Divergent (Divergent, #1)Divergent by Vernoica Roth

Type: young adult dystopian fiction

Page Count: 487

Received by: I read an article on Hellogiggles that this was the new Hunger Games.  HA!  I bought it on Amazon and Kayse brought it to me from America on Saturday night.  When I asked her how it was (she read it), she said, “Um… it’s okay…”  That’s like, the meanest thing Kayse has ever said, so I should have known, but she did say the ending was good, so I started reading.

Started reading: 28 August 2011

Finished reading: 2 September 2011

Interest level: 4 – The dystopia that Roth creates is just interesting enough that you want to find out what will happen to it as you see things begin to unravel.  Unfortunately, the heroine is a daft, unkind coward who is extremely slow at learning any lessons.  She learns SKILLS throughout the book, but I really don’t think she learns any real life lessons, although her love interest keeps TRYING to POUND them INTO her STUPID HEAD (in order to save her life, which she can’t seem to grasp) — instead of learning and growing as a protaganist ought to, she’s only forced to accept that her perspectives on life have (finally) changed due to life-and-death situations.  And even then, it’s only because of a boy.

Recommendation level: 3 – The writing level of this book is SO POOR, I couldn’t believe that her editor allowed Roth to use her full name in the Acknowledgements section.  In fact, that editor should really look for a better job – she’s got to be better at something else.  The story drags along slowly as you are WAITING for the heroine to take a hint that life outside of her bubble is disintegrating, and that should be more than just a nuisance.  The climax turns out to be exciting, but its truly the story’s only saving grace.

TTBR Synopsis: Beatrice (or, “Tris” – because you (wait, only the main character and her bf do this – why are all the other characters so 2D?) can change your name and she gets really creative and drops the first part of her birth name – wild!) lives in a future Chicago (can you guess what they call Millennium Park in the future? even though she indicates that she’s not sure what they used to call it (reminder, we call it Millennium Park now) – get ready for it… they call it “Millennium” – I wonder where they came up with that!) where humanity has been split into five “factions” that each focus on various values (i.e. the people responsible for society’s defense value strength).  She must choose which faction to join, and that changes EV.RY.THING.  Except the main character’s inability to care about anyone but herself and her main squeeze.

Here was my review for goodreads, because I still need to vent:

How do I say this kindly… as far as published books go, this one is the worst-written stories I’ve ever read. I could go ON and ON about all the things I didn’t like about it (her weird descriptions of proportions i.e. how ridiculously long Four’s fingers are; how incredibly large and invincible the muffin that was supposedly shot off of Marlene’s head must have been for her to be eating it for so long and even sharing it with people after she’s been eating it for so long; THE REPETITION, i.e. how many times do we need an example of how old Chicago is – OMG THAT BUILDING WAS BUILT WITH BRICKS??; the impossibly short length of time from she gave her brother to do his research, for him to do said research, and then take action with said research (like, a day?); or the not-so clever literary devices she uses over and over i.e. “it had been years; it had been decades,” “it had been hours; it had been days,” “he looked older than before; he looked younger.”) To name a few. My husband can vouch for how much complaining I did – almost every other page I had to go back and re-read because something was unclear or just so poorly written that I actually banged the book against my head on several occasions.

However, what made me give this a three star as opposed to the one star I initially decided to give it is that the climax is really exciting. The premise is extremely interesting, so even through the difficult, confusing, and totally idiotic writing at times, I still wanted to know what would happen in this strange dystopian world, and the climax did make it worth finishing. My hopes that the story would pull through in the end did paid off, although the scale might only be tipped because I paid for this book and wanted to find a redeeming quality to justify my purchase. I wasn’t sure if this was the first in a series, but I’m really glad that it is – even if I have to bumble through her writing again (she calls her editor an “Editor of Wonder,” but she needs a much more wonderful editor if she wants future books to be more polished than this one).