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)
For all the hype, I expected more. I understand why young folks are so captivated by these books, its because they are written for elementary students. I have read better much better. The book was not bad just not worth all the hype. In short very predictable.
The best word for this book is forced. It's well written but style if only part of a book. It is not internally consistent and the societies are too unbelievable and the populations described in the acceptance trials are not consistent with the overall population numbers of each clan. I liked the book enough to finish it but I'm not wasting my money buying the next in the series.
I didn't look at the print version but the audio is very convenient.
The author's explanations of what was going on inside the thoughts of the main characters.
Gallup Strengths: INPUT ~ LEARNER ~ ACHIEVER ~ RESPONSIBILITY ~ DISCIPLINE
Descriptive details help to visually imagine the scenery.
Mother being shot.
An unexpected villain.
It made me think of how judgmental society has become and how it is perceived or can be perceived.
I listened to this story on a drive from SF to LA during the holidays. Right off the bat I knew it wasn't going to be a literary masterpiece and once I just accepted the fact that this is a teen book, I really enjoyed the story line! Yeah, all of the butterflies and googley eyes that were described as the love story made me roll my eyes, but overall it was an interesting and mindless listen.
I will say I did not enjoy the voice of the narrator. I guess she embodied what the character sounded like but man did she sound naive!
History and Communications student at the University of Ottawa. Full time student, full time job, and full time daydreamer.
I was actually dragged to the movie theatre by a friend to watch the movie, and that same evening I didn't go home until I had a copy of the book. Very enjoyable book; interesting story and concept, it wasn't a mushy-gooey love story, it was just right. Unfortunately for me, having seen the movie before reading the book did affect my interpretation of the story, and I found myself comparing the book to the movie a lot (and usually it's the opposite!) Other than that, it was a great book, definitely the best in the trilogy.
Emma Galvin pulled this off very well. The writing and situations were a bit lacking, but she managed to keep me interested.
The author had a great idea for a storyline here but her writing could use a bit more spit and polish, as well as creativity. I felt nearly all of the writing was canned and predictable.
The violence was over the top. It's not that I'm opposed to violence, but it is one example after another of gratuitous violence.
The lack of original thought.
It was a waste of time to read (book club choice) and money.
I'm not a young adult reader, but listened to this story to keep on top of what my niece is reading...she raved about it and loved it...some parts of this story slowed down...the middle of this first book almost got a little boring to me, and, I guess, were appropriate to what teens experience when they start developing feelings for someone. I did feel the author drug that out a bit, but, as I said, I am not the target audience. Once I got to three-quarters of this story, it picked up and kept my interest until the end.
No, I won't be listening to any more stories by this author, but at least I have an idea of how she writes, geared to young adult readers, and that's OK with me--if they like her, and it encourages them to read more, I'm all for it.
I did like the voice of the narrator...her voice lent itself well to this type of story and fictional time period.
Yes, the descriptions and characters are engaging. Another example of a society which somewhat reminded me of the giver. The narration is wonderful and I found myself relating to the characters and trying to figure out where I would fit.
It reminds me of The Giver in some ways because of the different roles and ceremonies. It also reminds me of The Hunger Games because of the action and the strong female character and the emphasis on using physical confrontation for elimination.
She brings a youthful voice that makes the character come to life. Her expression and emotion kept my attention.
I definitely stayed up in the wee hours of the morning listening because it seemed like there were no clear stopping points.
This book definitely had an ending that kept you wanting more.
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