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)
I am a person that tries and get through 1 book a week if possible. I am Dyslexic so this is really the only way I can get through a book. I have listened to more book in a year than I read my first 20 years of my life. I found the joy of audio books in the early 2000 and have been a audible customer since 2000 or 2001. I have over 490 books in 2 different accounts and listened to 90%.
Tris was my favorite but she should be everyone's favorite. Four was a close second.
I struggle with female readers for some reason, but Emma kept me stuck to the book the whole time. She did a great job.
Spoiler: Her mother giving up her life so she could live on. Very moving of how to be brave.
I felt I was taking a trip into the mind of a teenage girl. Premise and mystery of the story were awesome but it stayed too much in her mind instead of on the events at hand to keep me entertained.
This is a teen romance novel, wrapped in unsubstantiated science fiction. The story was terrible, the teen romance was creepy.
More adventure, less teen sexual tension. I don't want to read about how a teen girl feels when a boy's hand touches her belly!
The narrator did a good job and has the skill to perform both male and female voices.
The book is clean and didn't portray teens having sex. It is age-appropriate to a 12-15 year old girl.
This is a weak re-hash of the Twilight and Hunger series. All the same trite elements except the love triangle.
This was a great story somewhat like "The Hunger Games;" female protagonist, sci-fi dystopia. Although it is probably geared more toward my young adult daughters, it was something we all enjoyed. We need more books with courageous young heroines.
If you liked "The Hunger Games" trilogy, you might like this. However, I thought this was a little deeper in meaning and therefore more intriguing.
The narrator was well cast in terms of gender and age. However, her delivery was choppy and a little hard to get used to.
Emma had the perfect voice for this, in my opinion. I listened to this about three days before I saw the movie so I already knew the casting. In my head, Tris was Shailene Woodley and I felt the voice matcher her pretty well. It also helped set the mood throughout the whole book.
I wasn't expecting a whole lot out of this serious. I expected it to be another YA fad. But I really enjoyed it and can't wait to read the rest of the series.
The supporting characters and backstory are totally unbelievable. Young children might believe the setting, but if this book is for kids, why put in so much sexual tension?
Give me a reason to believe why the coming of age training of children is conducted by children. Is this fictional society so messed up that nobody with any maturity or common sense is involved in the childrearing?
The narrator was fantastic at portraying the protagonist.
It's got a follow-up book, whether I think it needs one or not.
The author has a laughably juvenile concept of how people - at any time, in any society - learn combat, strategy, and life skills. The beginning of the end for me was when the 16-year-old kids got hand-to-hand combat training that was essentially "OK novices, go beat the crap out of each other until one of you is unconscious". Come on! I just could not believe that Eric would ever be put in a position of power directing the training of children.
It was worth to hear because the movie is out. The story/basic plot line and sub plots are really interesting. Fresh take on social diversity/segregation. I hated the conversations between the characters and the narrator made me not want to finish it. Her voice and inflection were horribly annoying. I want to get the second book because the story is so interesting but I just really do not want to her voice! The only way I can enjoy books these days are to listen to them in the car because I just don't have time to sit down and read.
I listen to audiobooks when I drive and when I hike.
While listening to this book it was obvious that it was written with a young adult audience in mind, but it was still an enjoyable story for an older person. It is hard for me to believe that super intelligent people would not have a backup their computer programs, but I guess if I were not out in the workforce yet I could believe things like that.
Engineer, wife, audiobook addict. I live for those books that you just cannot put down.
I read this because the movie was coming out and my girlfriends were all excited as each of them read the story. The premise pulled me in instantly and Tris becomes a character that is easy to love. I really enjoyed the audiobook but don't expect to read just the first book of the series and part ways if you're not impressed. They leave off on both of the first two books at a place that doesn't wrap up the story so you can't just stop, you have to keep going. This is a three-book commitment or nothing. If you're the type that enjoyed The Hunger Games, you'll enjoy this series. I liked the characters and the premise better than the Hunger Games but I found the ending disappointing (and I didn't like the third book of the Hunger Games either).
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