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Divergent | [Veronica Roth]

Divergent

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue - Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is - she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
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Audible Editor Reviews

It is a very rare thing to witness the beginning of a writer’s career and know without a doubt that the first little book is going to launch a worldwide craze, a la J.K. Rowling or Stephenie Meyer. Such is the terrifying yet enviable position of Veronica Roth, who sold this debut novel to a HarperCollins imprint before she even finished college. She also sold the film rights to Summit Entertainment, owner of the Twilight film saga, on the strength of pre-publication buzz alone. The first in a planned series, Divergent is beyond question the best thing to happen to young adult literature in a very long time. More realistic than Harry Potter and less moony-eyed than Twilight, Roth has crafted a world and a protagonist that are easily engrossing and definitely worthy of our long-term attention.

Part of the credit for such charm belongs to narrator Emma Galvin, herself somewhat a newcomer. The young upstart has already garnered praise for her interpretations of Winter’s Bone, the first book spin-off from the Glee television series, and Stephenie Meyer’s recent novella. Galvin is genuinely edgy and emotive, not a trace of sugar to be found in the dialogue or her rendering of it. She captures the bold but conflicted spirit of the main character, Tris, with convincing personality and a real sensibility for the fast-pacing learning curve into which Tris launches the year she turns 16. After being raised in a clan whose primary characteristic is its devotion to selflessness, Tris defects, choosing a life of bravery from among the five factions that comprise her dystopic Chicago. She must pledge the faction, and go through several rounds of training eliminations before becoming a true Dauntless.

Tris is a complex, down-to-earth character with a lot of soul searching to do — in a clan where hobbies include jumping from moving trains and tossing knives at small objects resting on the heads of friends, and there are no second chances. Veronica Roth has built a remarkable situation with strong potential for a longevity that will remain fresher than the sum of its parts, and Emma Galvin has this bull of a new series firmly by the horns. This book is confidently going places far beyond the fanatical mindlessness of young adult marketing, and in a hot minute, grownups will not have to feel one iota of shame for having fallen in love with it alongside their less discerning teenagers. —Megan Volpert

Publisher's Summary

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue - Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is - she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are - and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves.... or it might destroy her.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series - dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

©2011 Veronica Roth (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers

What the Critics Say

"Though Galvin’s narration is concentrated on giving Tris the perfect voice, she never neglects the secondary characters. Poignant moments with Tris’s mother and Four, her leader and love, are subtly nuanced to let listeners hear the terror Tris often hides.... listeners will hold their breath waiting to see if she can survive the day." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    Natalie @ Book Lovers Life 10-25-14 Member Since 2015

    I'm a wife, mother to 4 wonderful boys and a total bookaholic :) I read mainly anything Paranormal, Fantasy, Dystopian and Post Apocalyptic.

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    "Amazing Book."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Divergent to be better than the print version?

    Both are equal but I do think that the audio book gives a little extra something to the story.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I love Four. He is such a strong character but yet he has a soft part.


    Which character – as performed by Emma Galvin – was your favorite?

    Tris because Emma portrayed her really well.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Not really but I did get goose bumps when Tris and Four met and at a certain other part!!


    Any additional comments?

    Divergent is an amazing book. I've read the book loads of times and know I will listen to the audio book more because it's one of those books that never get old.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MissSweet 05-21-14
    MissSweet 05-21-14 Member Since 2015
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    "Not Impressed"
    What disappointed you about Divergent?

    The story was weak. I understood the basic premise, but I think the dystopian society created in this book was a little too far-fetched. The romance was lame. The suspense leading up to the reason "Four" was called "Four" was a big letdown. By the end of the book, I had no desire to read the next of the series.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Not sure...


    What about Emma Galvin’s performance did you like?

    Aside from my disapointment in the book, I thought Emma Galvin's performance was very good. She may be the reason I stuck with the story! She has a pleasing tone to her voice.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    My teenage self probably would have LOVED it. The adult me craved more substance.


    Any additional comments?

    It's not fair to compare this book to The Hunger Games because there is no comparison. The Hunger Games is in a whole other league.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ásdís Siglufjörður, Iceland 05-19-14
    Ásdís Siglufjörður, Iceland 05-19-14 Member Since 2013
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    "i did not finish listening."
    What did you like best about Divergent? What did you like least?

    I never got in touch with this story which probably is because of me lacking understanding af this future language. So I cannot recommend it to anyone and have no more to say about it.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Fort Collins, CO, United States 05-15-14
    Chris Fort Collins, CO, United States 05-15-14 Member Since 2015
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    "Teen Romance Drivel"
    What would have made Divergent better?

    The Action and Suspense is ok if you can suspend your disbelief


    Any additional comments?

    I just couldn't suspend reality enough to believe in a "world" where everyone is classified into factions based on one trait.

    Main concetpt: Some people are Divergent. Unfortunately the main character is really one-dimensional and self-absorbed.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles San Diego, CA, United States 05-12-14
    Charles San Diego, CA, United States 05-12-14
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    "Not worth the hype!!!!!"
    What would have made Divergent better?

    A better story


    Would you ever listen to anything by Veronica Roth again?

    No


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Emma Galvin?

    She was great!


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    No not really!


    Any additional comments?

    I thought the book was going to be different. I did not like it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    StoneSoulPicnic Atlanta, GA 05-08-14
    StoneSoulPicnic Atlanta, GA 05-08-14 Member Since 2013

    I love Audible!

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    "I don't get the hype"
    Would you try another book from Veronica Roth and/or Emma Galvin?

    Probably not


    Would you ever listen to anything by Veronica Roth again?

    Probably not


    Any additional comments?

    I rarely write reviews but I feel compelled to share a few thoughts on this one. Perhaps one of the more erudite (pun intended) readers can enlighten me.

    I found this book very reminiscent of The Hunger Games book1. There are several parallels between the two dystopic societies with faction/districts fighting the evil government/opposing faction. Really felt like a knock off to me.

    Hate to be a downer in the shadow of so many positive reviews but some one may find this opposing point of view helpful.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    HunterJumper 04-26-14
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    "Your teen will love it. You will roll your eyes."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I bought this because I have a long commute with my teenagers and thought they would enjoy it. They did. I did not. My teenagers enjoyed it so much that I've bought the other two books in the series. We just finished the second and I don't think I can force myself to listen to the third, so it's going on the iPad for them to listen to on their own.

    The book's premise is silly. It's based in a walled off Chicago where society is set up into 5 factions. All the people in each faction are supposed to have one dimensional lives. They all live in a world lacking any sort of happiness. The food is bad, they live in institutional settings, even the relationships are marked by anger and very little love. Getting a tattoo is really cool. Having passionate arguments with your boyfriend so you can kiss and make up is really cool. Being tortured and living through it is really cool. Sigh…

    Apparently the reason for this societal division will be more thoroughly explained in the last book but I've now lost interest. Of course the 5 factions hate each other and the war that eventually erupts makes you hope they'll all kill each other off. The protagonist Tris is alternately cooing in love over her boyfriend and being physically assaulted in her quest to be the hero, save everyone, save herself and get back to groping her boyfriend. She is constantly having her head smacked against a concrete wall, her shoulder wrenched, her arm half torn off, shot, stabbed - you name it. You end up thinking that you wish someone would just kill her with an axe and get it over with already.

    Throughout the book, I found myself being unable to control the "You are an IDIOT" or "Oh how RIDICULOUS!" remarks that just came flying out of my mouth - to the great irritation of my daughter. If your kids would like it, buy it and let them listen to it. Don't torture yourself with it.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    We are going to listen to audio versions of some of the lit they've read this year at school as a refresher for up coming exams. They need it and I'll enjoy it. On our beach trip I'm going to look for something we can both enjoy. Something light.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Emma Galvin’s performances?

    Oh good Lord no. I think I might have been able to tolerate this book if it hadn't been for the narration. All of the dialogue - I mean all of it - is spoken with either anger, sarcasm or truculence. You feel like you're listening to several hours of an angry whiney child berate her friends. Even my children thought the narrator was terrible. I really might have actually liked Tris if it hadn't been for the narrator. UGH!


    Do you think Divergent needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Well, it has two follow up books but it shouldn't have. They should have killed everyone off in the first book.


    Any additional comments?

    Meh. There is better teen lit out there. Fault in our Stars, Where'd You Go, Bernadette, etc.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Galadriel 04-25-14
    Galadriel 04-25-14 Member Since 2008

    I have to admit that I'm a total Audible junkie. MUST have book going at all times. I may be the subject of a family intervention someday.

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    "Excellent read, and I'm no teenager."
    Any additional comments?

    I loved The Hunger Games, and would put this in the same genre (there's a genre of novels about brave heroic young women facing down the evils of a dystopian society now? wow, yay!) Divergent stands on it's own though, not a pale copy in any way despite the similar DNA. Loved it, loved the concept and characters, listened to it in one day. Will start the next in the series right away.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kala 04-16-14
    Kala 04-16-14
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    "Happy to hear it end!"
    What would have made Divergent better?

    I surprised myself by loving The Hunger Games (I don't usually read YA fiction) and I always like a good dystopian story but this book is terrible. Veronica Roth's writing is cliched and lazy - the only physical description of emotion comes in the form of Tris' "hot cheeks" or bitten lips, both of which are referenced at least once a chapter. Listening to this audiobook made me groan out loud and it was a struggle to finish the whole thing. The teen romance was also cringe-inducing in a way that The Hunger Games was not.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    The story itself is imaginative and has a lot of potential - I'm curious to see if I like the move better.


    What didn’t you like about Emma Galvin’s performance?

    Again, maybe its because this is a YA story and I am older, but I found the narrator annoying. Her melodramatic tone combined with the writing made me feel like I was watching a bad junior high play.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Annoyance


    Any additional comments?

    Maybe I would have loved this if I was 10-15 years younger!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Brewster, NY, United States 04-09-14
    Mark Brewster, NY, United States 04-09-14 Member Since 2012
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    "I wont be getting the rest of the series..."

    Thought I would give this series a try since it sounded a bit in the area of Hunger Games. Its not on the same planet... So much time was spent on tris's emotions and feelings I wanted to puke. If your looking for more than maybe 2 min of action...skip this book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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  • Lara
    Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal
    1/7/12
    Overall
    "Suprisingly good!"

    Young Adult books nowadays usually leave me with a longing for more Harry Potter :). Suprisingly this one didn't. I really enjoyed it, and I will wait for the second one with eager antecipation. It's good to know that there are new writters with potential out there! It's light enough for your readers, the story is well thought, and the characters, specially the main ones, are likeable and believable. If you're looking for some light fiction, this might be it.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Miss Victoria Hicks
    Bristol, UK
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "One of my favourite dystopian works."

    I love Divergent and have it in paperback, kindle e-book & Audible audiobook.



    The writing is well developed and the story gripping. The characters are very easy to identify with and you find yourself wanting to learn more about them.



    I know i am stating the obvious here but this is a Young Adult/Teen genre. It is light enough for the younger teens but deals with some very important social issues such as bullying, domestic violence,



    As many people have said there are similarities to The Hunger Games, such as segmented society within a city, but they are their own stories.



    Being the first part of a trilogy, this book sets the scene in this dystopian world and establishes the characters, political issues and power struggles from the outset.



    The reader/listener is kept guessing throughout the story with just enough revealed to fill in the gaps and solidify the story by the end, but leaves enough questions to keep you guessing and wanting more.



    This book is very well narrated by Emma Galvin, i think she would be suited to many other YA stories and if she had narrated the twilight audiobooks i would have bought them too.



    Highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Nadina
    London, United Kingdom
    12/18/12
    Overall
    "Potential that was never fulfulled"

    This book had such wonderful reviews that I dared hope for a brilliant new series. Not a chance! The characters remained flat and unconvincing. The challenges they faced were not real but in simulations and dreams and these unreal experiences fell flat and sounded fake. I don't understand why the Dauntless faction was considered the brave, if all they ever did to prove their bravery is jump on trains, get tattoos and go through simulations and imaginary challenges.

    All in all, even though the book had a couple of promising ideas, overall it sounded hollow and extremely disappointing. I will not be bothering with the second book of the series, despite the fact that many questions remained unanswered.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Ann-Marie
    Gavle, Sweden
    2/28/12
    Overall
    "Ends with the beginning"


    Well, I must start by telling you that I'm probably one of the few who has NOT yet read the Hunger Games trilogy (I'm working on it...) Even so, I understand that there is quite a few similarities. A young girl trying to figure out Who she is. In doing so, finding hidden strengths (both physical and mental) within her which is good since she needs all of them in the initiation process she's going thru.

    I listened to the novel vary well narrated by Emma Galvin and I listened as soon as I had a chance (in the car, walking the dog, cleaning the kitchen).

    It is well written, the characters are plausible and easy to like (or hate). The main character Beatrice, later Tris, is someone you want to get to know and learn more about.

    But, to me it seems that this, the first in a series of three, is very much an introduction to the rest. I don't know if I'm right, but there is something missing. There is a lot of questions you don't get answers to.

    Why has the society changed into this very rigid form? What has happened to the world?

    For me this lack of background made it difficult to understand and accept Tris'and the other initiates change and behaviour.

    Non the less it's a good read. Love, hate, good, evil, morality.

    I do hope to find some answers in the next book. I would have given it one more star if I've gotten some more answers from the start.

    The story ends with the beginning...

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Craig
    2/13/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great listen"

    Enjoyed listening to this daily. The narrator portrayed the characters and the told the story. I'm looking forward to insergant

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • V. Clouston
    Orkney, UK
    12/10/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent listen"
    What did you like most about Divergent?

    Divergent is an original, clever story. Great characters and performed brilliantly by Emma Galvin.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    My favourite character is Four. An intriguing individual with a great backstory.


    What about Emma Galvin’s performance did you like?

    Emma Galvin does a great job reading this. She gives a very believable performance and is very easy to listen to.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When Tris learns more about her mother's past and the dramatic climax ( no spoilers!).


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Suzanne
    Wirral, United Kingdom
    12/2/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Stand aside here comes the DIVERGENT"
    Where does Divergent rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I have listened to better but listened to much much worse ... the fact taht the narrator is in a constant state of fear allertness terror means that you do not get a rest from this frantic drama. But She does a good job of making your heat thud.


    What other book might you compare Divergent to, and why?

    The Hunger games is the same type of book and this is a compliment. Tris is not the same she is harder and less confident than Catness however the story is edgier in my opinion.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When Tris was saved from the other transfers by 4.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • D. M. E. Davies
    London, England
    10/23/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Quite an enjoyable listen"

    I was looking forward to reading this, the initial blurb seemed good, but at the end I felt a little disappointed. There are lots of unanswered questions, but I know there are two sequels to come which I assume will tie up these questions. However, the lack of any information about the history of Chicago, and how this society came to be this way, means that questions are continually popping into my head - for example, who are Dauntless protecting their society against?

    Overall a good story, and reasonably well performed - Emma Galvin has a pleasing voice, though at times it was difficult to distinguish which of the characters were speaking initially. The characters were whole and rounded, Tris was brave and curious, Four moody and deep, and all the requisite baddies were in force.

    What is a little disappointing though is for the continual presence of strong similarities between this and books such as The Hunger Games and The Host. Maybe most stories set in a dystopian future will have similar themes, that echo over and over again, but I would have appreciated some original twists to distinguish one from another.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dorothy
    Poole, United Kingdom
    9/23/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A great new writer to the fantasy pantheon"

    I welcome her to the list of fantasy and science fiction writer that I really like. Robin Hobb, Orson Scott Card, George R.R. Martin and Diana Wynne Jones to name a few. The story is told in first person and we are given the perception of the protaganist to the strange surreal environment she finds herself in. We are all brought up in the belief systems of our families and Tris is no exception to this. The five faction construct is obviously just that, a strange construct. I was worried that this would be another Hunger Games pseudo reality story, but I was very pleased it did not turn out like this. The world is very like a computer game with real players and not avatars. I look forward to Veronica Roth honing her craft and producing more wonderful stories in the future.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • David L. Davies
    Cheshire UK
    7/30/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent story, but average performance"
    What did you like most about Divergent?

    The story is imaginative and enthralling. A bit too much Mills and Boon at times but overall very good. Performance is not the best, difficult to distinguish between the different characters.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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