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on 10 April 2017
Definitely a page-turner. Fascinating world building, but the pacing is a little strange and the 'climax' and ending seems rushed, almost seemingly out of nowhere. For me, it makes me just want to turn back the pages an go back to read about this fascinating world instead of going on with story.

The romance factor, oh my, sparks definitely flutter off the pages. The chemistry between the characters were believable and genuine. Yet at the same time, it's pacing is a bit uneven so it clashes with the rest of the story telling. Almost like we'll go through the story, but we're going to slow down and notice every tiny minuscule details when it in regards to the romance between the main character and her intended. The end result felt a bit disjointed, felt like we're almost intruding on them (or peeping at them from a hole in the wall - your choice)

I would have like a bit more time to see the characters grow before things 'got to the point of no return' but that's my own personal preference. Overall, an engaging read.
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on 27 November 2016
Like Brave New World this novel deals with different groups (Abegnation, Dauntless, Erudite, Candor & Amity), which contribute to societies functions. Every group has its distinctive motifs, dress and colour. They represent the different sides of human nature taken to the extreme. Abegnatin are the selfless faction where Beatrice is born and the fact that she is divergent, not fitting neatly into any one faction, just highlights how complex human beings are.

The induction creates the values and behaviours necessary to reinforce group mentality. Those who do not succeed, or conform, are factionless. This is portrayed as a fate worse than death, as they live outside the bounds of a civilised society. Again a little like Brave New World, a place outside of the compound filled with savages.

It is interesting that the author has chosen 16 years of age as the time of choice. An age in the UK where students finish compulsory education. A stage which they are also still pliable and open to new ideas and influences.

Like most YA novels it is written in the first person from Beatrice’s point of view and it is though her interactions that we learn about the rest of the characters. We learn a lot about Peter through his shocking behaviour and the way he treats Beatrice. Equally we love and respect Four for his ability as a leader and his care and respect for Beatrice. Four’s role is also contrasted with Eric and we discover that Four is the more able despite Eric’s seniority and obvious resentment.

This book is a great example of groups, motifs and team dynamics and how these are woven together. The first person narrative, like the Hunger Games, is relational and exposes the other characters through their words and actions. I look forward to reading the rest of the books in the series.

<b>Insurgent</b>

Divergent ends with Tris thinking of life beyond a faction, yet insurgent is so much more than this. She still clings to Dauntless as her faction of choice, but she also has to recognise that she is divergent with all the risks associated with this.

We discover much more about the other factions in this book, starting with Amity, where they flee to first. Erudite by their nature hold the knowledge of all the faction as well as a secret they would prefer to see destroyed than fall into the wrong hands. It is this secret that drives the story forward as individuals set aside their factions to work together. The reader also sees the strain this puts on Tris and Tobias’s relationship as he works with this father and is reconciled to his mother.

The divergent are much more important in this book than the previous one and we learn that there are more members of this group than Tris may have imagined. They are certainly a target for the Erudite and their Dauntless allies. From a political perspective they are the people who think across party lines. This can also be seen in the way Dauntless splits with some siding with Erudite, most notably Eric and those who don’t. Even peace loving, neutral Amity suffers a crisis amongst its members with some needing to fight rather than stay neutral.

As the title suggests there is more fighting, violence and torture in this book, but I love the ending. The idea that the divergent are the future and that factions were only a temporary solution to restore order from chaos. I look forward to reading the next book.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 21 September 2016
Having enjoyed the first two films, I thought I would give the books a go. Probably the wrong way around, but there you go. Two things surprised me. Firstly, how closely (most of the time) the first film followed this book, and secondly, given that I'd seen the film and knew the story, how well the book still engaged and gripped me. Definitely a sign of a well crafted and well told story. I will definitely be reading the sequels. I now have a tough decision to make though. I've seen the first two films. Do I watch the third before reading the book, like the others, or do I read the book first?
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Divergent is an enjoyable YA thriller. It's uncomplicated, unsophisticated, but chock full of enthusiasm and energy. It lacks the relative complexity of the Hunger Games (which it is obviously modelled upon) but even given the simplicity of the morality within it's a lot of fun to read. In many ways it makes me think of it as 'Uglies done right' - I really didn't like Uglies, which I thought had a lazy premise and a paper thin premise. But it had some interesting bones that a more competent execution could have built upon - Divergent really seems like it fills that niche. The factional system of Divergent is at least moderately believable, even if it lacks the geopolitical nuance of the Hunger Games. The characters are like-able, even though the villains don't get much in the way of characterisation beyond 'look how mean they are'. The story is - well, it's okay. It's much like Full Metal Jacket in that it's very much a book of two halves, and the second half doesn't come remotely close to the quality of the first. But I didn't resent a second I spent reading it, and I'll happily move on to the next one before too much time has passed.
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on 15 February 2015
It's safe to say that Divergent was one of the best book I read in 2014, so when I bought Insurgent I couldn't wait to read it.

I had high expectations for this book and held it back for a little while, expecting it to be bad because of some bad reviews. All I can say is why the hell did't I read it sooner? It was amazing. It was action packed, there was running, shooting and fighting. For a distopian book, what more could you ask for?

I expected to hate the relationship between Tris and Tobias is Divergent but was very surprised by it. I think Divergent was just the build up with their relationship. This book shows the more "real" side to their relationship. Some people may say that Tris was a bitch and that Tobias had more mood swings that a teenage girl in this book. I would somewhat agree, but you would understand their relationship considering what's going on in their world.

There is twists and turns in this book that were amazing and the one at the end, wow. It really made me want to read more. I can't wait to get my hands on the last book and gave this book 5 stars, and can recommend.
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on 9 June 2014
All the fuss about the book passed me by, which is a pity because this is excellent. Now I'm torn... do I read the other two books in the trilogy first or wait for the movies and read the books afterwards? The movie was pretty faithful to the book, though the book adds a little clarity to the reasons behind some of the motivation and decisions taken.

Direct comparisons with the Hunger Games are going to be difficult to avoid, you only need to check out the reviews that say: move over Katniss and make way for Tris. Well, in a way it's a fair comment, but there's more going on her than a knock down-drag out fight to the bloody and bitter end. Beatrice (Tris) is a member of Abnegation, one of the five factions of a future dystopian Chicago a hundred years or more after some unnamed war. Everyone is shoehorned into one of the five factions which are based on their signature character trait. Abnegation are selfless and therefore the governing faction. Dauntless are brave; Erudite are intelligent; Candor speak the truth, and Amity are peaceful. Those who don't fit are factionless, i.e. homeless, jobless, worthless street-people.

But the Divergent don't fit either. They are a little bit of everything and as such regarded as dangerous, maybe because they have the capability to do a little joined-up thinking. Anyone found to be Divergent is likely to end up dead.

SOME PLIOT-ELEMENT SPOILERS AHEAD:

When tested at 16, Tris doesn't fit into any one faction and, warned to keep that information to herself, chooses Dauntless over her birth faction of Abnegation, thus beginning a gruelling training programme to learn how to be brave, physically and mentally. It's difficult, but she eventually makes the grade due to her own efforts and the tough-love attitude of her instructor, Four.

But that's only part of the story. Erudite is plotting to overthrow Abnegation and a smear campaign is followed by a coup which Tris must thwart to prevent her family being murdered and her friends unwittingly becoming murderers.

This includes elements of a love story (though it's not really a romance) and political intrigue while exploring the tropes of identity, destiny and self-determination. It's a rights of passage story with some tightly written action set-pieces and some interesting character studies. Four, as the love-interest, has secrets that are only gradually revealed.

It's written in first person present, which actually works in this case. Tris at times seems older than sixteen and Four seems way older than eighteen. More like eighteen going on twenty-eight. I look forward to seeing how both characters develop in the next book.

Recommended.
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on 26 May 2017
This book was reminiscent of The Hunger Games Trilogy and yet it differed - hard to explain without relaying the whole story. Like Katniss, Beatrice was a strong and determined girl.

I was uncertain what to expect but was compelled to keep on reading to the end. I enjoyed it even though I'm far from being a teenager, the age group for which the book was apparently intended.

Being somewhat torn between 3.5 * and 4* I'll be generous and award 4*.
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on 18 April 2014
I don't know why I waited so long to read this, it's brilliant.
Inclination toward evil was blamed for war and the world was divided into factions to eradicate personality traits responsible.
Those who blamed ignorance became erudite
Those who blamed aggression became amity
Those who blamed duplicity became candor
Those who blamed selfishness became abnegation
Those who blamed cowardice became dauntless
They worked together to provide peace. Abnegation formed the government , while candor were the leaders in law; erudite supplied teacher and researchers; amity provides counselors and caregivers and dauntless provides protection from threats.
At age 16 children must choose their faction. After choosing you are initiated into your faction if you fail you become factionless which means being the bottom of society, menial jobs and often homelessness.
Beatrice chooses a different faction from her parents who are abnegation, and she changes her name to Tris.
Peace cannot last "Human beings as a whole cannot be good for long before the bad creeps back in and poisons us again"
A power struggle arises and Tris is caught in the midst of it because she is different, she is divergent.
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on 22 January 2015
I have to confess to having lost a claim to young adulthood some decades ago but a good book is a great read no matter what one's age and this is well worth the reading. The story line has already been well described so I will not repeat it but it is an intriguing one, the characters are charismatic and the action fast and well described. And behind it are the difficult decisions to be made especially when young but also at any age when faced with the fears or pain of the unexpected.
I read extensively in many genres any can say quite honestly that I found this book to be one, if not the, best of it's type and am looking forward with great anticipation to following Tris and Four as they move onward in their relationships and lives.
So whatever your age, be it 17 or 70, if you still remember what it is to be young, enter this world and enjoy.
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on 2 October 2013
Thoughts:

I recently read and loved Divergent, so much so that I had to buy Insurgent sharpish and bump it up my to be read list. Everything dystopian seems to be billed as "The Next Hunger Games", it gets a bit annoying. Especially when you read a series like Divergent. I think it's good in its own right. I don't want to say too much about the plot, as I don't want to ruin it for others that haven't read it yet.

Insurgent's action takes place not long after Divergent ends. We don't spend most of the book recapping the story of Divergent, so if you can, don't leave a big gap between reading Divergent and Insurgent. Insurgent is action-packed and fast paced. There's more world building and we learn about more of the characters.

For me, it wasn't quite as good as Divergent. I don't know if this is because Tris seems like a completely different person. It's clear that she would change after what she experienced, but she seems much more impulsive than in Divergent. I guess this makes it more exciting, but it also creates problems in her relationship with Tobias. I love that relationship, so I was almost willing Tris to calm down and attempt to think rationally.

I do think that Veronica Roth is an incredible writer. Insurgent is an intense read with such a fast pace, but at the same time, it doesn't feel like it's rushed. The reader learns much more about the other factions, which I think was much needed. I like that the Divergent series isn't a simple read. There's so much going on and it feels more adult with a political undertone.

I can't wait to read Allegiant to see how this exciting series is going to end. Luckily I don't have to wait too long!
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