review edited after second readEven on second read it is clear to me that Roth's strength in her debut novel, Divergent, is pacing. In spite of any complaints I have, the truth is that both times I've read this book, I've done so in less than a day. It speeds right by and every page pushes you deeper into the story. There are moments in the middle of the story that seem a little repetitive, but even so, the momentum carries you through these thinner sections of the novel. Just as clear to me is that the weakness here is the world building. Not that it is terrible, but just that it has the most flaws in an otherwise entertaining read. Roth asks a lot of her readers when she asks them to accept that in the future, you are essentially allowed to only be one thing, either brave or good or smart, etc. There are times in the story when I was more accepting of this. Those moments come especially when this societal structure allows Roth to comment on bravery or selflessness. An example of this is when Tris is laying in a hospital bed, badly beaten, and she's looking up at one of the larger initiates, thinking she could never be attracted to him because he's weak. Then we get to the whole concept of being Divergent, and sometimes it wobbles. Tris' mom explains that the Divergent are pulled in many different direction and all I can think about is how unbelievable it is that there would be so few of them. Hmmph. This is also highlighted as Roth goes back and forth on a point as small as whether Tris is a good liar or not. She goes back and forth on this point several times and I'm okay with admitting it bothered me.Tris is a pretty easy heroine to root for. We don't necessarily get a strong sense of her personality, as much as we discover all the facets of her character. She was a little slow on the uptake, at times, but overall I enjoyed reading about her progress. Four is a much better name than Tobias, guys. That had to be mentioned. Overall, I was a fan of Tris and Four. I appreciate relationships that build, and in as much as we can see that in the span of a novel, I felt that we saw a beginning, middle and end of this relationship. I will say that something that left me a little less that pleased was how Four often manhandled Tris. UH. STOP THAT. If I want to leave the damn room, I'm gonna leave. On first read, I had a bit of a problem with the ending. On second read, it felt a little more cohesive and less like the book was in two distinct parts. Oh, I was still REALLY UPSET with a few things that happened in the end, but I wasn't as put off about the bang-bang-bang action of it all. I'm looking forward to continuing the series. Roth will have to prove that her world can stand the test of a second book. I have no doubt that her characters will be able to.