Divergent (Roth)

I wanted to see what all the fuss was about this book, this trilogy. Roth has a premise – the world has split into factions representing various characteristics – and, well, that’s it. She is incapable of creating a setting or character. Everything and everyone comes off as bland. Even the attempts at romantic friction fall flat, in part because there’s no variety to the descriptions of Tris’ interactions with the absurdly named Four. And if there’s supposed to be some import to the fact that she doesn’t think she’s pretty (and that Four agrees), it eluded me. Okay, she is still attractive because of her other qualities. Wonderful. Why does there have to be such an immediate love interest at all?

Tris’ transformation lacks credibility. She simply goes from one things to being another. Whenever Roth is stuck, she simply invents a detail that allows things to continue. Whenever Tris is nervous, she does the same bloody thing. How many times does she brush off her jeans when nothing is actually there?

The physical punishment Roth has her characters endure suggests she knows little about medical matters. There is no way these kids – and they are kids – would recover so quickly.

An awful book.

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2 Replies to “Divergent (Roth)”

  1. Not that I liked these books, because I didn’t, but I wanted to say something about your statements, “Everything and everyone comes off as bland.” and, “Roth has a premise – the world has split into factions representing various characteristics – and, well, that’s it.” I think since you only read the first book and not the whole trilogy, those remarks make sense. But I also think that Roth did that intentionally. Once you know the whole story the Divergent world, and Roth’s premise, become much grander in scale and more complex. And part of that expanding premise reveals that everyone and everything is supposed to be bland or one dimensional.
    Other than that, I totally agree with your review. I did not like the books. And I don’t really have that high of standards when it comes to teen or romantic fiction. I just didn’t enjoy this story, it didn’t captivate my attention. And I am confused as to why so many of my friends LOVE it.

    1. Fair enough. I was pleased that there was a genuine ending rather than just a stopping point to make it clear that a reader HAD to read the next one. I’m surprised she didn’t do more to hook the reader in the first book. Considering the number of pages, I think she could have packed in a lot more.

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