Divergent  - Veronica Roth I think my expectations were set too high at the start of this book. All the hype and comparisons to The Hunger Games, which I highly enjoyed, set me up to think that this would be a 4 or 5 star book. I found it gripping and enjoyable at times, but there were quite a few things that bothered me which hampered my enjoyment. I’m just going to bullet point them out:

1) World building.

I found myself questioning and suspending belief way more than I should. In the Divergent world, which is clearly set in Chicago, there exist 5 factions. The factions are supposed to be based off people’s personality traits. So there is the Dauntless for the fearless slightly psychotic goths, Amity for the peaceful loving peeps, Candor for the blunt people, Abnegation for the selfless charity workers and Erudite for the smartasses. Does this make sense to you? Because it never really made sense to me that people could be so simplistic they only highly exhibit one of these traits.

Roth takes these factions further by basically making them into cultish gang members exhibiting group think. This is furthered by having each faction take care of a part of society. Each faction has certain colors of dress and behavior. For example, Dauntless are the all black wearing, gothic types complete with piercings and tattoos. They’re in charge of security. The Erudite, of course, are the nerds who carry books and wear glasses even when they don’t need too. They’re intelligent, so they provide research and technology to the rest of the factions. I can go on, but I’ll let you discover the rest of this non-sense for yourself.

As if that is not bad enough the government set up makes no sense to me either. Each faction has a representative, but ultimately it’s the selfless people from Abnegation who make the decision for the greater all. They are the ones who really control the government due to their selfless ways. *head scratch* Say what? Now this just seemed stupid to me and illogical, but then again maybe that is what Roth was trying to go for here because… Now due to this stupid government set up other factions, like the Erudite, are looking for power so of course the flawed government will lead to discourse and war. This seems like the point of the story. My verdict? Roth is taking the lazy way out.

2) Plot holes.
At the end of the book I was still wondering WTF was a Divergent. ‘Nuff said.

3) The little love triangle that could
*sigh* Adding a love triangle to the mix is like a perquisite in all YA these days. I don’t know why because here is a perfectly okay story where it really wasn’t needed. I could understand why the character fell for Tris, but that storyline was a distraction. It added no suspense or tension to the story. The only thing I could say is I’m glad Roth realized it and ended it by book 1.

4) The boring understated heroine
I don’t have much to say about her because really she doesn’t have much to say on herself. She’s short with a boyish frame, yet the hawtess badass likes her. *insert eyeroll* Seriously, I didn’t hate her but I can’t say I related to her completely either except for the short trait. I can’t seem to really make her out. She seems conflicted and clueless. For example, she cares about her family yet seems to resent them at the same time but with no real evidence given. When she did have evidence of stuff she never put it together until it was pointed out. It was frustrating.

5) Writing on repeat…
Overall, the writing wasn’t bad. However, I had a problem with Roth constantly repeating character descriptions. For example, I lost count of the times Christina’s dark skin was referenced. FFS, I get it! She’s a black girl! It’s okay. There are black people in this Divergent world even though it’s written by a white author! Whooohooo! Seriously, did it need to be repeated every time Christina was mentioned? It made me question if Roth did this in case there was a movie, so that fans wouldn’t be confused when black actors and actresses are casted for parts like they were with Rue.

Also, there was a lot of telling but not showing. This is really what led to the breakdown of the story because it led to the illogical world building and plot holes. We were told of the factions and given a lame excuse for why they were put together, but there was no history given. From what I’m told (I read this in a group) this gets resolved in Insurgent. I don’t give a shit. I need answers now, especially when your world is so lame. At the end of the day I ended up with more questions than answers after reading this.

I started out by giving this book a 3 for I liked it, but after writing this review I’m bumping it down to a 2 stars for ok, but really it’s like 1 ½ for me. Overall, I’m not impressed.