YMMV: Divergent

The Books:

  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Is Tris a brave, compassionate, sharp but self-doubting heroine who is worth rooting for, or is she an angsty, self-absorbed person with little human decency despite her upbringing, and some sort of constant mild concussion that blinds her to the bleedin' obvious?
    • Was Eric's eulogy to Al a sincere Pet the Dog moment, or was it a lie simply to make himself look good? While Tris thinks it's the latter, Living Lie Detector Christina didn't point it out.
  • Base Breaker: Al. Some fans were really sad that he died and felt his death was a tragic cautionary tale against withholding forgiveness. Other fans felt that he deserved to die and that Tris was right not to forgive him.
  • Counterpart Comparison: Peter is a knife-wielding, green-eyed, dark-haired enemy of our protagonist with a violent, murderous streak. Similar to Clove from The Hunger Games.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Some fans seem to like Fernando.
    • Considering the reaction to his character being cut from the first movie, Uriah seems to be this.
  • Hype Backlash: Fan reaction to Insurgent and particularly Allegiant has been far milder and in some cases even downright negative in comparison to how Divergent was received.
  • It's Popular, Now It Sucks: Even more so than The Hunger Games, as The Hunger Games is still typically considered to be great dystopian literature, whereas it's extremely hard nowadays to find people who will openly admit to liking Divergent despite being a major critical and commercial success initially.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Numerous candidates for when Peter crossed this. Shining examples are how he stabbed Edward in the eye while he was sleeping. Then there was the time he hung Tris over the chasm (claimed it was just to scare her) and groped her chest, while mocking her for "feeling twelve".
    • For Caleb, betraying his family to the Erudite. The full information about the outside world and what Jeanine told him has yet to be disclosed. But regardless, it doesn't change the fact that he sided with the faction that killed his parents and helped with the capture and attempted execution of his own sister.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: In Divergent, Peter was an irredeemable bastard, making him The Scrappy. However, Insurgent showed his more admirable traits. First, he helped Tris escape execution. Sure, it was out of obligation, but it's still something. Near the end, he took the time to comfort his grieving mother after finding out his father died in the invasion. More so in Allegiant when he reveals that he knows he's a horrible person and disgusts himself but can't help it and decides to wipe his own memory in hopes of becoming better. Makes him almost cross into Jerk Ass Woobie territory.
  • Take That, Scrappy!:
    • If Peter, Molly, and Drew do something to irritate you, just breathe a sigh of relief that they'll be humiliated for it later by Tris' hands.
    • Marcus gets one in Insurgent when Tobias gets laughed at for fearing him. So, to prove that he's no coward, he gives Marcus a well-deserved beat-down.
  • The Woobie:
    • Four. He's actually an Abnegation transfer named Tobias who left because his father, Marcus, constantly abused him.
    • Al is arguably the biggest one in the entire series. He didn't belong in Dauntless from the get-go and only joined to make his family proud, when he clearly belonged in somewhere like Amity. His entire initiation experience is agonizing and terrifying to him, and he grows more and more distant until eventually, when it's clear that his only choices are factionlessness and death, he joins with Peter and Drew in their attempt to murder Tris, regretting it immediately afterwards. It gets worse when Tris coldly rejects his pleas for redemption, despite being fully aware of his mental state and the intentions behind his actions, which leads to his suicide. A major What the Hell, Hero? moment for many readers.
    • Tris, by the end of the first book. During initiation, she is bullied, verbally harassed, and sexually assaulted for being a "Stiff", becomes a victim of attempted murder, drives one of her friends to suicide, watches her entire world and society crumble around her, is forced to shoot one of her best friends (who was mind-controlled), loses both of her parents, and is nearly shot and killed by the boy she loves (who was also mind-controlled). Her mental state continues to spiral downwards in Insurgent, to the point where she is nearly Driven to Suicide in the Candor Headquarters, and only holds back because she thought it would be ungrateful towards her parents, who sacrificed their lives for her. She also turns herself in to Jeanine without any escape plan, and the text makes it abundantly clear that she actively wants to die at this point.
  • Wangst: Depending on the reader, Tris's endless agonization over everything might be off-putting.

The Films:

  • Broken Base: The announcement that Uriah will be cut from Divergent and saved for the sequel, The Divergent Series: Insurgent. Some believe that Uriah's purpose in the first book wasn't that important, while others that love the character still call heresy on it. It's Tom Bombadil all over again.
  • Critical Dissonance: The film received mixed reviews from critics, but was generally well-received by audiences and fans of the book, and had a massive $55 million opening.