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)
What a wonderful book! I enjoyed it and finished it far too quickly. Originally, I wanted to read it because I knew the movie was coming out this year, now I am only hoping that they will do it justice! The story was great and very well narrated by Emma Galvin, and I found myself caring deeply about the characters and analyzing the meaning behind the book. (It didn't seem that hard to do.) Overall a great read!
Yes - really good story, entertaining and lots of detail about the different Factions - would listen again to properly sort them out in my mind.
I would say, like many people, the Hunger Games of course, but also a little bit of the Matrix. Hunger Games because they do share some similarities and the same premise (16-yr old female heroin, futuristic, post-apocalyptic American setting, tyrannical government wanting to control the masses, too-similar-looking book art - ha). The Matrix because it also has a similar premise of post-apocalyptic American setting, tyrannical "government" (or, computers) wanting to control the masses.
Beatrice, or, Tris (her nickname).
Well, I couldn't imagine sitting and listening to ANYTHING for 11 hours straight, but if I could, this would be one of those books.
Like the Hunger Games and Twilight series, my wife got me on to this book series, and I really enjoyed it. I think I liked it just about as much as the Hunger Games. If you go on to the other books, Insurgent and Allegiant, they feel less and less like the Hunger Games series so you should not get bored with this.
Audible fan!...Why didn't I discover audiobooks sooner? I would rather listen than watch.
I'm a dad that reads the books his thirteen-year-old daughter reads so we can have discussions and just to be informed. Keep that in mind as you look at my ratings. I find the main character in this novel to be more likable than the main character from the HG novels. At least I didn't want to strangle her midway through the first book. It is well read and entertaining. My daughter has devoured the books and that always makes me happy.
Such a shame. This book had such potential. Intriguing premise, appealing characters, brisk pace. But then, about a third of the way through, it suddenly turned into a harlequin romance. The main character spends half her time mooning over her love interest, and the rest of her time in paroxysms of self-loathing about her place in the world (or, faction). I got a few sidelong looks on the street during this listen, as I'd suddenly groan, "you've got to be KIDDING me" aloud, as Tris starts melting into a sonnet over her love interest's deeply-set blue eyes. I also found the emphasis on her romantic yearnings while she's in the midst of some awfully dark circumstances to be jarring and not particularly believable. I don't usually write reviews, but the combination of potential and ultimate disappointment in this book brought me to it. Ugh. Can't help but root for Tris, but no book 2 for me.
Too many teenage girl emotions going on.
All of them.
Wasn't my favorite listen, didn't even finish it.
Probably not. Tris/Beatrice was to whiny for me and I didn't care for any of the characters.
I didn't finish the book so I don't have a favorite scene.
Occasional Reader that listens to audiobooks during my daily commute. Thanks Audible.
While this book was decent, it was very similar story line to hunger games meets sci fi.
She was fine
None - The setting was unique, but didnt get it rolling from the first book.
Again, it was unique but story line was the same - at least by the end of the book I was not wanting to read the next one. Perhaps I may in the future, but I am not rushing out to buy it.
I would recommend this to anyone who likes futuristic books about dystopian societies. The storyline is intriguing and easily captures and keeps the listener's attention. However, this is a young adult novel, and includes a lot of awkward teenage sexual tension, which is the only thing I did not like about it. If you can get past that, the story itself is excellent.
It's a great storyline in the hands of an inexperienced writer. The characters, the emotions, the plot "surprises" , all too dramatic, uninspiring, mushy gushy, hackneyed.. I wanted to love this book as much as the Hunger Games, but it just never happened. The audio performance is the worst. She sounds just like an over dramatic student in improv class waaaay overselling the lines. Ugh. Kill me. I'm too invested into the storyline and will finish the series (mostly because my husband is making me), but I'm dreading the 11 hour audio performance I will have to listen to.
Another YA Dystopian story. Each one we read has the same premise, collapse of current government, cut of from the rest world and other cities within the current country, some people live outside these strict and standard rules, ridiculous concepts and notions, and some super young individual taking on everyone for the sake of humanity.
Now, as far as this story goes. I really enjoyed it. Tris was strong, but not unbelievably strong. She had to push herself to survive her circumstances, and (most of the time) when she was feeling like a typical 16 year old, she would swallow down what she thought was weakness. She also had uncontrolled outbursts which were to be expected. I'm glad she was unsure of Four/Tobias in the beginning, and questioned his motives throughout, because if she was a giddy boy-crazy teenager, she wouldn't last two minutes in Dauntless and therefore there would be no story. I'm glad they came together fully in the end.
I enjoyed that Veronica Roth wrapped up the story enough that us readers don't have to read the next in the series for closure, but left enough mystery to drive us super fans further in. I'm super excited for the film production of this now that I've completed the book.
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