I have not yet read the Hunger Games so I was hesitant to read Divergent first since so many people compare the two. Well I do hope that Divergent ends up being nothing at all like The Hunger Games because Divergent did absolutely nothing for me. NOTHING.
The biggest gripe I have regarding Divergent is the world-building, or the lack thereof. The five factions are never fully explained and since they are a large part of the story you would think this would take some sort of precedence. But no, we are simply given little facts here and there about them but nothing of true substance. Sure, the Erudite are the intelligent ones but why the hell are the Abnegation in charge of the government? And WTF is it with the Erudite being portrayed as, well, asses? And why, oh, why do the Dauntless (the brave supposedly) sport tattoos and piercings when such attributes do nothing to prove how brave you are? And WTF is with them jumping off of trains? I’m sorry, but I missed the memo on brave equaling stupid. Roth took bravery and made it a complete joke (alongside the other highlighted qualities in the book).
And why are these the five particular attributes which garnered factions? Why is being Divergent such an awful thing? The factions were supposed to have formed to prevent war (or subsequently after a war) but tell me how segregating a population and making them against each other for different reasons aside from race, gender, nationality etc. is any better? Even if Roth’s purpose was to show that humans would fall into the same ruts with different factions than the ones in today’s society, her world still has so little depth to it that it does not matter. See the problem is the world is full of a terrible amount of holes which I believe we are supposed to ignore due to the constant “action” in the book.
The book begins with the main character, 16-year-old Beatrice, getting tested for faction placement. (Although why they are even tested at the age of 16 is not explained. Neither is why they are essentially “groomed” for their faction through their families only to be tested anyway.) Beatrice turns out to be Divergent (no spoiler there) and has to choose which faction to be in of three she tested into. Well, her choice confused the crap out of me because there was absolutely no indication as to why it made sense before OR after she chose the faction. After she begins initiation (which also makes little sense as if you are MEANT for that faction, WTF is the need for constant testing? Is it faction insecurity? More nonsensical plotting?). Initiation is essentially needless fighting (Why? Who the hell knows?). And the plot goes on and on and on, if you wish to call it that. I was bored out of my mind and constantly asking what the point of everything was.
More issues: why do adults seemingly disappear? They are in the world, they do not die-off suddenly and they even run the government. But why are they never around during these initiations? Why is no adult running the show? Why do I bother continuing to try to understand this drivel??
This book is nonsensical to a degree that I cannot even properly represent. I do not understand the high rating of this book, I’m quite disturbed by it frankly.