I have not read the print version, but the reading was well done, my only complaint was that her distinction between thoughts and spoken words (first person narrative) were a little unclear once in a while.
I'd say Divergent is similar to the Hunger Games series, similarly emotionally stunted/oblivious heroine with plenty of sexual tension (JUST DO IT ALREADY!) and a unique world-building universe
Having read a few YA books I can't say I was surprised when the story became predictable. There were moments when I was rooting for the main character. Although she was at odds with other characters, her survival skill were lacking. That just made her a putz. One or two times, ok, but all the time? Predictable.
On the whole the narrator was excellent. The story was climbed but never quite reached the top.
I had read very positive reviews before purchasing and therefore expected an engaging, exciting listen. I was quite disappointed.
The characters were one-dimensional, the story predicable, and the narration exaggerated. As I continued through the book, I had fruitlessly hoped that it would get better. I usually like there to be a bit of suspense, unraveling of plot, and opportunity for me to make connections and draw conclusions. There was no room for that in this book - everything was spelled out very, very neatly. It lacked creativity and really missed the mark for me.
My advice: if you generally enjoy Y/A books, I encourage you to try "The Bone Season". I may give Veronica Roth another chance, but I will not be trying another from her Divergent series.
Keeps you interested as it brings you along. No lagging sections
I listen to books in the car. The better the book the less I mind driving. I was troubled I had to stop when I reached my destination after 4 hours of driving.
No, story pulled me along out of curiosity of what would happen next so, I don't think I'd have the interest to listen to it again now that I know.
Fast paced and not always predictable.
They did make it a film.
Definitely for the young teenager, me being a little older I was a bit annoyed by the love connection it felt very high school to me.
Disclaimer: I can see that this book has a high review average. I don't want to insult anyone who enjoyed it, but as you might have guessed from the star count in my review I hold a *ahem* divergent opinion. I'm not trying to make waves and I certainly don't have such a self-important outlook as to think that my review will change anything. I just want to be honest about what I thought about the book.
In short, this is just, like, my opinion man.
The worst thing about Divergent, is that it has so much potential.
The idea of a society divided into five factions based on core ideals is neat. The factions themselves are fascinating (though I'm still not sure what Amity's real role in society is). Tris, a petite but determined sixteen year-old with the odds stacked against her, makes for a sympathetic main character. The "bad guy" is deliciously evil. Even the training, especially the simulations, is really interesting. Sure there's a little disconnect thanks to teen angst occasionally taking precedence over life or death situations, but I could easily ignore that to get to the good stuff.
So what's the problem? Consistency.
It's hard for me to explain without spoiling too much of the story, but Divergent is wildly inconsistent throughout. One minute Tris understands everything that is going on intuitively; the next she's completely clueless, or worse, she's forgotten the very things she discovered moments before or even things that were previously explained to her. Disabling wounds are conveniently shrugged off so as not to hinder critical plot points, then remembered later on so characters to collapse dramatically at a more convenient time. Paralyzing emotional losses are similarly forgotten and remembered at the story's convenience.
And then there's the dialogue. Sometimes it flows as the characters relate to one-another in a natural way. More often than not, however, conversations are awkward and full of exposition, which often explains things that were already made clear by context. It's as if the author doesn't trust her readers--or in this case, listeners--to draw the right conclusions, so she has to explain everything repeatedly to make sure we're on track. Even in supposedly tense moments where seconds wasted mean lives lost, characters will stop mid-action to have these exposition-filled dialogues that just so happen to explain (and then explain again, and then again) in remarkably clear language what is going on and what each character is or might be feeling.
But the single most frustrating thing about the book for me was the inconsistency in Tris's character. Unless divergence is secretly another word for schizophrenia, there is no reason that she should...
...refuse on principal to end the life of a truly evil enemy even to save herself, her boyfriend, and her family, but then, moments later, murder dozens of innocents in the name of self-preservation, especially when she could have gotten away safely without killing anyone by just running when she was told. [end spoilers]
Boiled down to a single word, "inconsistency" sounds like a minor problem, but its impact on the story is profound. Character's engage in forced conversations, make decisions based on unclear or simply nonsensical personal motivations, are one minute confined by a principal or barrier and the next ignore it, shrug off near-fatal injuries only take them up again for dramatic effect later on; all this seemingly for the sake of hitting bullet points on the author's outline. It's maddening, and it ruined the book for me. The ending as a whole is an especially awful slapdash affair. It just falls apart if you think about it. It's a mess.
Another reviewer noted that "this is not the Hunger Games," and they are right. I have plenty of problems with Suzanne Collins' trilogy (pretty much all of them with the third book), but it's a class above the inconsistent mess that is Divergent. I listen to and enjoy fiction in a variety of genres and targeted at all ages, everything from Harry Potter to Moby Dick (thanks Audible! I never would have made it through that one on my own) but I did not enjoy Divergent. I don't recommend it, and I won't be checking out the sequels.
But, like I said, that's just my opinion.
The genre? No, or at least not completely. I kind of want to check out the Mortal Instruments books, though Divergence has made me a little leery.
The series? Absolutely.
The narration is a little lifeless, but given the material Galvin's given to work with, I can't really fault her. She seems competent enough, so I won't judge E.G. based on this one.
An extra edit could have helped this book immensely. Repetition could have been eliminated, exposition-heavy dialogue slimmed down, and characters' inconsistencies ironed out.
If I have to choose a scene though, I would just chop off the ending. The book, for all its flaws, was really interesting up to the last few chapters. Leaving the enemy and their plot as a menacing unknown would have been preferable to watching all that potential get pissed away at the end.
I literally just finished listening to the book, if that changes anything. Don't think it will.
heck yes, and I don't usually reread anything ever, it sucked me in and left me wanting to go through it again and again
it captivated me the author did an amazing job making the characters not only real but like I actually knew them
no I have not, though I hope to in the future as in I hope the next book is as captivating as the first
ye I laughed and cried and enjoyed every moment of it
Far too much of this novel focused on the budding romance and sexuality of the heroes. Kiddy romance was too much.
The construct of the novel is interesting. The focus on only two of the groups minimized the influence of the others.
The 16-year-old sexual tension.
Without giving away too much of the story, Divergent is a story about a remarkable girl, who doesn’t really fit in to the family and environment where she is raised. Then comes the test that will offer her a new life. Of course this takes place in a dystopia where everything is not as it seems. Some of her fellow classmate become her enemies, and people you’d expect to be her enemies become her friends and allies. Adventure ensues, until the end which sets you up for more books.
It feels like the author is reaching desperately for Harry Potter, Enders Game, or the Hunger Games but falls short. There are moments in the book where I did get carried away with the story, but unfortunately they are not frequent or enduring enough to sustain the grandness that the author strives for. She has only a few sentences that hint a larger, darker and more troubling story to be told, but I don’t feel she gets to it. Perhaps she is leaving for the next books, but I won’t ever know because I don’t plan on reading them.
I will say the book is entertaining and I didn’t have to struggle to finish it, but I wasn’t finding excuses to drive a little further or run an extra mile just to find out what is next.
The story has a very strong female character with a little bit of romance for women that are into science fiction. I enjoyed the story and look forward to starting on the second one.