Everything Wrong With Divergent


Anshrutha Shrinivas

So, before I dive into the article, I would like to disclaim that this is all an opinion and not meant to hurt anyone else’s views on the series, and this is just what I think. This article also includes spoilers. 


YA dystopian novels are increasingly getting more and more popular. The two more famous ones that people have heard of are Hunger Games and Divergent


I’m just going to focus on what I didn’t like about Divergent today. Starting off, the abundance of plot holes in the series made it really hard for me to enjoy the world-building or care about the plot. My main plot holes/questions are: 

  •  Why would they (they being the people on the outside of the faction system in Divergent) allow a mass murder to happen, if this would set their entire experiment back? 
  • Why does anyone want to be dauntless?
  • They’re going into majorly dangerous situations without any training whatsoever and if they have the audacity to get hurt, they get kicked out. 
  • Why are they letting 16-year-olds make a huge decision with zero information other than their preliminary test, and then they don’t let them change their minds? How is that rational? 
  • If Erudite wanted to control who goes into what faction, then why does anyone get to choose?

The essential idea of the novel was interesting, but the writing and the plot holes made it extremely hard to digest. On the surface, the idea seems fine, but when it starts to be paid more attention to, parts of the novel make no sense—half of the plot in the second and third books seemed like an afterthought. 


Another problem I had was that it was really just a Hunger Games & Harry Potter crossover that didn’t really make a whole lot of sense or have the same impact. The parallels that can be drawn between the Hogwarts houses and the factions in Divergent are extremely similar, and the author tried to use the dystopian and action combination that worked well in Hunger Games but fell flat in Divergent


The main character (Tris) is very boring and has a passive personality. While, yes, she did go through all of the motions to get through the Dauntless initiation, her personality was basically ¨The one divergent person who has to keep a secret.” She didn’t seem to have a sense of humor, any distinctive personality traits that weren’t repeated in every protagonist, or even an interesting way of speaking. This, again, made me much less interested in the book. If the main character, whom the story revolves around, bores me, how am I supposed to like said story? 

Not only that, but the main relationship in the story was boring. The dialogue and character interactions showed nothing that was mildly interesting, and the two weren’t beneficial to each other either. Tris was reckless, and often made Tobias (Four) follow her into dangerous situations, and Tobias was very closed off to her and a little manipulative as well. 


The characters that died only seemed to die for shock value. Take for example, in Divergent, originally, Will had died, but he didn’t have much time in the novel for me to actually like him, or care enough that he died. Similarly, because I didn’t like Tris, at all, when she died in the 3rd book, I felt nothing. Tris dying seemed to do absolutely nothing for the plot, and it looked like the author just wanted to kill someone off just to get a major reaction from the audience. 

All in all, in my opinion, Divergent is not a very strong book, and if you’re looking for exceptional world-building and dynamic characters, this wouldn’t be my first recommendation to you. However, if you do like Divergent, there’s nothing wrong with that! This is one opinion in a sea of many.