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)
This is only my third audio book, but I LOVED it! Great story! Great Book! I highly recommend to all readers.
A few jaw dropping moments. I can't say anything without Spoilers. Just trust that this is a great book for all ages.
I loved this book-- it's great for young adult readers who enjoy dystopian novels. If you like The Hunger Games or The Maze Runner series you will undoubtedly love Divergent.
I really enjoyed this story and the characters. As others said, it was very much an enjoyable book and I would most definitely recommend it! Great read for both the younger and older readers/listeners!
My only disappointment... is when it finally had to come to an end. Would love it to continue on!
I have already listened to it several times. The narrator is excellent and the story is excellent. Sometimes stories are so good that I can ignore a bad narrator, but I usually don't listen again. This book had it all.
For young adult, fantasy, scifi fans this book had it all. A little romance, that wasn't over powering, a great story where the female lead wasn't some whining woos, but a believable flawed/fantastic person, excellent writing/imagery, and a good narrator. If you liked Hunger Games, you will like this book.
I cannot wait for the next installment.
I didn't love or hate this book. It was sufficient- a worthy first book but nothing to write home about.
Smoke me a kipper; I'll be back for breakfast.
The reader made me care more about the characters.
The world she created was really interesting. I felt like she fleshed out the dystopia pretty well but left plenty of questions that makes you want to read more of the books. The synopsis doesn't really explain well what the book is about. She decides which path she'll take early in the book. The rest is about her initiation into her chosen path. The book makes you feel empowered to change your destiny and challenge yourself. So the two best things about the book are the deep insight into people's behavior and also the world she created.
She had great intonation and her voice for the main character made her seem young but also brave. Like a kinda scrapy but deep-down insecure teenager.
Having to kill one of her friends and losing family members. It was heartbreaking.
This book is definitely one of my favorite YA books I've read. There is a fair amount of violence so I'd say 16+. I definitely want to support new young authors like Roth.
Defined well different cultures involved, moved into the story, sweeping you away.
Just for entertainment.
In our world I would be divergent, LOL.
When Beatrice discovered who her mother is or was when she raised her, I wished for her more time.
A trilogy, how exciting!
You MUST listen to this book. It is better than the Hunger Games Series! Despite listening to 50+ books a year I rarely write reviews but if you're 13, 30 or 300 you should listen to this book!
I'm a bibliophile since early childhood. Love speculative fiction, odd premises, mystery novels that teach about different places and times.
This was an unexpected pleasure. There is a romance, but it's not overdone and it's a nice bit of speculative fiction.
I liked that it was a dystopian book where the main focus wasn't who you are/aren't allowed to love specifically in a romantic sense; it was more class divisions and loyalties. You need a balance of adventure and romance and Divergent does a good job of that.
Maybe something like Hunger Games in style and theme (though I liked Hunger Games much better, which is not to disparage Divergent, just a preference thing)
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