Well, that was disappointing.
When Divergent came out in 2011, there was a ridonkulous amount of hype around it. Every review I read said it was ah-mazing. Some said it was as good as or better than fellow YA dystopia The Hunger Games. Needless to say, I had very high expectations. They were definitely not met.
In an unspecified future, society has been divided up into five factions, with each one placing one particular value above all others. Tris has grown up in Abnegation, where selflessness rules, but she's always been fascinated by the brave Dauntless. When the time comes for her to choose the faction she will spend the rest of her life with, she discovers she's actually Divergent, excelling in more than one area. It's dangerous to be Divergent, apparently.
I didn't buy it. The worldbuilding was very weak and didn't make sense to me at all. Why would society divide into factions to keep peace, when division brings the opposite? Moreover, why is being Divergent so rare, when in reality most people are good at and do value more than one thing? It's more rare to find someone who only has one strength! After all bravery, intelligence, honesty, selflessness and peacefulness are not all mutually exclusive.
Divergent was slow to start with, and the majority of the plot is taken up with training and tests that kind of go nowhere. It picks up towards the end, but takes awhile to get there. I really didn't like Tris at first - she seemed cold and unkind. She grew on me a bit but I didn't love her. The chemistry between her and Four, the love interest, was great in a couple of scenes but it all felt very predictable, like I'd read it 50 times before.
It was entertaining overall but OK at best. I really don't see what all the fuss is about.
I saw Teresa Palmer as Tris and Zac Efron as Four.
Genre Young Adult Dystopia
Published: 2011, Harper Collins
Get It: Book Depository