Divergent  - Veronica Roth This was an entertaining read, I'll give it that. But to truly enjoy it you would have to ignore the glaring plot holes and all the nagging little things in the story that make absolutely no sense at all.

I couldn't do it. Maybe I've been spoiled by all the great fantasy novels I've read in the past few years, but I expected a lot more world building. Sadly, I don't feel like Roth made much of an attempt. Dystopian fiction usually interests me, but details about the world and society in Divergent are disappointingly sparse.

Let's look at the faction system, for example. Everyone in the novel belongs in one of five factions (Abnegation, Erudite, Dauntless, Candor, Amity) unless you fail initiation and become factionless. Anyway, we're given basic descriptions of each faction along with their ideologies and respective roles in society -- Abnegation values selflessness and runs the government, the Erudite values intelligence and are responsible for research, Dauntless values bravery and manages security, and so on and so forth.

But other than that I have no clue how this world actually functions. The system is so simplistic to the point of being ridiculous, and I wonder how anyone manages to get anything done. Dauntless training, for example, doesn't seem to be anything more than a stunt school for hooligans and daredevils, and makes a mockery of any real military or security institution. There is hardly an adult presence, making it seem like teenagers are left to run everything. Not to mention there's so much conflict between the factions and also so much in-fighting within each. So, like, what's the point? There are also hints of a resource shortage, but no further exploration into this point. And how does the economy work? A point system is briefly mentioned, but again, the author doesn't elaborate.

I'm left with more questions than answers. And I can't stress how distracting it is when I start questioning everything I'm reading. It just pulls me out of the experience and ruins the immersion. Good books don't do that.

Everything about Divergent also felt very typical and uninspired. After the Hunger Games trilogy, it's understandable these days how a lot of authors and publishers will attempt to ride upon the coattails of its success. But does it really have to be so obvious? You've got the dystopian themes, the mindless violence, the cookie-cutter characters, etc. It feels like the same thing, just wrapped in a different package.

Sure, Divergent is classified as YA fiction, but I don't think I should feel obligated to lower the bar just because a book is meant for a younger audience, especially if it's trying to address mature topics. Things should at least be logical, and too much about Divergent just...wasn't. This is only good for a casual, fun read.