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Divergent | [Veronica Roth]

Divergent

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.
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Audible Editor Reviews

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

Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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    s 02-01-13
    s 02-01-13
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    "Really good dystopian fantasy"

    SO much better than Hunger Games. The main character is likable, surprising, and assertive without being either boring vanilla or overtly aggressive. It is a teenage girl's struggle with weighing social expectations against noble self-sacrifice and service to others. There are curve balls in the plot to keep things interesting and a little realistic romance that is strung along throughout. Roth's novel reveals love beginning with building trust and understanding. A worthwhile and interesting read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peggy ANGEL FIRE, NM, United States 01-30-13
    Peggy ANGEL FIRE, NM, United States 01-30-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Fast paced, a page turner!"
    What did you love best about Divergent?

    Tris is a strong, smart, fearless character who tends to act first, think about it later. Four is exciting and a perfect match for Tris.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Fast paced action, characters you care about


    Have you listened to any of Emma Galvin’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Insurgent. She does a great job


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes! The pacing makes you hungry for more


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ashley MURRAY, UT, United States 01-30-13
    Ashley MURRAY, UT, United States 01-30-13 Member Since 2012
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    "I totally enjoyed this book!"
    Would you listen to Divergent again? Why?

    Yes I liked it so much that I quickly downloaded the next book and am now patiently waiting for the next one! I really love the concept and was really impressed. Cliff hanger ending tho... be prepared to want more.


    What about Emma Galvin’s performance did you like?

    She did a very good job! Not monotone at all. It seemed like she enjoyed reading the book to me.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I could not stop listening!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elaine Woodbridge, VA, United States 01-30-13
    Elaine Woodbridge, VA, United States 01-30-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Engrossing story"

    I found this book to be entertaining and engrossing, with good character development. The author's descriptions of places was very good and I kept picturing the locations and how the landscape would appear in a movie.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wanda Pretoria, South Africa 01-30-13
    Wanda Pretoria, South Africa 01-30-13 Member Since 2012

    Wandah Panda

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    "Cant wait for book 3 but first I need to read no 2"

    This book came highly recommended to me. Very highly by numerous people. So I could not wait to start it. When I eventually got around to reading it, I was a bit disappointed. It started off and reminded me of The Hunger Games to such a degree that I felt a bit disappointed. Not enough to put me of reading the book but enough to make me feel discontented. But I am a trooper. So I carried on, soon The Hunger Games was forgotten, the similarities paling, the dystopian world came alive in front of my eyes and it has been ages since I have liked a character as much as I do Tris. This, people is a truly strong female protagonist. This is also one of the central themes in the book…what is courage? What is self sacrifice and what good is knowledge….
    To say that I am now one of this author's biggest fans is like saying a King guy writes horror or stuff… This woman is brilliant, the tempo she maintains in her book, pushing her characters and her readers onwards upwards and forward until you find yourself at the very edge of a cliff is masterly done. I have the second book. So excuse me please…..
    The narration on this was brilliant and made the experience all the more realistic and fun. WaAr

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Robert Orlando, FL, United States 01-29-13
    Robert Orlando, FL, United States 01-29-13 Member Since 2013

    Avid reader through college now with no time to read. Audiobooks saved my life!

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    "Great Hunger Games Followup"

    I really like this series. I don't LOVE it but it shares enough elements from the Hunger Games and Ender's Game (two series I do love) that it couldn't really miss. That said, the story really is quite different from either of those two obvious influences. The society portrayed seems somewhat like Hunger Games, as does the fact that at 16 kids become involved in very un-kid-like activities but again, the comparison stops there.
    It's a great series so far and I have high hopes for the last book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    A. Nelson Austin, TX 01-26-13
    A. Nelson Austin, TX 01-26-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Divergent"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is in the Hunger Games genre and is a good listen, makes you want to read the next in the series. The narrator did a good job. It was a perfect book to listen to on my long Saturday run.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Squirrel Auburn, NY, United States 01-22-13
    Squirrel Auburn, NY, United States 01-22-13
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    "An Incredible Surprise"
    What made the experience of listening to Divergent the most enjoyable?

    The story was intriguing and inspiring.


    What other book might you compare Divergent to and why?

    I could compare this to The Hunger Games Trilogy or The Uglies Trilogy.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I liked the way they described the divergent area. It was quite interesting.


    Any additional comments?

    One of my students told me about this book and I am so glad that he did. It is a great story explaining how a community can not live with just one trait but how those with multiple traits can be dangerous to others. It is an amazing story that can open up anyone's eyes. I couldn't put it down and instantly downloaded the second book and am disappointed the third book isn't out until the fall of 2013.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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    Linda HOMESTEAD, FL, United States 01-22-13
    Linda HOMESTEAD, FL, United States 01-22-13 Member Since 2015
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    "One of the best reads since The Hunger Games!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Divergent to be better than the print version?

    I honestly don't consider one over the other. I use the audio versions of books because it is convenient as I am always on the go and do not always have time to sit and read. I love books any way I can read them.


    What other book might you compare Divergent to and why?

    The Hunger Games because they have a similar theme and progression through the series.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I don't have a favorite scene, but if I had to pick it might be all of the scenes where she proves to herself that she is where she is supposed to be.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed in a couplets parts and I was in awe in others.


    Any additional comments?

    This book was a page turner and I couldn't wait to get to the next book in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Ingunn Stadler michigan 01-21-13
    Ingunn Stadler michigan 01-21-13 Member Since 2012

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    "Better than the Hunger games"

    Found the story entertaining and can't wait to get on to the 2nd one n the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Lara
    Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal
    1/7/12
    Overall
    "Suprisingly good!"

    Young Adult books nowadays usually leave me with a longing for more Harry Potter :). Suprisingly this one didn't. I really enjoyed it, and I will wait for the second one with eager antecipation. It's good to know that there are new writters with potential out there! It's light enough for your readers, the story is well thought, and the characters, specially the main ones, are likeable and believable. If you're looking for some light fiction, this might be it.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Miss Victoria Hicks
    Bristol, UK
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "One of my favourite dystopian works."

    I love Divergent and have it in paperback, kindle e-book & Audible audiobook.



    The writing is well developed and the story gripping. The characters are very easy to identify with and you find yourself wanting to learn more about them.



    I know i am stating the obvious here but this is a Young Adult/Teen genre. It is light enough for the younger teens but deals with some very important social issues such as bullying, domestic violence,



    As many people have said there are similarities to The Hunger Games, such as segmented society within a city, but they are their own stories.



    Being the first part of a trilogy, this book sets the scene in this dystopian world and establishes the characters, political issues and power struggles from the outset.



    The reader/listener is kept guessing throughout the story with just enough revealed to fill in the gaps and solidify the story by the end, but leaves enough questions to keep you guessing and wanting more.



    This book is very well narrated by Emma Galvin, i think she would be suited to many other YA stories and if she had narrated the twilight audiobooks i would have bought them too.



    Highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Nadina
    London, United Kingdom
    12/18/12
    Overall
    "Potential that was never fulfulled"

    This book had such wonderful reviews that I dared hope for a brilliant new series. Not a chance! The characters remained flat and unconvincing. The challenges they faced were not real but in simulations and dreams and these unreal experiences fell flat and sounded fake. I don't understand why the Dauntless faction was considered the brave, if all they ever did to prove their bravery is jump on trains, get tattoos and go through simulations and imaginary challenges.

    All in all, even though the book had a couple of promising ideas, overall it sounded hollow and extremely disappointing. I will not be bothering with the second book of the series, despite the fact that many questions remained unanswered.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Ann-Marie
    Gavle, Sweden
    2/28/12
    Overall
    "Ends with the beginning"


    Well, I must start by telling you that I'm probably one of the few who has NOT yet read the Hunger Games trilogy (I'm working on it...) Even so, I understand that there is quite a few similarities. A young girl trying to figure out Who she is. In doing so, finding hidden strengths (both physical and mental) within her which is good since she needs all of them in the initiation process she's going thru.

    I listened to the novel vary well narrated by Emma Galvin and I listened as soon as I had a chance (in the car, walking the dog, cleaning the kitchen).

    It is well written, the characters are plausible and easy to like (or hate). The main character Beatrice, later Tris, is someone you want to get to know and learn more about.

    But, to me it seems that this, the first in a series of three, is very much an introduction to the rest. I don't know if I'm right, but there is something missing. There is a lot of questions you don't get answers to.

    Why has the society changed into this very rigid form? What has happened to the world?

    For me this lack of background made it difficult to understand and accept Tris'and the other initiates change and behaviour.

    Non the less it's a good read. Love, hate, good, evil, morality.

    I do hope to find some answers in the next book. I would have given it one more star if I've gotten some more answers from the start.

    The story ends with the beginning...

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • V. Clouston
    Orkney, UK
    12/10/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent listen"
    What did you like most about Divergent?

    Divergent is an original, clever story. Great characters and performed brilliantly by Emma Galvin.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    My favourite character is Four. An intriguing individual with a great backstory.


    What about Emma Galvin’s performance did you like?

    Emma Galvin does a great job reading this. She gives a very believable performance and is very easy to listen to.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When Tris learns more about her mother's past and the dramatic climax ( no spoilers!).


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Suzanne
    Wirral, United Kingdom
    12/2/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Stand aside here comes the DIVERGENT"
    Where does Divergent rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I have listened to better but listened to much much worse ... the fact taht the narrator is in a constant state of fear allertness terror means that you do not get a rest from this frantic drama. But She does a good job of making your heat thud.


    What other book might you compare Divergent to, and why?

    The Hunger games is the same type of book and this is a compliment. Tris is not the same she is harder and less confident than Catness however the story is edgier in my opinion.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When Tris was saved from the other transfers by 4.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • D. M. E. Davies
    London, England
    10/23/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Quite an enjoyable listen"

    I was looking forward to reading this, the initial blurb seemed good, but at the end I felt a little disappointed. There are lots of unanswered questions, but I know there are two sequels to come which I assume will tie up these questions. However, the lack of any information about the history of Chicago, and how this society came to be this way, means that questions are continually popping into my head - for example, who are Dauntless protecting their society against?

    Overall a good story, and reasonably well performed - Emma Galvin has a pleasing voice, though at times it was difficult to distinguish which of the characters were speaking initially. The characters were whole and rounded, Tris was brave and curious, Four moody and deep, and all the requisite baddies were in force.

    What is a little disappointing though is for the continual presence of strong similarities between this and books such as The Hunger Games and The Host. Maybe most stories set in a dystopian future will have similar themes, that echo over and over again, but I would have appreciated some original twists to distinguish one from another.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dorothy
    Poole, United Kingdom
    9/23/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A great new writer to the fantasy pantheon"

    I welcome her to the list of fantasy and science fiction writer that I really like. Robin Hobb, Orson Scott Card, George R.R. Martin and Diana Wynne Jones to name a few. The story is told in first person and we are given the perception of the protaganist to the strange surreal environment she finds herself in. We are all brought up in the belief systems of our families and Tris is no exception to this. The five faction construct is obviously just that, a strange construct. I was worried that this would be another Hunger Games pseudo reality story, but I was very pleased it did not turn out like this. The world is very like a computer game with real players and not avatars. I look forward to Veronica Roth honing her craft and producing more wonderful stories in the future.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • David L. Davies
    Cheshire UK
    7/30/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent story, but average performance"
    What did you like most about Divergent?

    The story is imaginative and enthralling. A bit too much Mills and Boon at times but overall very good. Performance is not the best, difficult to distinguish between the different characters.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Elona
    Newry, United Kingdom
    7/8/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A have to listen to audiobook!"
    Where does Divergent rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I haven't listened to many but it would rank about 3rd or so..


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Divergent?

    SPOILER!! When she lets her blood drip onto the coal, the tension that is built up in that scene is amazing!


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Was good, used different tone of voice for different people.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    There many different parts where I smiled, laughed and have to admit cried! The book is written and spoken so well that you feel like you are with Tris on her journey, you experience what she experiences! That is one of the things I love about this book you feel involved!


    Any additional comments?

    I read the book before I bought the audiobook, and suggest that you read the book as well as you remember alot more, its more exciting, I think to read it and its just a totally different experience altogether when you read the book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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