Amber’s Goodreads review of Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent (Divergent, #1)Divergent by Veronica Roth

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

While it wasn’t as much of a page-turner as some books I read recently, Divergent was interesting. Like I mentioned in a reading update, the premise is a little hard for me to swallow and the aptitude test seems to have way too few scenarios to be any sort of conclusive.

I don’t know if it’s the first-person, present-tense narrative (which has to have a very distinctive voice to carry off – past tense you can get away with it sounding like a journal entry, but present-tense makes some of the narrative sound robotic, despite all Roth did to mitigate this) but I couldn’t get as into Tris as I hoped. No one is that aware of what their body is doing and what gestures they’re making. Sometimes I wished Roth would just have characters have a conversation without recording every gesture. I can make inferences and use my imagination. Again, it’s just that first-person thing that it seems EVERYONE does now.

Not that Tris isn’t a good character; the girl has some brass – I’m honestly surprised she didn’t come up more strongly Dauntless, she takes to it so well. It was a little weird how someone from Abnegation could sometimes be super selfless, and then sometimes be even more selfish (or at least self-interested) than the average person seems to be. Maybe she’s just never had friends, but her friendships aren’t all that deep, and she seems fine with the idea of getting rid of them the first time her friends are jealous of her.

I appreciate the portrayal of Four. The way I saw some fangirls gushing in reviews, I was dreading another Jace situation where the author very obviously has the hots for her own character. This is not the case. What does frustrate me, and this happens in a lot of books, is characters being seemingly confused about “what is this weird sensation, why am I so interested in this person? Wha… is this LOVE?” Christ, I knew what a crush was seemingly forever, even as a kid I knew what it felt like when I liked a person or was infatuated. I don’t get why these kids seem to take so long to figure it out.

Also, more world-building, please! How did the factions form, how did they decide this was a good way to go, was there some catalytic event? Seems like Chicago’s a tad beat up, how did that happen? And a tiny little measly wonder of mine: what did Tris used to do at home? Sit quietly and stare at the crackling fire? She says she wasn’t allowed to do anything for her own enjoyment. Did she help her mother knit the scarves she mentioned? Read the Bible? Do schoolwork? There has to be SOMETHING, even if she says she doesn’t even know what she likes to do. There can’t just be a whole lot of nothing for 16 years.

In short, I’m interested in reading the other two books in the series but I wonder if I should check them out of the library instead of buying them. As for me, I’m pretty sure I’d end up Amity, wishing I was as badass as Dauntless.

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~ by Amber on December 4, 2013.

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