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on 15 February 2016
Again, as with the first book in the Divergent trilogy, I loved the world building here, but the promise of romance/love between the two main characters progresses very little in that I don't fully understand or really see their attachment to each other. Nothing has really happened on an emotional level. It seems more of a story device than an organic story theme.

Tris continues in her selfish way of making decisions that have an effect on the lives many more people than just herself, without due consideration to those she professes to like or love, and even without respecting or trusting anyone else to come up with an equal or better plan than the one she has in mind. Her role as martyr becomes tiringly inevitable after a while.

Death has a big role to play in the book, again, and certainly Ms Roth takes no prisoners and gives way to no sentimentality when it comes to choosing who lives and who dies. Whether this is a nod cruelty present in Tris's world, or she is signposting something bigger, I have no idea.

I'm still not sure I know these characters very well. I don't understand a great deal as to their motivations, or really feel what they are feeling. They are still a little 2D for my taste.

That said, actually reading the book is not a negative experience. Watching the characters operate in their highly detailed dystopian world, to rules only they understand, is fascinating.

I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley from the publisher in return for an honest review.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 23 October 2014
Yes I am very late to the Divergent party and having now finished this book last night I really wish I had been punctual and read it when it originally came out! I am absolutely hooked to the Divergent world and the book was literally unputdownable. I am already halfway through the second book Insurgent (Divergent, Book 2) which I only started last night after finishing Divergent and wow the series impossibly is getting better the more I read. If you are a fan of YA and dystopian and are one of the rare few like me who haven't yet read Divergent then I highly recommend the series and urge you to read it. One other thing is that I normally always read the book before I watch the film but in this instance I ended up watching the film first and I have to say well done to the producers who have (unlike many films of highly popular books) actually stuck to the book with only a few minor theatrical changes/add ins.

The book is set in a post apocalyptic Chicago where the survivors have split into five groups or factions as they call them:-

Abnegation for the selfless
Dauntless for the brave
Erudite for the intellectual
Candor for the honest
Amity for the peaceful

Beatrice Prior is a member of abnegation but had never felt that she belonged there as she doesn't feel she is selfless enough especially when compared to her parents and brother Caleb. Each year all 16 year old's take an aptitude test by way of a simulation scenario which determines which faction they belong to and then they can either choose to stay with their current faction or choose to join another. If they choose to join another faction they leave their family behind and have no contact with them as the city's motto is "Faction before Blood". When Beatrice takes her test it shows that she has an aptitude for three factions; Abnegation, Dauntless and Erudite and the woman administering the test advises Beatrice that this is very dangerous and she must not tell anyone her results. On the choosing day Caleb shocks Beatrice and her family by choosing Erudite but Beatrice still makes the choice that she wants to make and chooses Dauntless. Beatrice later finds out that she is Divergent which is a very dangerous thing to be as Divergent's don't tend to live long in Dauntless and so she has to work to hide this through the initiation process. Beatrice changes her name to Tris on entry to Dauntless and it is her that she meets her instructor Four and they seem to have some sort of link to each other. Only the top ten initiates make it into Dauntless and their initiation process is the hardest of all of the factions so can Tris make it into Dauntless and hide that she is Divergent and is there something between her and Four and what is he hiding himself?

An absolutely amazing read and I have been drawn into the world of Divergent and don't want to come back out. I absolutely love the character's Tris and Four and love the world that Veronica Roth has built. I have read some amazing books this year and this one is right up there with the best ones. I am already halfway through Insurgent which has a few shock turns in it to say the least and I am dreading reading Allegiant as know that this will mean the end of the Divergent roller-coaster. A must read book for fans of YA and Dystopian.
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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 18 March 2015
The plot and idea of these books is brilliant, clever and imaginative. The writing however is very poor, repetitive (second book) and becoming increasingly dull (third book) which is really quite disappointing. What could be an amazing climax in the third book is unsatisfyingly boring after all of the build up, and that's considering the fact it took three books to get there.

The films have been released and don't closely follow a lot of the main storyline and I can understand why having read the books following Divergent' s release to the cinema.

The characters are likable and you can relate to their adolescent thoughts and actions however, the child-like attitude towards their 'relationship' is tedious and could be avoided considering a lot of major details about the war and life outside the fence is being neglected as a result.
Tris's character was nothing but annoying in the second book due to the constant repetition that she just wanted 'to scream', 'and then scream', 'so I screamed'...in every single paragraph - we get it!
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on 17 March 2016
Getting the box set was definitely easier and cheaper than buying each book individually. The outer sleeve is very thin though and once the first book was read, it didn't all fit back in properly. After the second book... there was no way. Now the book sit individually on our shelves. I don't remember what prompted me to purchase this series. The only thing I can think is I may have saw it on a list that said 'If you like the Hunger Games...' It's a VERY good series (or starts out that way anyway).

**SPOILER ALERT ahead!

I really enjoyed the first two books. The third book however, was hard to follow as it was written from Four's perspective as well as from Tris's perspective. I had to keep going back to see which was which... especially if I had to put the book down for a minute. (My husband thought the same). Also, I hated the ending of this series, which makes me understand why the third book was written the way it was, but still...
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on 3 March 2015
Leaving pretty much where Divergent left off, the second book follows Tris, Four and their companions head out to speak to the other factions about what they have learned. Their first stop is Amity, yet they aren't welcomed with complete open arms and acceptance. Throughout their time in Amity, and after they leave, we learn more about the history of the factions and how they were implimented to keep the peace.

Four's father has more of a role in this book, and he is definitely a character with secrets. I think, in this book, he is the reason the readers turn the pages. We want to find out what he knows.

I have to admit, both Tris and Four/Tobias irritated me in places during the story. They made choices throughout the book that felt completely out of character for them, and in places felt as if it were just to move the story forwards, but after a couple of chapters, they made more sense. This created more tension for the couple, but it was realistic. How can a couple survive if they are either keeping secrets from one another or don't trust each other fully?

As the story moves on further and further, the action ramps up further and further, particularly once Tris makes a choice that puts her in the direct line of fire. From this moment, I couldn't put the book down.

There are quite a few moments in Insurgent that made me gasp, like the emergence of the truth about Jeanine and what she is trying to accomplish with the serums and how she wants to control the factions. The twist at the end, segues perfectly into the third, and final, book of the series. Yet, again, Tris makes a choice that is out of character and completely blew me away.

I felt that this book, more than Divergent, was a lot more visual and descriptive. I have never been to Chicago, having only seen pictures of a bustling and vibrant city, but Roth's Chicago is completely different. Through her words, I can see it's is run down, the streets are in ruin, with greenery growing anywhere it wants and can. Transportation is virtually non existent yet electricity and technology has continued to move forward. The world she has created is at odds with itself, and that is no hard to imagine as you read.
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on 12 May 2015
Understand the comparisons to the Hunger Games, which I loved, but it's a completely different story, and well worth reading. I thought the middle book dragged on a bit, and the main point to the story was in the final book, so it sort of felt like the middle book was a bit of a filler, rather than 1/3 of the whole story. That said, the concept is brilliant, set in the future where people live in 5 groups , dependent on whether they are fighters ( Dauntless) , the kind and selfless ( Abnegation) the happy and peaceful ( Amity) the learned ( Erudite) and the honest ( Candor) . Everyone has to choose one of those groups to spend the rest of their days in, and the first book is mainly about the choice that the main character , 16 year old Tris from Abnegation makes.
It's much more interesting than I have made it sound 😀, and if you enjoyed the Hunger Games, you will probably enjoy this, provided that you keep an open mind about them not being the same.
I wouldn't bother with the film though, pretty dire casting of both Tris and Four, which is a shame.
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on 7 April 2016
Having seen and liked the film, I thought I would like the book. It's not bad, but it is easy to see why the film director decided to omit the heroine's internal thoughts entirely, and rewrite parts of the plot - while sticking pretty faithfully to the significant passages. The Divergent trilogy has been alleged to be an attempt to cash-in on the popularity of the Hunger Games trilogy, but the writing of Divergent fails to reach the level of the first Hunger Games book, and didn't make me want to read Insurgent.
Whilst both are nominally first-person accounts of the adventures of a teenage girl, the characterisation of Tris is far less maturely done than that of Katniss. Both are, as it turns out, flawed, but Katniss' failures to live up to the role she finds herself cast in as the Mockingjay are much more thoughtful and subtle.
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on 4 April 2015
Unusually I broke my general rule of not reading books that I've seen the movie of first. I saw Divergent on DVD over the Christmas break, and while I sort of enjoyed it I also picked some holes in it. The person that had brought the DVD told me that the book was better, and when I saw it advertised cheaper in paperback than on kindle I thought I'd give it a try.

I wasn't disappointed. Almost all of the things that had jarred with the movie were addressed properly in the book. The world built for the story makes more sense in the book than it does in the movie, largely because the movie needs to edit out some of the parts. That said there are still holes, like for example the Dauntless faction only taking ten new members annually, they'd need way more than that for the jobs they cover and the wastage rates they must have given their recklessness.

However, none of this gets in the way of a good story. I could empathise with both Tris and Four, and arithmetic aside I could get a society that worked on these lines. The flaws you can see when it is first described are the very things that the plot hangs on. The people are more than the stereotypes projected by the factions, helped by the primary group being transferees between factions, so they all have aspects of more than one. Also our divergent main character doesn't fit the pigeonhole.

Even if you hadnt seen the movie before reading it there are clues scattered through the story about what happens next and how it happens. For the most part they aren't obvious, although where they are it helps to build tension as you can't be sure exactly how it is going to work. The style is good too, the words are an easy read and they explain background in a way that drives the plot forward without indulging in data dumps.

Well worth reading.
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on 3 March 2015
I've been meaning to read this series for ages, but I kept putting it off. Until I sat and watched the film. As soon as the end credits rolled, i bought the first book on Kindle and began reading. I like a well written YA Dystopia. I devoured The Hunger Games in a few days. Since then, I haven't really found a dystopian series to grab me in the same way - The Maze Runner was ok, but not brilliant, in my mind.

Then I started Divergent.

I won't go into all the factions and what they represent in society, that's explained better than I ever could in the book, but throughout, I kept thinking that it was entirely plausible. A good dystopian makes the reader think "what if?" or "What would I do in that situation?", and like The Hunger Games, Divergent did just that. Although, as much as I loved The Hunger Games, I think I preferred Divergent because the characters are limited into one city rather than spread across an entire country. The fence and their education encourages them not to leave. Fear is instilled into every person in all factions.

I think the main draw of this book is Tris. She's meek, mild, and unsure of who she is. Thanks to the 1st person POV, we as readers, alongside Tris, learn about the world she lives in. We grow with her as she moves through her Dauntless training, gets stronger, finds loves, and realises there's more to the city she calls home, than anyone ever realised.

That's not to say she is the prefect character. Far from it. She makes stupid choices, sometimes for the right reasons, but most of the time her emotions lead her.

Then there is Four. A Dauntless instructor.

He keeps himself to himself, yet is drawn to Tris. He helps her when she becomes that little bit too cocky or reckless. He is not your typical swoonworthy book boyfriend, but there is something about him that draw us, the reader, and Tris to him.

A solid start, with excellent world building, Roth has created believeable characters such as Will, Christina, Al, Peter, and the others who we relate to, love, hate, and laugh with. They live in a world that could quite possibly be in our future, one we hope would never come to pass. The serums and the simulations that the Dauntless initiates face are absolutely fascinating.

The moment I finished the last page, I picked up the second book.
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