Divergent is very similar in feel and structure to The Hunger Games. Our normal world has been divided up into sectors based on certain values like intelligence, selflessness, honesty, and bravery. These sectors eventually start to disagree and chaos follows. I picked up the series on the recommendation of several friends whose opinions on books I really trust.
This is a really good series. I finished this book and immediately bought the second in the series. (The third one has not been released yet!) The characters are well-developed, the story line flows logically and smoothly, and the world is imaginative, gritty, and raw. I enjoyed exploring the world along with Tris and Four.
The biggest thing that I liked about this book is that (SPOILER!) there is not a love triangle. There is a romance element, but there isn’t a love triangle struggle that seems to dominate many books in this genre. I hope that continues in the rest of the books.
There are some particularly well written scenes in this book. I really enjoyed the scene between Tris and Four during the game of capture the flag. It was beautifully written and just gripping. I think that might have been my favorite moment in the book. Another section of the book that I really enjoyed was the initiate training. It reminded me of the tribute training that Katniss and Peeta went through in The Hunger Games.
Unfortunately, I can’t give this book five stars. There were two things that really bothered me. The first thing is a little picky, but I know other reviewers have mentioned it as well, so I don’t feel so bad mentioning it. The book opens with Beatrice’s mother cutting her hair. There is quite a bit of information about haircut day being the only time they are allowed to look in the mirror. I just don’t understand why she would need to look in the mirror at all if her mother was the one cutting her hair. It doesn’t make sense. She doesn’t really need to see what’s going on. I could understand if it played a role later in the book, but it doesn’t. It seemed detached from the rest of the story.
Another fault I found with the book was that it was somewhat predictable. That’s probably more my problem than the book’s problem though. Once I got about 1/4 of the way through, I had guessed most of the secrets and pretty much knew everything about Four that would be revealed later. It was sort of fun knowing I guessed it – like it does when you’re watching a scary movie and you guess the bad guy – but it was sort of disappointing because there wasn’t a big GASP moment either.
This post originally appeared at http://www.theenchantedalley.blogspot.com in 2013