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)
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.
It was a little too much Twilight and Catching Fire. A young girl, stronger than she thinks she is, can't believe the handsome boy(s) find her attractive, making bad choices which cause extra drama to those around her. (Let's not forget all those DRAMA conversations in her head)
All that said, I don't regret buying it and still enjoyed the plot and story-line. I was still trapped by the story and looked for breaks so I could listen some more. The next 2 seem to get the whole "teenage girl in trouble making bad choices" worse which just like Catching Fire I bought all 3 and listened anyway. Once I post this review I am planning on buying the next one. Yes I must be a glutton for punishment. :-D
The concept and story line were pretty good. I am much older than the typical audience for this series, so I had to try to enjoy it for what it was. It was very entertaining yet it had a considerable helping of "cheese." Yes, it was cheesy, but it was enjoyable.
The obvious comparison is Hunger Games, however this was like the dumed-down, cheap version.
Emma Galvin's performance was terrible. I think that my experience of the book would have been much better if I had read it, not listened. Her voice was practically monotone and her male voices were horrible. This made the audio book almost impossible to finish. Every time I listened my mind would wander off. She just couldn't keep me listening. I would have to go back and re-listen to her annoying narration just to figure out what was happening. I will NOT be going the audio book route for the rest of the series because of Emma Galvin's performance.
Started to enjoy listening to books after a far too long break from reading nothing but scientific books.
The way Emma Galvin performed the story and the way Veronica Roth put forth that story really made me enjoy it. Many thanks to both of them.
The Hunger Games, without a doubt there are many similarities in the books, but even so this is a great series that earns its audience.
I loved Emma Galvin's performance, especially for Beatrice. She made the book and the story come alive and I would much enjoy to listen to more of her narratives.
I actually started the book on a Friday and bought the second book in the series on Sunday, so not entirely in one sitting but almost.
First audible book I listen to and it really made me continue with all the books in both this series and others.
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.
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