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 loved the first two books. And the third, until I felt like the author tossed the dice to determine the outcome of the characters. Evens, this one lives; odds, they die. To say I am disappointed in Roth's handling of the characters and particularly in the ending of an otherwise great series, is an understatement.
It is a gift to create characters that are people we can relate to and embrace. To kill one off with so little thought or finesse that there is no emotional response in the reader, and particularly a character that made the series, is just proof of a lack of skills or a lack of emotional depth. The death of a major character is not something that should be done lightly or in this case, as I opined above, at the toss of the dice.
I like to reread good stories and I am always recommending good reads to friends. This one will not make my list on either count.
I love Sci-Fi/Fantasy books, TV shows & movies :)
The story line is perfect and the narrator also did a good job on the tone of the lines.
The Hunger Games. Because both books are about the society, fighting for survival and of course a little bit of romance.
I haven't listened to any of Emma Galvin's other performances before.
An unforgettable movie that has ever filmed.
Just read this book okay?
Heck yes! Bringing the characters to life and instead of just reading about it was a delight as always for me. I enjoyed this performance tremendously one of my favorite’s actually.
Tobias. I can relate to his feelings of brokenness.
Emma Galvin brings an undeniable energy that makes the reading engrained in my head and heart forever.
LOVE the entire series.
I listen to a LOT of audio books, Divergent was one of those books that I stayed up all hours of the night because I couldn't help it.
It's written to make you love Tris, Four and the others. The author is great at portraying the unique personalities and struggles.
Right after the choosing ceremony when reality hit and Tris chose to fight by not holding back anything.
Several, there were tears and laughter with the characters.
This is a great start of a series, so easy to get sucked into this book and their world.
Tell us about yourself!
I don't believe young adults would fall for this. The story starts out fair and then degenerates to another version of the Hunger Games. I kept an open mind and listened to the entire trilogy, but it did not get better but worse. The first book was intriguing. So I listened on. The first book was ok.
I'm the author of the book "Bronx DA" and an attorney.
I love that Tris is a character that is flawed, but admirable. It's nice to see a main female character in a YA novel who is not willing to compromise herself or her ideals for love. And it's nice to have a main male character who respects that!
Definitely the simulation scenes - really wonderful and inventive.
Galvin does a great job with all of the parts. This is definitely an example of how a great narrator can made a terrific book even better.
I was worried when I saw the cover of this book that it would be a Hunger Games copy-cat, but it's not at all. This is a super unique and inventive story - the concept does not feel copied from anything else. The characters are well developed and interesting and the plot is super fast moving.
I loved the way the author sets up the structure of the society and let's you feel Trice's emotion and the difficulty of going through her transition
The day she chooses which faction Trice will be in
I'd read either the audio or kindle version. I listen mostly on my commuter bus ride because I get carsick when I read.
The characters were believable and you could get emotionally invested and care what happened to them. I don't know why but I'm a 60 year old with a PhD and I love young adult stories like this.
If you loved the Hunger Games, Brandon Sanderson's Mystborn series, you'll love this book, too.
I should have listened to Robert. Although Hunger Games was YA I liked the storyline much better. It was much faster paced and had in my opinion richer characters. I don't think I will finish out the series. Definately a good story but not filled out.
At least this book doesn't spout anti-femmist views and display a poor role model for girls, but that's the best that can be said for it. The characterisation is so flimsy it was hard to tell. The world building was based on a flawed logic, that would not have stood up over time. The antagonist was paper thin, without nuance and therefore boring to go up against. The protagonist was unbelievable, and just "too cool" to really feel connected to. The main love interest was painfully obvious. The details of this book were all over the place, and basic logic was lacking, which made it unenjoyable and hard to follow with any emotion.
Basically, the book was poorly crafted.
The narrator did an all right job with the material though.
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