Sunday, June 30, 2013

My Disliking of Divergent

I’m sure everyone who is reading that post title is thinking: Whaaat?! I know I’m in the minority for disliking Divergent, but after a re-read, I stopped liking this book altogether.

Divergent (Divergent, #1)
My rating: 2 stars
A year or so ago, I picked up a copy of Divergent, due to the huge hype surrounding the novel. I devoured the book in less than two days, enticed by the world Roth had created. Needless to say, I loved Divergent to bits.

Recently, I decided to pick the book up again for a reread, and was astonished to find that I didn't love the book as much as I did before. My opinion of Divergent lowered drastically as I began to notice the flaws in the book.

My theory for why I ceased loving this book is as simple as this; I've read better dystopians, ones which are much more deserving of praise than Divergent. My eyes have opened and I have been exposed to books that represent the dystopian genre more accurately than Divergent.

Divergent is known for its gritty action scenes and just the overall thrill-ride experience. I appreciate this, I really do, but other than that, it doesn't have much going for it. A dystopia has to have more than action, action, and more action. In my opinion, the fact that it was labeled “dystopia” did it more harm than good, as opposed to it being labeled a thriller/action book. It doesn't quite live up to the greatness of this genre, unfortunately. I would even go so far to say that it is a bit shallow in its portrayal of a dystopian society.

My first issue is that there is minimal world-building. We aren't given vivid descriptions of Tris’s world; I don’t know exactly how the dauntless compound looks. How can this be deemed as dystopia when it doesn't contain the basics—otherwise known as world building?

Another issue I had was the lack of a back-story. Roth just told us how things were; she didn’t bother to even allude to how this society came to be.

What probably frustrated me the most was the whole “factions based on personality/skills” deal. Putting it mildly, it didn't make sense. I mean, it would make sense for a society like that to arise if we had a problem like that in our society in the present day, but the fact of the matter is, we don’t. No one goes into conflicts based on their skills; it would actually make more sense if they were divided based on race or religion, which are actual problems presently. The idea of the Divergent society is very far-fetched. Which ties into my previous point; if we had a back-story, it would actually make sense.

As a reader, my standards for a book have become much stricter over time, and I have come to expect a lot more from my books. Divergent disappointed me and didn't have much depth to it, and I really believe this book is over-hyped.   


  1. Thats interesting! I read Divergent when it first came out, too, and loved it! I read it in about 2 or 3 days. I also just started re-reading it because I wanted to read the second and just needed a refresher. I'm definitely not reading it as fast as I did the first time! I'm only about 1/3 of the way through, so I guess I'll see how much I like it this time around!

  2. I'm reading this from my phone so I can't leave a lengthy reply like I'd do on my laptop, but...yes. Yes to everything in this post. I really dislike Divergent, and I feel its huge hype is allt tonost an insult to lesser-known books that are actually tight and detailed. I don't hate on Divergent fans, but it is soooo refreshing to see someone who shares my feelings about it. Great post!

  3. Thank Heavens I'm not alone in feeling this way! Word building is a must in dystopian and I felt like there were so many things missing from Divergent. When I finished it I was like is that all it is, I expected more. It's way overhyped and I've read so many more brilliant Dystopians that are actually worthy of the praise that Divergent gets. It wasn't for me, I agree with everything you've said in this post.

    - Sunny A Sunny Spot Blog

  4. I haven't read Divergent, yet. To be honest, the only reason I'll be reading it any time soon is because I want to see the movie. I have heard from several people that the book doesn't deserve the hype. After reading your review I'm starting to agree, but I shall give a shot any way! Great review.:)

  5. I'm sorry that Divergent didn't work for you :( I get what you meant by not enough backstory or worldbuilding or factions based on personality didn't make sense... But it still worked for me the second time I read it. It made me love it even more...Now I know that books continue to raise our standards and usually the more books we read, the stricter we become.

    Thanks for being honest! :D I appreciate it although I'm still a fan of Divergent... But every book won't work for everyone right? :)

    1. Okay the last line didn't come across as right xD I meant, there will always be groups of people who like a book and those who dislike a book. I hope you understand my confusing comment lol.

  6. Finally someone wrote about it! When I was reading Divergent I thought it was the best dystopia novel but then afterwards I was kind of that it? I expected more if that's even possible. I felt like it could have been a little more intense but yeah I think the hype around it sort of ruined it for me. I think that if I didn't know anything about it and just read it then my mind would have been blown. And also because the dystopia genre is growing and my knowledge of books is definitely expanding that's how Divergent was a bit of a let down for me.

  7. I have to agree with you here. I didn't hate Divergent, but I just didn't LOVE it. I really liked some parts but then the world building just didn't do it for me. I love seeing everything. I did not see everything!!! But I really wanted to. I can definitely understand why you didn't enjoy this book, but I do have to say thy I liked the second book better.

  8. I know this post was a while ago, but Tierra led me here because she read my review on Divergent (which I disliked almost as much as you) and I have to agree with everything you said!
    I don't understand why I loved it so much in the first place.

  9. I agree with you! I found way too many aspects of the book that didn't make any sense. The entire premise of the story just seemed so improbable and out-there that I couldn't enjoy the book.