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Veronica Roth

Veronica Roth was born in a Chicago suburb, and studied creative writing at Northwestern University. She and her husband currently live in the city that inspired the setting of the Divergent Trilogy. Learn more about the author at Veronica Roth’s website.



Divergent — (2012- ) Publisher: In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue — Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is — she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself. During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are — and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves… or it might destroy her. Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the YA scene with the first book in the Divergent series — dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

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Divergent: Enjoyable but doesn’t stand out

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent, by Veronica Roth, is the first novel in a new YA dystopia series. Roth’s is a solid entry into a genre that shows no sign of waning, though the novel doesn’t do much to separate itself from the dystopic pack and falls well short of works such as Suzanne CollinsHunger Games (its most obvious cousin) or Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies. While it lacks those novels’ vivid characterizations and rich settings, along with their ability to equally satisfy both the Y and the A part of YA, Divergent does have a brisk pace, a thought-provoking if problematic premise, and a likable if somewhat stock main character.

The novel takes place in a city whose populatio... Read More

Insurgent: Less impressive than Divergent

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Insurgent is the follow-up to Veronica Roth’s Divergent and serves as the middle book in her planned dystopian DIVERGENT trilogy. I gave Divergent a middling review, noting its fast pace but finding some issues with plausibility and depth of character. I wish I could say Insurgent showed some improvement, but I actually found myself less impressed with the sequel. It is possible that the book suffered in my reading it so soon after Divergent and so I was responding to the cumulative flaws between both books rather than simply to Insurgent’s problems.

Then again, that might be the case because Insurgent’s flaws are so similar. Once again, the characterization is relatively shallow. Side ... Read More