a moving train if they want to ride it, do daredevil stuff and party hard to prove they are brave. I found it ridiculous that they have a train system that never stops and that you have to jump on it to get on.

 I didn’t mind Beatrice as a character. I’m just not crazy about her either. I like strong heroines and she is one but I didn’t find her that interesting. None of the secondary characters stood out for me either and as Beatrice couldn’t really be herself around them, you didn’t really get to know them. I couldn’t help comparing Beatrice to Katniss from the Hunger Games except that I find Katniss to be more determined and focused.

I don’t think I will continue reading the Divergent series. I will watch the movie because I think it’s more a visual story as it has a lot of action. In particular, I look forward to seeing the fear simulations that the Dauntless go through which is a process that involves going through a virtual simulations of your deepest fears. I’ve heard that Shailene Woodley is a good actress and I’m sure that she will make a good Beatrice Prior. 


  1. Thank you very much for this review! I've been quite curious about Divergent, both the book and the film adaptation, since my school friends have been raving non-stop about the movie and how amazing it was!

    I knew hardly anything about the story and was looking for a good gauge of whether or not I should pick up a copy of the book myself, and I think it's safe to say that your review helped make my decision! Indeed, each of the personality factions sound too extreme and there's no way any human could fit nicely into one category without possessing some traits that overlap into another. Overall this new world just seems too far-fetched to be realistic or able to be sustained over a period of time.

    I actually do not think that the moviegoers would consider such things. I for one didn't think of it when my friend explained to me the basic theory of the four personality factions, so I think you raised some very thought-provoking ideas!

    I think I'll stick with the film version as well. I'd love to hear what you think of it, maybe you could do a movie review! :)

    1. Hi Renae, I'm glad that you enjoyed reading my review. I'm sure the movie will be very entertaining, with good action and suspenseful scenes. Sadly, I missed it when it was out on cinema but I will try to get it when it is on dvd. Jon Bear and I are going to be doing a new column soon that will feature film reviews so I'm sure you find my review on Divergent some day.


We absolutely love comments but please don't comment just to advertise your giveaways or ask us to follow you, such comments will be deleted.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...