Book Review: Divergent

This post has been sitting in my “Drafts” folder for years.  I wanted to write a review of the whole series, but I realized I was never going to finish this book series because it wasn’t good, and after reading Marie Kondo’s book about decluttering your life, I knew that spending time on the Divergent series would just be creating mental clutter. I thought about just deleting the draft, but I’m particularly biting my review, so I thought that it was worth posting, just for the amusement factor.  Thus, without further ado, here is the review of the first book, which I read several years ago, but never posted….

cover

When I accidentally got sucked into watching the second half of the Divergent movie, I was inspired to read the books.  This was, unfortunately, not the best idea I’ve ever had.  Somehow the screenwriters managed to turn a vapid girl trapped in an illogical world into an exciting action adventure story.  Kudos to them.  Scenes that were emotional and exciting on film were awkwardly cringe-worthy on the page.  If I had a single electron for every time Tris “felt electricity” when she was close to Four I could power Manhattan for a week.  The world felt gritty and, well, at least plausible on screen – I never really accepted the whole society in the book.  Where are the adults?  Where are the old people?  Why are 18 year olds running things?  How do they get food?  It’s like a child’s perspective on what being a teen should be like, without actually dealing with any real issues.  It’s almost like the book uses being Divergent as an excuse for having fewer emotions – but, really, if they are supposed to be more human, shouldn’t they have more?  Shouldn’t things bother Tris more than they do?  This book touches on a lot of serious themes, but I can’t say I think they handled any of them well.  Too often the answer is violence or submission, neither of which have the lasting repercussions you would expect in a more realistic scenario.  Although my ebook has the entire series bundled together, I’m not sure when I’ll get around to finishing it – I think my time could be much better spent reading something else.  


7 thoughts on “Book Review: Divergent

  1. Walk away!!! I spent November and December reading books 5-8 in a series where I liked 1-4 but then 5 was terrible and for some reason I kept doubling down, hoping that the next one was better. It’s the “sunk cost fallacy” for reading. Just stop!

    I know they canned the 4th movie in this series so I’m guessing it you didn’t like the first one, it doesn’t get any better.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I watched the first two movies and thought they were decent, but obviously riding the wave of the Hunger Games young adult dystopia craze. I had issues with the whole concept of the world in the movies even… Like everyone is split into factions based on their single good trait, but if you are brave AND intelligent, OH NO. YOU ARE IN TROUBLE.

        I never read any of the books, but it’s funny how many popular books I pick up with terrible writing / plot holes / no character development and wonder why the heck it is so popular!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Like you I watched the movie first and actually enjoyed it – it hits the “lazy day background noise” niche quite nicely – and decided to read the book… and then books two and three because I kept hoping it would get better. Spoilers: it got worse.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Totally agree with your review – I read these books quite some time ago and didn’t enjoy them. Not sure why I continued reading them actually! I was on a young adult book binge or something (read all the Hunger Games books and really liked the first two, not so fond of the last one)… Anyway the Divergent books were not even divergent reading…

    Liked by 1 person

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