Is Divergent as Good as Hunger Games?

divergentThis is a spoiler-free review.

I just read Divergent by Veronica Roth.

Apparently she wrote it while she was in college and two other books completes her trilogy.

Like Hunger Games, it is set in a dystopian world, and also like Hunger Games, it is written in that awesome first-person present tense style that really seems to be catching on.

You should know that my wife and I are pretty obsessed when it comes to Hunger Games, and I’m sure Roth doesn’t appreciate her story being compared to something so superior.

However, one can hardly divorce the two.

Divergent lacks the big-picture suspense story that carries Hunger Games, as it’s sometimes hard to see where Roth is taking her readers. There’s little setup from the start, explaining her dystopian Chicago, which could have served as great suspense marks.

But at the same time, it’s not such a bad thing to learn about things as the protagonist does.

When I finished Divergent, Sarabeth asked me the same question everyone else is wondering: “Is it better than Hunger Games?

My answer was no.

“If you hadn’t read Hunger Games, would you have liked it more?”

My answer again, was no.

Don’t get me wrong. I actually enjoyed the book. But unlike Hunger Games, my criticisms kept building up.

My biggest hangup with the book was the love story.

Now, I realize this is a teen book centered around an adolescent girl, but I just kept rolling my eyes each time the love interests came together for yet more snogging and oohing and awing.

To be honest, it’s the most I’ve wanted to throw up due to such over-the-top sentiments.

Maybe I wouldn’t’ve felt that way if it wasn’t so forced and manufactured. Really, it was just very difficult to buy into.

As for the rest of the book?

I actually enjoyed the author’s world where society is broken up into separate factions based off of different virtues. It is a very well thought-out world, and many scenes were quite heart-stopping as you had no idea what the sadist villain was going to come up with next (don’t you just love a terribly wicked bad guy?).

Would I recommend it? Sure thing. A good fiction is hard to find these days, and I would qualify this as good enough. I’ll certainly be reading the next two books when they’re available in paperback.

However, I will say this. I’d much sooner allow my kids to read Hunger Games long before I hand Divergent over to them. It’s not as sexual, Katniss isn’t all googly-eyed and wounded by Cupid, and the lines of good vs. evil aren’t so blurred.

What are your thoughts on the book? Which series do you like better? Share your thoughts below.

Published by Andrew Toy

Writer when I'm not being a husband or dad. So mostly just a husband and dad.

36 thoughts on “Is Divergent as Good as Hunger Games?

  1. I read Divergen and Hunger Games and loved them both, because I found them both great page turners, but I have to admit I am not a very difficult-to-please reader. I agree that Hunger Games has a more complex background but Divergent too improves in the second volume, Insurgent. I am still waiting for Allegiant to be released in Italian and I am really excited to know how the story will end.


  2. I loved both series – but for different reasons. I liked the Hunger Games because it was real. The ending is neither happy, nor sad. It represents real life; bittersweet endings and twists that we never expect. However, I liked the love aspect in divergent. It was a nice break to all of the gore and violence – Hunger Games touches in the love area but not enough to make it seem less depressing. Furthermore, I did not like the third book of Hunger Games. Whereas the third book of the Divergent series I throughly enjoyed. It could not have happened any other way – and I applaud the author for having the guts to make the ending the way she did. Regardless, I loved both series and read them in a week. SO GOOD.


    1. I didn’t care for the third Hunger Games book until I read it a second time. Then I loved it and was able to appreciate the magnitude of her conclusion. If you like bittersweet, imperfect endings, you might seriously want to check out my book, The Man in the Box.


  3. I have read both trilogies and I love them both. One thing that I definitely appreciate about the Hunger Games is that though there is a bit of romance, that is not the ONLY thing the book is about. In the past two weeks I have read 15 YA novels and the theme of love at first sight is everywhere. Though I continue to read the books, I can’t help but yawn at the same old ‘girl falls in love with boy (who is most likely not human) and though their relationship is forbidden, they will go to the ends of the earth for each other – even though they’ve only known each other for 3 days’. Lol. I just want to read something more fresh and refreshing. If I had to choose one over the other, I would definitely choose The Hunger Games for that very reason.


    1. You should definitely check out my book The Man in the Box for something fresh and exciting. There’s a little romance – but the right kind.


  4. I have a political science background, so I was looking for different things in Hunger Games and Divergent (although, I freely admit that I loved the romance in the Divergent trilogy). Comparing just the first books of each trilogy, I couldn’t even pick a favorite. They’re both wonderfully written and introduce fascinating worlds with populated by interesting people. I think if pushed, I would say that I preferred Divergent, only because there was a more human aspect to it, but it’s not a strong preference.

    Now, comparing both entire trilogies, Hunger Games is far, far superior. Mockingjay was a great exploration of the effects of war and the meaning of revolution. Allegiant was . . . not that good. Well, let me qualify that. The characters and the writing were top-notch (divorced from the overall plot, I LOVED the ending, although I won’t spoil it). Unfortunately, the backstory for how the world developed makes absolutely no sense, and the characters’ proposed solution to the crisis presented in the book (which seemed very forced) was equally mind-boggling. The entire thing was shallow and naive, and fared very poorly when compared with Mockingjay. When I finished Allegiant, I was embarrassed that I had recommended Divergent to my friends.


    1. Julia, you put this so well. I did not love the ending of Allegiant. I have no problem with what happened; it just felt forced. And I too thought the last book absolutely ruined the whole series. It made me sad, because I thought it had such potential….


    2. Crazy! I’ve heard pretty bad things about the last Divergent book, but I think I’ll still give it a look-to when it’s available in paperback.


  5. I do agree with u. for me, hunger games is the mother of all series out there nowadays. katniss will always be the first heroine that will come to my mind… But i do enjoyed reading tris as well. they have both come from twisted worlds so you expect to have more actions and suspense. But i do believe hunger games has done a more page turner, fast-paced scenarios. will both recommend reading them.


  6. I agree with all of you…I loved the first two books and wouldn’t have hated the ending so much had it just seemed unwarranted. To be honest, the last book wasn’t even in the same style as the first two, almost like someone else had written it. Very odd. Had the third book been as good as the first two, I would have enjoyed the series much more than the Hunger Games but given its disjointed ending, I just can’t recommend it.


  7. Just finished Divergent and on the 2nd one now. I am enjoying them. I have read the Hunger games and I have enjoyed those as well. I haven’t finished the trilogy yet so I won’t say if I liked it better than hunger games or not but I will say they were both enjoyable and easy reads.


  8. I am haven’t read The Hunger Games, but I have read Divergent. Honestly the book was a big fat MEH for me. I didn’t feel connected to any of the characters or to the plot. At times I felt the story was too contrived. I wasn’t blown away by the novel, and I’m really unsure if I’ll read the others.


      1. I’m not quite at the end of the first book, but I can say that, although its a good book in its own right, it’s not as good as The Hunger Games


  9. I never compared the two to each other, other than the fact that they are teen dystopian novels. I try not to compare novels unless what I’m reading is OBVIOUSLY trying to be like another one I’ve read. My only problem is with the upcoming movie and the casting of Four. I just don’t see Theo James as Four at all.


  10. I enjoyed The Hunger Games trilogy and The Diverrgent trilogy, although by the last book I have definitely had enough. I also really enjoyed The Delirium series by Lauren Oliver. Have you read them?


  11. I like Divergent much better. The two movies that came out: Divergent 2014 and Insurgent 2015 had the best special effects. I also loved the books and have read each one multiple times! 🙂


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