All parent member reviews for Divergent, Book 1

Parents say

(out of 38 reviews)
age 13+
Review this title!
Parent Written byalvismemories June 1, 2012

Great book, more approprate for tweens than Hunger games by FAR!!

I am shocked and disappointed by the number of young children ages 8-13 who are reading the hunger games. It is not only violent but they type of violence is un matched in a child’s mind. Divergent is a much better choice, it is Violent but not to the same extent as the hunger games. I LOVED the hunger games and I loved this book but I will not allow my child to read the hunger games but I would let my 11 year old read Divergent.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Parent of a 9 and 11 year old Written bytande August 16, 2012

Good story ruined by endless violence.

My 11 year old read Divergent just before I did for a moms and daughters book club and I found the violence really disturbing. Its the first book that I wish she hadn't read, and I wish I hadn't either. It does have a great story and I can understand how a teen would get wrapped up in the characters and the action. But I felt beaten down by the endless fist fights, blood, deaths and death threats, (including gun violence,knives and kidnapping and child abuse), and in the end watching friends and family get shot and killed in a bloodbath/war scene. There isn't enough sci-fi to it to make it 'other worldly' violence, the characters and situations are too real world. I have never read adult fiction with so much violence in it. Read chapter 30 onwards to get an idea.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent Written byfnigiicgqrr c4 g September 17, 2013

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What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Educator and Parent Written bycsethna March 20, 2014

Read before your children do.

Like another reviewer said, if I could go back in time, I'd prevent my 2 daughters from reading Divergent and Insurgent. I read them both, after they did, and I think that the books are terrible. First, they are poorly written, with a very low level of vocabulary, and certainly can't be classified as literature. The characters are not well-developed. But more significantly, the books are fully of violence, and the main characters so fully participate in that violence that if the book is attempting to suggest we choose to be peaceful, it fails. Here's a limited list of the scenes I wish children hadn't read: attempted gang rape, a knife plunged into someone's eye, several executions, including shooting in the head, shooting of children, and the protagonist's parents being murdered. In addition, the sexual innuendo between the 2 protagonists, Tris and Four, is too much. In one instance, she acknowledges she is wearing a night shirt that barely covers her and she crawls into bed with Four because she needs comforting. Even in comparison to the Hunger Games Trilogy, these books are much more violent and sexual, and poorly written. Read The Book Thief instead.
Parent Written bymcordray July 11, 2012

Enjoyable easy read. The story has a simple yet intriguing dystopian plot. The protagonist is easy for your girls to identify with though I doubt many of the choices she makes are very realistic. It is dark and depressing at times but a page turner nevertheless.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent Written byKameran May 26, 2012

Amazing book!

I really enjoyed this book! I liked it more then The Hunger Games! (Which is a lot because I was obsessed with The Hunger Games) There isn't any sex but they do talk about having sex someday. There is passionate kissing and mild necking. There isn't too much cussing but there is violence in this book. I would stay at least 15 years old. Such an amazing book though!
What other families should know
Educational value
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Educator and Parent Written byKaos5683 March 6, 2014

Addictive? i think not.

Honestly, reading all those praising reviews gives you no information at all. you learn the most from critical reviews, such as this one. Divergent is a book about a girl, who, as you may know, choses recklessness and violence above a peaceful structured life with her family. for a start, you barely get to know your characters. they remain very flat, don't ever show a deep feeling and stay on the very surface of human thoughts. Beatrice, who chose to change her name to Tris( no one knows why) is a girl who was brought up in a loving, selfless family, but then chooses to go to another 'faction'. out of all, she (obviously) chooses the one where most things happen, where she gets tattooed, pierced and who knows what else. Suicide is a constant topic in the book, murder, war and death. I mean, come on, she just goes around doing things not a single normal teen would do, without even feeling anything about it. correct me if i'm wrong, but Tris Prior is not exactly a very good role model. Getting injected with a fluid and going in a mind-trip, looks a lot like drugs to me, just saying. If you read the writing tips on the last few pages of a certain copy, Veronica Roth states that you have to write and not think about it. I say: Obviously not. I knew from the very first lines that she hadn't thought about much. I started reading this book after i had read "The fault in our stars" by John Green (Which is a wonderful book for young adults), i started of totally prejudice-less (if that's even a word), but quickly enough, i got the idea that i wouldn't like the ending. There are some good things about the book to, though they are not the thing i want to talk about. If you want to prove me wrong, go read the book, i highly advice you to do so, it'll show you whata badly written book is, and you'll value the good books even more. Sorry veronica Roth, This book was not my cup of tea. J. Fright
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byabbacus October 30, 2013

Love it!

I loved Divergent and I can't wait to read the rest of the series! I liked it just as much as The Hunger Games if not more, which is saying a lot. The originality of the story was great. Other than the main protagonist being 16 and the basic plot of rebellion in this futuristic tale, it is not like any other Dystopian novel I've read. I loved the main character, Tris, and the supporting characters ("good" and "bad") were all wonderful, too. The pacing was perfect and it made the book impossible to put down. For parents-if your child can handle The Hunger Games they will do fine with this book. I think Divergent is more sexual than THG, but there's still not any seriously inappropriate content. The action is very jarring, lots of character deaths and perilous situations, but it really doesn't get bloody and the fast pace doesn't allow time to linger on many situations. Mild name-calling or insults and some drinking/drunkenness in one or two scenes, also. Awesome role models and lessons round out this amazing book! I highly recommend!!!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 11 year old Written byhershey1234 March 5, 2014

So amazing!

My daughter was reading this book and told me about it and I read the first book and it was amazing. So, we went out and bought the 2 others. To be honest it's much better than The Hunger Games Trilogy. It doesn't have much bad words and the violence isn't that bad. Tris is a wonderful role model, she's brave and different.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 8, 10, and 12 year old Written bySLKbooklover January 18, 2014

Like the Hunger Games? You will like this book.

This is the first book in a very compelling series along the lines of Hunger Games and The Maze Runner. Society has destroyed itself and the government has selected a few scientists to conduct experiments on people to fix perceived problems. Those experiments are challenged and participated in by teens, who are the protagonists of the books. In Divergent, the two main characters chose to live in violence over other more peaceful options. Tattoos, dangerous stunts, and fighting are glorified in this book, which is why I believe it is not an appropriate read for pre teens. That being said, it is a page turner and an interesting take on the future. In it is another strong female led character, but this book also has an equally strong male character as well. Recommend reading it with your younger child if they start it. Would necessitate some discussion.
Adult Written bymorgan3112000 October 23, 2014

From the viewpoint of a Mental Health Professional

From the viewpoint of a Mental Health Professional, I believe this book sends the wrong message about mental health in our society today. I picked up the book thinking that it would be a light and enjoyable read, as I like books about alternative societies and believe and believe that dystopian books are typically good for helping a person understand people and their own society better. For most adults I would say this book is an appropriate read, however for impressionable minds, I think not. We are attempting to end the stigma of mental illness in our society and this book praises anti-social traits while equating the more productive societal character traits, as “weak”. A character in the book named, Al is depicted as more fragile. He is called "depression and weak." Depression should never be synonymous with weak, because it implies that if a person would just be stronger then they would no longer be depressed. This is simply not the case.
Parent Written byReeceWindjack September 19, 2013

Great Book For middle Schoolers

What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent of a 12 year old Written bytinar1 March 31, 2015

my daughter is reading this book as a class she is 12

my daughter is reading this book as a class she is 12 and in the 6th grade so I decided to read it to to see what it was all about and I had not made it far when I was at the point of throwing the book out in our town we have enough drama
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byximem October 21, 2014

I´ve read it, and it is really, really, really good! Read it now!

What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Educator and Parent of an infant year old Written bysmileyperry January 21, 2014

The Hunger Games for more mature audiences.

As a teacher of 5th grade students I am always looking for great books for my classroom library. This one will not be found within my library due to the content and the age of my students. That being said, as an adult I loved the book. I finished the entire series in a week because I could not put it down. I felt that the author did a great job of weaving the love story in to the text without taking it too far. There is a lot of death and violence throughout including suicide. I felt that it mirrored much of the same message as the Hunger Games, yet not so much that it felt like a copycat!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Educator Written byfilmmaster93 May 9, 2014
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 11 year old Written bySarahKay25 February 2, 2014

Great for older, more mature kids

My 11 year old stepdaughter starting reading these books earlier this year. I started reading it and finished the first one after she had already finished all three of them (her mom allowed her to read it). I found it was a bit much for an eleven year old even though she is very mature. A lot to take on and inappropriate discussions about love, etc. Lot to think about and process with some violence.
What other families should know
Great messages
Educator and Parent Written byshellynn November 22, 2012

For those who liked Hunger Games

Engaging dystopian novel featuring teen protagonists. Lots of violence and death. Discussions of sex.
What other families should know
Educational value
Too much violence
Too much sex
Adult Written byAunty Kat April 28, 2012

Flimsy and Mooshy but Not a Bad Read

I initially really liked this book. It had some flaws to begin with, like how does a normal human only fit into one out of five personality types? but still it was written well and SEEMED like it was going somewhere. Then around chapter twenty-something I started to realize this is just another girly love story in disguise as an action packed unique dystopian, but even worse, while the author shoved Beatrice's raging hormones in my face, I came to find out that being a "divergent" is really nothing special at all aside from somehow being magically able to control the simulations when "normal" people can't. And to top it all off the ending is just weak. It wasn't the worst book I've ever read, it was good enough that I made it all the way through but it seems to me it wasn't planned out very well and it goes back and forth between good and bad messages for young readers. I've pre-ordered the second book and hope it rectifies some of the issues with the first, but I don't expect much.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Parent of a 12 and 16 year old Written byPacNW Parent August 1, 2014

Engaging story, easy read, too much violence. NOT for less than 15 yrs

Scenes of mass murder, mind control, war preparation, and violent personal assaults in every chapter. Armies of 16-year olds toting machine guns, multiple murders by shooting, stabbing. Sadism. Suicide. Familial abandonment. Romanticized descriptions of extended hallucinatory episodes after drug injections. Graphic descriptions of shootings including the protagonist witnessing the murder of first her mother, then her father. Descriptions of the heft and feel of a gun in her hands, multiple descriptions of the sound and click of chambering a bullet in the gun, the protagonist shooting other teens and other random people. Stupid gunplay where one teen shoots a muffin placed on another teen's head - the excuse in the book of "it's just a pellet gun, so we can't get hurt" is absolutely wrong and quite dangerous when transmitted to young people. Young people lose eyes to injuries from pellet guns every year. One episode described a teen throwing knives at another, as part of training. This book contains a great deal of glorified, stylized, romanticized and unnecessary violence. Yes, it's fiction, but this book is absolutely not appropriate for children under 15. I don't understand how anyone could think that this book is ok for a 13 year old child. There are a few positives. The protagonist is a young girl who develops her own sense of self, and cultivates inner strength through practice. (thoroughly Violent practice). Also, she develops a healthy relationship with a teen boy that is mutually respectful and supportive. (though the teen boy is her army trainer). Both are seen to be strong, smart, and resourceful, and they learn from each other. Also, the protagonist must confront many ambiguous and confusing relationship situations, and navigates successfully through all of those. She has body image issues, and gets past them. She learns to appreciate herself, flaws and all. All of these are positive aspects. These positives do not redeem the book. Aside from the violence, there are other glaring problems. There are no positive adult role models. Every adult is evil, powerless, ignorant, or irrational. The girl's own mother is daring, but then voluntarily (and inexplicably) endures a senseless death which is described graphically. Every other adult is deeply flawed. The girl has a poor relationship with her father - there is virtually no feeling toward him. There is no positive relationship depicted between any child and his or her father, at all. The only other major father figure in the book is a child-abuser. In my opinion, the wanton violence and cavalier treatment of drug use, hallucinations, and alcohol, combined with a lack of quality dramatic writing, mean there are better choices for kids. This is pop junk fiction. It's the literary equivalent of pop tarts: kids love it, and it's absolutely not good for them. My high-school English teacher, a Vietnam vet and objector, would have thrown up on this book and its images of militarized youth and gratuitous violence.
What other families should know
Too much violence

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