Book Review: ‘Divergent’ and ‘Insurgent’


One of my favorite parts of my commute is getting lost in a good book. After finally finishing Gone with the Wind and rereading Anne of Green Gables, it was time for something a bit more…contemporary. At my friend Nancy’s recommendation, I downloaded Divergent, a teen dystopian novel.

The Divergent series is probably compared to The Hunger Games a decent amount — both are set in the future United States, with some sort of postapocalyptic government installed that is facing rebellion, in part led by a teenage heroine. In the Divergent universe, instead of districts there are factions, each based on one personality traits.

We meet Beatrice on the day before her Choosing Day — at sixteen, it is time for her to decide whether to stay in the faction she was born into, Abnegation (the selfless), or defect and leave her loved ones behind. Once she makes her decision, we follow Beatrice as she undergoes the Initiation process, meets new friends, enemies and even love interests. It’s a process that’s more dangerous than she could have imagined.


Like The Hunger GamesDivergent is also the first book in a trilogy. The second, Insurgent, picks up literally where Divergent leaves off. (And I’m using the real definition of “literally” here.)

While Divergent is fast-paced, entertaining and gripping, Insurgent may be too fast-paced for its own good. Taking care to avoid spoilers, some conflicts develop and are resolved so quickly it’s hard to keep up and really understand the significance of it all. I wasn’t necessarily less invested in the two main characters, but it was like, slow down.

The premise itself is a bit contrived, but it’s still interesting. Occasionally, some theological themes do feature prominently in the plot, and it was certainly more noticeable than any Christian imagery that may have been in The Hunger Games, so it was caught me off guard.

Overall, this is an entertaining, suspenseful series to start reading. These are quick, won’t-put-down reads. The last novel, Allegiant, will be released in October 2013, so now is the best time to catch up. (P.S. The movie adaptation of Divergent will be in theaters next March.)

Have you read the Divergent books? Let me know what you think!

~ Sarah