My Goodreads Review of Divergent

My Goodreads Review of Divergent

Done. Not perfect, but it’s the first book that’s kept me up late in quite a while. That gets bonus points. πŸ™‚

About Kate Sparkes

Kate Sparkes was born in Hamilton, Ontario, but now resides in Newfoundland, where she tries not to talk too much about the dragons she sees in the fog. She lives with five cats, two dogs, and just the right amount of humans. USA Today bestselling author of the Bound Trilogy (mature YA Fantasy), Into Elurien, and Vines and Vices. Writing dark, decadent, and deadly Urban Fantasy as Tanith Frost. View all posts by Kate Sparkes

17 responses to “My Goodreads Review of Divergent

  • L. Marie

    Will you read INSURGENT? Also, I noticed that you didn’t particularly care for the setup. What do you think are the ingredients of a stellar dystopian novel?

    • katemsparkes

      I will definitely read it if I can get it at the library. It’s not going to jump the line to the top of my TBR list, but I definitely want to see where the story is going.

      As for your other question, I don’t know if I can tell you what would be “stellar”– like I said, I don’t read a lot of dystopian. But it has to be at least somewhat plausible. Unlikely is fine; I can suspend disbelief as long as there are believable reasons that things might have ended up this way. Savage mutants? Sure, just give me a believable reason for them being there. I liked so much about Divergent, and the way things ran in the story was interesting (and fit perfectly if you accept the set-up), but I found it impossible to believe that people would divide themselves according to a single belief/personality trait (politically and socially), or that they would accept one group as incorruptible and therefore the best leaders when people switch factions so often.

      Maybe this will be better explained in later books, but it was hard for me to get into the story when I couldn’t believe in the world.

      So I guess that’s it. Give me a good reason for things being what they are (other than that it works for the story, and this is a backstory that makes that possible), and I’ll believe it.

      Does “V for Vendetta” count as dystopian? I assume so. That was a believable backstory for a horrible government and brutal society. Great graphic novel, and I loved the movie, too. πŸ™‚

  • Jae

    Hmmm… I’ll still read Divergent, but it doesn’t sound like I need to be in any hurry.

    • katemsparkes

      I liked it better than a few other YA books I’ve started recently and not finished…

      • Jae

        I’ve done that before. That or I’ll skim read it to the end. I’m getting better about not feeling obligated to finish a book that isn’t doing it for me. Have you read “If I Stay”? I thought it was a pretty fascinating YA read.

        • katemsparkes

          No, I don’t think I’ve heard of that one. Tell me more, tell me more (like does it have a car?)

          Shoo-bop-bop, shoo-bop-bop…

          What were we talking about?

          • Jae

            It does have a car. But it doesn’t get very far. It’s about this girl who “dies” in a car accident and is trying to decide whether or not to stick around. It breaks that whole backstory as story rule in a wonderful way. Some other YA books I enjoyed was Everneath (a retelling/reinvention of the Persephone Greek myth), Paranormalcy (girl with super powers meets boy with super powers and they must save the poor vamps, werewolves and mermaids from destruction by faeries). I also just finished an MG called Museum of Thieves. Sort of old school dystopian meets Treasure Island meets Night at the Museum. Oh it’s crazy fun.

            • katemsparkes


              Seriously, though, those sound amazing, and I’ll check them out.

              And thank you for playing along with my insanity. Makes me feel so much better. πŸ™‚

              • Jae

                Okay, something I want to happen is for both of us to be on a panel at a writer’s conference. You KNOW that would be insanely awesome (well, maybe for us and for the YouTubers trying to prove we’re crazy). At least we’d be there to laugh at each other’s jokes.

                And hey, these books are quick reads. I’m sure you’ve got time. Those Summer Nights are a coming.

                • katemsparkes

                  OH SWEET FANCY MOSES THAT WOULD BE AMAZING. It would go down in history as the most random, Harry Potter reference-filled panel ever.

                  And also Grease references, apparently.

                  I don’t care if we have to invent a conference, this is happening.

                  • Jae

                    I think our goal should be to reference something nerdy in every single sentence we utter. Or we could even have the time in increments, like the first 10 minutes is Harry Potter, the next 10 is ’80s movies, and so on. We could even post a contest on our blogs that attendees who accurately name all the references get signed copies of our books.

                    Oh the fun we’ll have!!!!!!!

                    • katemsparkes


                      I just wish words came out of my mouth as easily as they do from my fingers. I’d probably think of clever references ten minutes late. πŸ™‚

                    • Jae

                      You forget the synergy that comes when two peeps like us get together. It’ll all come out super easy once we get the ball rolling. And even if you’re late, that can still be hilarious too. πŸ™‚

  • picturemereading

    It’s really an exciting story but I agree a flawed one!

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