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
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
"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)
This was a very engaging book. Emma Galvin did an excellent job reading it, and I felt I could connect with the characters. I enjoyed the book very much and can recommend it without hesitation.
Look upward and see the wonders I've seen
Compelling. Engaging. Enjoyable.
I loved Tris the protagonist. She brought this story to life and I saw everything so clearly through her eyes.
Tris and Four/Tobias. Coming from Abnegation to Dauntless must be like going from Amish to Sparta.
When she jumped first. Feel the fear, but do it anyway. I love that.
The plot is pretty weak. Book 1 was fine, but book 2 was so terrible I couldn't finish.
I didn't buy why the erudite or the people that love learning are inherently so evil.
I liked the main character discovering the Dauntless liar for the first time.
Nope- wait for the movie- it will probably be more interesting.
Irina M. Flowers
I really liked the way the book began - the idea of factions seemed interesting and the main character was likable (except for the parts where she tortured her mouth with her teeth - but no teen book will ever escape this ever again after S.Meyer had introduced the various lip- and cheek-biting in Twilight). Somewhere around the time when the romantic relationships began, and everything else kind of lost its meaning, the book became somewhat predictable and weak. I thought that the very end - where people dropped like flies and other got saved by mere magic - was like a script of a bad movie.
Old Fart 1960 (some day....)
For me, I wasted a whole day listening to this simple story. The vocabulary is probably no higher than 5th grade level reading. I enjoyed The Hunger Games trilogy, but I'm not going to listen to the other 2 books in the Divergent trilogy.
Something more substantial.
She was a little to whispy for me. Probably okay for a younger listener.
Not for me. I'm 53 years old. I like a good sci-fi story, but this wasn't my cup of tea.
This is not another Hunger Games but if you liked Hunger Games you will like this one.
I really enjoyed the first two books in the series but quickly decided to forgo reading the final book when I learned of the ending. Many people recommend reading the first two and stopping there to create your own happy ending. After reading the spoilers, I am taking their advice and stopping here.
The author says she struggled with whether or not to write the ending as she did and honestly, I think she made the wrong choice. I think she wanted to prove something but missed her mark and instead she alienated readers. I really enjoyed the first two books but you need to research the ending to see if you want to invest in the entire series.
I will not be watching the movie.
Definitely! The narrator captured the emotion of the story and it was a great listen.
I would compare the entire trilogy to the Hunger Games Trilogy. Female protagonist saving a anti-utopia society. The world's are completely different which is what makes both trilogies must reads!
Beatrice the "heroine" in the story.
Yes, hard to walk away.
I love memoirs and books on personal triumphs and business. I like to learn, be inspired and relax while listening to my books.
The plot is so similar to Harry Potter and Hunger Games that the book feels like you have already read it
no, because it lacks novel writing
Have a renewed interest in books after falling in love with audio books. I am listening to all different genres and exploring different authors.
I did enjoy this book -- I may dare say that it is better than Hunger Games. I was a little disappointed by the sappy love interest -- but the lead character is only 16. Overall, very good book and I will read the others in the trilogy. If anyone likes Hunger Games - then this is a must read.
I LOVE reading books. and now i love listening to books.
This was my first audiobook and it was amazing. I never thought that listening to book was so relaxing.
My favorite character has to be tobias the way he loves Tris. He make her do stuff that are out of this world.
Yes they way she uses different accents for every character
When tris and four where alone in the room making out and saying that they love each other.
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