Divergent – Book Review (Pt.1) (No Spoilers!)

This week I started and finished Divergent. I read it because my friends had and I wanted to know what they were talking about! Also, it has been made into a film now and I wanted to read it before I watched it! But although I had all this motivation to read it, once I’d started it, it felt like I was just reading it for the sake of reading it.

Don’t let the speed I read it at make you think that I couldn’t put it down,actually I was kind of disappointed by it!

It’s become the newest book craze, following The Fault in our Stars (of which the film adaptation shares the same leading actress, Shailene Woodley, as the Divergent film), so I thought it would be a lot more gripping than it was! Even so, as it is so popular, and no doubt some people won’t have read or watched it yet, I’ll try not to give away any spoilers!

The book is set in a city which is divided into factions, of which each one believes in a particular characteristic and therefore acts in that certain way. It tells the story of a girl who must take an aptitude test and decide which faction she wants to be a part of. Once they’ve chosen a faction, they begin initiation into it and if they complete the process, it becomes their permanent home. If they don’t fit well into the chosen faction, they could become ‘factionless’.

The start of the book was slow but as the character’s ‘Choosing Day’ approached, it did promised to improve. Her ‘Choosing Day’ was the first of a few particular points in the book which persuaded me to keep reading! Between these though, not much seemed to happen. Although it began introducing lots of new characters to the story, once the lead character – Beatrice – began her initiation, the story seemed to slow down again.

It was only when I’d got a lot further into the book that several twists, involving her brother, mother, her faction trainers and fellow initiates, began to make it more gripping! Finally, by the end of the book, things were actually happening, and although it took a while to get there, it sets up the next books in the trilogy. Although I was uncertain when I started reading Divergent, eventually I was gripped and I will definitely read the next two!

One thing I would say about the story, is there are a lot of characters that you don’t know that much about and perhaps finding out more about them would have made the story more interesting!

Also, and I’m sure I’m not the only one to have noticed this, but the concept of this story has a lot of similarities with The Hunger Games.

Firstly, they are both set in a world where their societies are divided, either into factions or districts, but the characters in them always keep to their own. (Although, it’s by force in THG and by choice in Divergent.) Both factions and districts are also known for a particular product or characteristic.

Secondly, the story starts with a certain day which will dictate their future – in this book its the ‘Choosing Day’ and in THG it’s ‘Reaping Day’. Although, in Divergent this day involves all of the children of that age whereas in THG, only 2 children are chosen. Once this day is over however, they all take part in some form of training and are then graded on their skills. In THG this takes place after the tributes have been chosen but before they are put into the Games; in Divergent, this is the initiation process.

It’s not a problem that there are similarities but these are just a few things I noticed as I was reading. So far, I would still have to say that I prefer The Hunger Games, although, this could change once I’ve read the whole of the Divergent trilogy… I’ll let you know! I am still yet to watch the Divergent film but once I do I might write about the film adaptation in comparison to the book (there will be spoilers in that one!) But in the mean time, I just have to wait until my friend has finished with the second book in the trilogy before I can start to read it!


// Beth



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