**This Review is in no way an endorsement of the author unless specifically stated so**
Trigger Warnings: Ableism; Sexual Assault; Violence; Abuse (Physical, Mental, Emotional, Verbal, Sexual); Manipulation; Death (Suicide, Accidental); Child Abuse; Self-Injury; Needles; Kidnapping.
Series: Divergent #1
Publication date: April 25, 2011
Genre: Young Adult; Dystopian
Page Count: 487
Synopsis: Perfect for fans of the Hunger Games and Maze Runner series, Divergent and its sequels, Insurgent and Allegiant, are the gripping story of a dystopian world transformed by courage, self-sacrifice, and love. Fans of the Divergent movie will find the book packed with just as much emotional depth and exhilarating action as the film, all told in beautiful, rich language.
One choice can transform you. Beatrice Prior’s society is divided into five factions—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). Beatrice must choose between staying with her Abnegation family and transferring factions. Her choice will shock her community and herself. But the newly christened Tris also has a secret, one she’s determined to keep hidden, because in this world, what makes you different makes you dangerous.
This review isn’t being written at four o’clock in the morning. I’m proud of me.
Anyway, review. Stay on track, Lillie.
This is my first time re-reading this book since I marathoned the series when Allegiant was released. And, whoa, fourteen-year-old Lillie had bad taste. I thought this book was the shit when I read it the first time. And there is just so much wrong that I’m going to separate it into cat-egories…
The Ableism: Okay, this really, truly pissed me off. The ableism in this book is not necessary but, hey, apparently it’s what Veronica Roth is good at. There is no need to require Dauntless initiates to be able to do all of this ridiculous physical crap. There are plenty of able-bodied people who can’t even keep up with and jump into a moving train. And Dauntless has so many jobs that don’t even require you to be able-bodied- tattoo artist, shop owner, cook, working with computers- so why is it that unless you can do this unnecessarily physical initiation, you can’t be Dauntless? You can be disabled and brave. Being able-bodied does not determine how brave someone is. That is serious, infuriating, ableist thinking.
The Violence: Specifically Peter’s weasel-like self. Peter deserves a good punch to the throat. He is unnecessarily cruel and violent, and never gets punished for it. I mean, in a world where murder is so frowned upon, you’d think there would be repercussions for stabbing someone in the eye with a butter knife, and trying to throw someone into a chasm without the victim being thought weak for it happening. I mean, Tris would have died if not for Four, and they groped her to boot. This book is just super toxic.
The Abuse: This one is the true kicker. The leaders of Dauntless abuse the initiates and it’s okay?? And in what world is having someone dangle over a chasm by just their hands- a chasm that sprays water at you and makes your grip slippery– just for trying to get away from the person beating the shit out of them, not abuse?? Because in my world, it is. And the initiates are made to beat each other bloody and can’t end the fight until someone is unconscious or just can’t go on. That is just horrible, abusive shit and it shouldn’t be in a YA book.
And that’s just the physical abuse. There’s so much mental abuse that it makes it hard for me to breathe. The manipulation, the slurs and the name calling. Like, seriously? Tris is repeatedly put down, and even harmed, because she’s a “Stiff” and that means she shouldn’t be good in the faction she chose. Isn’t the entire point of this whole debacle being that you choose your faction, and can’t control the one you’re born into? So why is Tris literally sexually assaulted for being a “Stiff”?? And that’s just one of the instances of mental abuse.
The Self-Injury: Okay, okay. This one is just weird. Having to cut yourself and spill your own blood in order to swear allegiance to your new faction is just bad bad bad. And also triggering for survivors of self-harm. Like, seriously. What is with Veronica Roth and self-harm??
The Death: Death is prominent in the book from fairly close to the beginning. In the faction-placement test, you’re supposed to either kill a dog or feed it and, if you’re in Dauntless, that usually means you kill the dog. Then comes the Initiation into Dauntless. A girl literally falls from a multi-storied building and dies trying to be a part of this damn Faction. Then Edward almost dies from getting stabbed in the eye. And Al kills himself because Tris wouldn’t forgive him for trying to kill her.
That is some bullshit right there. He had no right to expect her to forgive him. She should’ve punched him.
I think I’m done ranting now.
Would I recommend?
Not really. I mean, the plot is okay-ish, but there’s too much bad.
Until Next Time,