Divergent by Veronica Roth

September 5, 2013 Coming of Age, Dystopian, Fantasy, Frightening, Young Adult Fiction 61

Hey There Bookworms,

I have been putting off reading Veronica Roth’s Divergent for quite a while now. I really enjoy a good YA dystopia, but the market has been rather saturated with them lately. After reading and not loving Ally Condie’s Matched series, I was skeptical to try again… It’s a darn good thing I did, because right now the Divergent series only ranks below The Hunger Games in my personal ranking of YA dystopias. I KNOW!

Divergent hc c(2)

Alright. We begin in what I can only assume is a post apocalyptic Chicago. Lake Michigan has dried into marshland, and a mere sliver of the city is inhabited. The rest is in ruins. (I enjoyed this book all the more because I’m familiar with the major landmarks and buildings in the Windy City. I grew up in the Chicago burbs, and while I won’t call myself a native,I know Navy Pier from Millenium Park and the Sears Tower from the Hancock building. “Willis” Tower my foot.)

Anyway. The new civilization inhabiting Chicago is split into five major factions. The factions are sort of like fraternities and sororities on steroids. They each value a different virtue above all else. I imagine that Roth named her factions specifically to expand teenage vocabularies (for which I salute her!) Erudite values knowledge, Candor values truth, Abnegation values selflessness, Amity values kindness, and Dauntless values bravery.

Beatrice Prior has just turned 16. She was raised in Abnegation, the, uh Amish equivalent in this society. Not really Amish, I guess, but they’re very modest and focus on the needs of others before themselves. They’re big on feeding the poor and service. A very nice faction, on the whole, but they are discouraged from looking in mirrors and their lives are really regimented. Beatrice, like all the the 16 year olds in the community, is on the precipice of a huge decision. She is about to choose her faction. Being born in Abnegation doesn’t mean she has to stay there. Each student is given an aptitude test to determine where they are best suited, but they have the option to choose a different faction.

The students get to choose where they will go, but they’re not guaranteed acceptance. They have to go through a training and initiation phase, and not everyone makes it. Those who don’t are cast out to live among the “factionless.” The factionless work menial jobs and live in poverty, so it behooves the students to do their best to choose wisely. The problem Beatrice is facing is that her aptitude test was inconclusive. She has to embrace ONE faction, but her test results indicate that she’s got an aptitude for THREE. She’s considered “Divergent” as a result and that is a dangerous thing to be. DUN DUN DUN!

I don’t want to talk too much about this book, because it’s hard to discuss without getting super spoiler happy. I like this book too much to spoil it! Roth does some awesome world building in this novel. Her dystopian Chicago is well drawn and disturbingly lifelike. I love the implications of the faction system. I think it offers some good lessons on the gray areas of life and the importance of seeing things from other people’s perspectives.

After having read this book, I couldn’t help but imagine myself in a faction! Much in the way I dubbed myself a Ravenclaw after reading Harry Potter, I’ve done a lot of thinking about what faction I’d have landed in. I’m so confused! They’re all so flawed, but they’ve all got good qualities too. So far, the only two I’ve been able to rule out are Dauntless (because I’m a giant chicken) and Candor (because even though I suck at lying, I think living in an environment of CONSTANT brutal honesty would be REALLY bad for my overly sensitive self.) This leaves me with Erudite, but I don’t know if I could even go there because despite my inherent bookwormy nerdiness, they’re SUPER science-y folk, and that’s never been my academic forte. I think I’d flunk at Abnegation, because I rather like mirrors and though I’d like to be selfless, I know I’m not that perfect. I suppose I’d chill in Amity, because they grow stuff (I like to garden) and they’re all about being nice to each other… Then again… Maybe I’m Divergent between Erudite, Amity, and Abnegation. I’m all kinds of complicated.

What faction do you think YOU would land in, Bookworms? Where do you see yourself fitting in?

61 Responses to “Divergent by Veronica Roth”

  1. Christi

    Choosing a faction would be rough. I would also certainly not be Dauntless, too much fear of heights for that one, and I also would hate the constant unnecessary honesty of Candor (it seems mean to point out everyone’s flaws all the time). Although I’m very bookwormy, and I love science, the Erudite seemed incredibly unfriendly. That leaves me with Amity and Abnegation. I definitely feel for Tris; that’s a hard choice!

  2. Shannon @ River City Reading

    I read this not too long after it came out and enjoyed it, but by the time Insurgent came out, for some reason I just wasn’t interested in continuing with the series any longer. I still remembered the plot and where the characters were, but something just wasn’t pulling me in any longer.

  3. Serafina Bear

    I remember really liking the book at first, just after Hunger Games, like you said, though near the end, it was losing me. I haven’t been motivated to look at Insurgent yet, even. But, about which faction I would be in: Erudite – I love research and intelligencia.

  4. Ashley Z

    I think I would want to choose dauntless, but the mommy part of me would probably go for candor or something boring. The dauntless are bad ass though! I’m super glad you Liked this! I can’t wait to read your reviews of the second and third!

    • Words for Worms

      The Dauntless were super badass, but they were foolish. Like, I get sparring in hand to hand combat to learn your moves, but beating each other unconscious seemed excessive to me. Guess my Amity is showing.

  5. Andi (@estellasrevenge)

    Yeah, I’ve been avoiding this one because the YA dystopias have taken over the world. But with a positive review from you AND my buddy Heather at CapriciousReader.com, I might have to give in.

  6. Cindy W

    I loved this book! After Hunger Games, I’ve been reading more YA dystopias. Which is a nice change from that three or four vampire series I read after Twilight. Thank goodness the next book finally comes out next month.

    I think I would probably be divergent too. I like the idea of Erudite, but all the time? Maybe not so much. I feel the same about Amity and Abnegation. As for Dauntless – jumping off of trains and buildings does not appeal to me.

  7. Rhian

    I know you don’t want to give away spoilers, but can you tell me whether it contains an angsty love triangle? Because while I don’t mind a dystopian YA, I am over ALTs.

    Based on your description, I would be Erudite all the way.

  8. Leah

    I’ve also been wary of the explosion of dystopian series since The Hunger Games became popular, but you’ve convinced me that Divergent might actually be worth a read! The factions sound like Hogwarts houses meets the caste system but with some level of choice. Interesting! Nice review!

  9. theduckandtheowl

    I can’t believe this is your first time reading “Divergent.” *Sigh* so good. I loved that you made the comparison of houses in Harry Potter. As much as would hope to be BA enough to be in The Dauntless, I know that that’s probably the last one I would be in. I do think that I would be in Amity though; they’re focused on peace and love. I like that.
    -Kaitlyn 🙂

    • Words for Worms

      I finished Insurgent and there were aspects of Amity that seriously cracked me up. The bread, mostly. LOL. Ah. Who wouldn’t be happy while eating that bread?!

  10. Monika

    I loved this book, too, great review! There’s a quiz out there somewhere… I ended up Divergent. LOL! I think I’d like Amity, though.

  11. Jolyse Barnett

    I generally don’t read YA and certainly never dystopian, yet now I’m wondering what I’ve been missing! (Sorry, Hunger Games not for me…) Anyway, I imagine I’d fit best in Amity. Thanks for the review. You are giving me way too many books to read. I’ll never catch up at this rate. 😀

    • Words for Worms

      If you didn’t go in for the Hunger Games, this might not appeal to you. Of course, you never know until you try! 🙂 If you read it, be sure to stop back and let me know how you liked it!

  12. didibooksenglish

    There’s a little of each in me and everyone obviously. I would probably lean towards Erudite. I have a hard time imagining myself jumping on and off trains, wearing grey on a permanent basis, telling the truth all the time, or being so happy I appear to be high as a kite. I enjoyed Divergent but when I read Insurgent I was really disappointed. I can’t wait to see how she tries to pull it all together in the end with Allegiant. Don’t know, I’m not feeling it so much, although I will read part three. 🙂

  13. Jenny @ Reading the End (formerly Jenny's Books)

    I feel like I’d end up in Erudite, just because I am SO CURIOUS about everything. Also because (without listing a series of bad things about myself) I can’t see myself fitting into any of the other factions. I’d probably be, like, the opposite of Divergent, where my tests would reveal I was not suited to any of the factions. :p

  14. acps927

    Either Candor or Erudite I think… but I don’t think I perfectly fit into of the factions either! Glad I don’t live in the Divergent world… for a number of reasons!

  15. Sarah Says Read

    STILL need to read this. Candor sounds fun though – being brutally honest? SOLD. Hehehe it sounds like living in The Invention of Lying, although I’m sure it’s not so fun in the book…

  16. Sami Alford

    I have been gone for so long! switched jobs..super busy..blah blah. I loved this book and read Insurgent as well. Insurgent really takes the story to the next level. I liked that there isn’t a love triangle in this book…sometimes those drive me crazy. Don’t couples have enough to worry about without adding another love interest into the book?? Looking forward to the third book in this series!

    • Words for Worms

      I was relieved to see a lack of love triangle. I was a little worried for a while there about Will, but that resolved itself before they could turn on the angst. Whew!

  17. Lyssapants

    I’d be either Candor or Dauntless.
    I think I want to name my first daughter Dauntless, btw.
    And you’ve totally got me interested in this book, too. (Over the honeymoon I read Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan – hilarious!!)

  18. aargot

    I can rule out Abnegation and Candor. I can be selfless, but I feel a lot like Tris when I am forced to be selfless. I lie too much to be a Candor (once is too much for them). In the teamwork aspect that Four enforces, I do like Dauntless. Amity seems nice, but I want to know more about them. I have only read the first book. The Erudite seem a little clueless especially for people who like to research. You would think that more of them would research the facts. Being that I like to research, I would also like that faction.

  19. Megan

    I think I want to be in Amity. It seems like they just lay around making flower wreaths and giving each other put-ups. It sounds relaxing.

  20. Quirky Chrissy

    I am definitely Divergent. I ruled out Abnegation, but that’s about it. I think I’m Dauntless, but Brian thinks I’m Candor. I also wouldn’t mind hanging out with Amity because I hate war, but Erudite would be good too, because I’m an intellectual snob. Overall, this was my fave book in the series.

  21. Rhian

    I didn’t pick this up when you reviewed it because I needed a break from dystopian YA. I was in my favourite bookshop yesterday waiting to collect my copy of Hyperbole and a Half (squee!) when Divergent caught my eye.

    I finished it in a day. It would have been quicker except I went to bed last night at a reasonable time like a grown up and I had to work today. I loved it. I’m going back to the bookshop tomorrow to buy the other two.

    Thanks for another great recommendation.

    • Words For Worms

      Oh Rhian, I am SO GLAD you liked it! I just got your card the other day, and I keep showing it off to everyone! I’m like “hey, look at my Christmas card from AUSTRALIA. I have friends in AUSTRALIA, so I am inherently cool.” Koalas and Wallabies in santa suits? I can’t even!

      • Rhian

        I’ve never sent anything overseas at Christmas so I was slightly worried you wouldn’t receive it in time, so yay!

        And nothing says Christmas more than native animals in Santa suits!

Talk to me, Bookworms!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.