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)
Just the long narratives of longing for the opposite sex. Some of it's ok. But over done in this series.
book yes audio no
I only review the best and the worst. Mediocre is left to the listener.. Follow me on my quest of the best epic series and narrators!
The Divergent series (which I will sum up in this review instead of writing a separate one for each book) helped me decide that I do like Dystopian Fiction. (If Brandon's Steelheart didn't push me over the edge). The books follow the story of a girl named 'Tris' and her friend 'Four'.ion These are nicknames, of course, because in this society, you are tested at 16 via injected with a serum that puts you in a trance induced simulation and you are offered scenarios. How you react will eliminate certain factions from your choices The factions are Abnegation (Selfless), Erudite (Intellect), Dauntless (brave), Amity (Peaceful), Candor (Honesty). I found it odd that 4 of the 5 are virtues.
But low and behold, sometimes the tests are inconclusive. The testee makes choices that don't narrow down your faction choices. These people are known as Divergent, and since we are in a dystopian world, that must mean that Divergent people must be hunted and killed, and why? Well It's a secret.. If you're lucky, the person who tests you knows the Divergent secret hand shake and will help hide your results.
While the story was good enough to make me chug through all 3 books in 2 weeks, the writing style did not lead to a good translation of Audiobooks. It was told in first person... First person that hits you like a Mack Truck Her's an example
"I walked down the hall. I saw Four. I told Four hello. He said "Hello Tris". We walked down the hall together. We saw a computer. Four went to hack into it. While I waited, I watched him. He is hansom'.
You get the picture. The third book, which is told from both Tris and Four's perspective, helps with the problem, but it's the major flaw in the series. This didn't chafe me as bad as the "He said She said" problem that some books have, but it did become distracting to me. Luckily, Emma Galvin did a great job with the narration.
The pacing of the series is rather nice, and by the time I got to the parts that started explaining what was really going on, it was predictable, but I honestly didn't mind.
The characters stay true to their natures throughout the series, and for me, that's important. They are all young, and they all mature through the books, but I never felt like any of them did things against their nature
So, I'll rank this one high in the dystopian fantasy genre, and if your looking for a dystopian series that does not include Zombie Outbreaks or apocalyptic events, then this will satisfy you
I enjoyed this story, the beginning of the Divergent series, setting the tone for the rest of the books. Emma Galvin does an amazing job of portraying Beatrice Pryor, her inflection and tone draw you in and keep you entertained. My daughters were reading the book, and wanted to see the movie, but before I would allow them to read the books and see the movie I had to preview it, and after listening to the unabridged version of the book I was drawn into the stories and have now listened to all 3 books. Very Enjoyable stories with a great twist.
Emma Galvin's performance made this book truly enjoyable to listen to.
The whole book was very enjoyable.
Umm No, I am a man.
A lot of pop culture is popular for good reason (Gone Girl, Harry Potter) so I give everything a try. But with this and the Hunger Games series, I just don't get it. The writing is so bad - SO BAD - that the world's best plot could not make it palatable.
I was sucked in to the world of "Divergent" from the very beginning. I will not deny that I enjoyed it thoroughly. However, I only gave the story an overall three stars because, in the end, there were several "teen fiction-esque" moments and story lines that reminded me that I was not listening to a book written for adults, but rather teenagers. The love story was a bit too campy and unrealistic for me (given, I know it's fiction!), but the overall idea of the book was, without a doubt, enthralling! I do wish more aspects of the story had been fleshed out and written about in greater detail, but, I cannot deny that the author did do a good job.
Acquired at a whim because friends said they liked it, I thought it might be another thinly veiled attack on things that are not popular these days. Instead, it seems...quite other. For me, narration is key so let me say that it was well-done, in all. REALLY nicely done on the portions that demanded loud yells or cries - often, it just isn't executed well. Not in this case.
I am eager to get the other books, to hear the tale played out. Not your average dystopian future...it touches on many areas of concern these days and I hope it moves into terrain I expect and not veer off into that which I abhor...we'll see and I'll let you know!!
A wild ride!
I liked the action that took place in the story.
She tells a story very well. Her inflection and cadence helped keep me interested in the story.
Don't let anyone know your divergent!
Addictive, original, entertaining
The description of the various environments, the detailed explanation of a futuristic society
She just made the book reading smooth and flowing and kept me company during my long road trip the past weekend.
I totally recommend this book. I don't know why people compare it to hunger games, it is very different... actually I believe it is way more applicable compared to hunger games and could indeed become a future way of life in order to avoid conflicts. I also watched the movie last night. It was interesting to compare and contrast visual details and thanks to the fact that the author was also co-producer in the movie they were similar to what I had imagined (this means the descriptions in the book were excellent) however the movie was sooooo disappointing.
Therefore, please do not judge this story on the movie as there are several differences and the movie story line was very rushed and sketchy.
I enjoyed this book, but there were parts that just bugged me. It's hard to believe for one thing, but just the sheer number of times she had to announce "I am Divergent!" Really started to bug me. I doubt I listen to the next book in the series.
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