Thursday, May 17, 2012


After reading Divergent and before I starting writing this review, I read Jean at Howling Frog Books' post on Divergent, and joked that I could just write a one-sentence review saying just go read her post for my thoughts since we had similar reactions. :) I decided to not be quite that lazy and to share some brief thoughts of my own.

Overall, I liked it. I read it in one day, practically in one sitting. So, you can tell it's got a fast-paced plot that kept me hooked. And it did. I could not stop reading, despite my frustrations about several things. First, the character development was weak. I had trouble keeping the characters straight, and it's not like this was War and Peace with a massive cast of characters who go by multiple Russian names/nicknames. The characters just all seemed the same to me. When you have to stop and try to remember if a character is the main character's friend or enemy constantly, you have a problem.

Secondly, the world building was on a really shaky foundation. Who builds a society divided by personality? That works as a way to sort students into houses in a series like Harry Potter. To form a society around that idea? Not so much. And that all of the groups decided to put the power in the hands of one group, no matter how selfless that group supposedly is? That's just dumb. I also didn't appreciate that I would have been in the evil group. :) Although, I do have a desire to rule the world, so perhaps that's not that far off.

Despite my frustrations, I'll probably give the second book a try. I'm not committed to the series yet, but it was a nice lighter read so I can see myself checking out the second book sometime soon.


  1. I felt pretty similar to you. But I also just bought the second book. I can't help it. When I start a series, I have to know how it ends. :)

  2. I too like to know how a series ends. (Except Twilight.) So Insurgent is on my hold list at the library.

    But yeah, why on earth would you build a society based on personality traits like that? I was just thinking earlier today about that recent research that shows that people who adopt a position and then enter a closed society based on that position tend to become more extreme in their views over time. Thus the Erudite would become ever more arrogant about education (I would so be an Erudite!), the candid people ever more brutally honest, etc. And they would all eat the Amity people (love-bead-wearing hippies all) for lunch.

  3. I'll probably read the next one too, despite my frustrations. Jean, I would be Erudite too. I hate to admit it, but I could see how a bunch of overly intelligent people oculd end up thinking they konw everything and trying to take control! :) The Amity people drove me crazy!

  4. I liked the first book and will read the other two books because I am hooked.
    I did feel the quality of writing was simply and as good as the Hunger Games but I did enjoy reading a book with a new and creative way of dividing society.