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)
Tris is a very compelling character as you follow her decisions and reactions. I personally like her cognitive processes and motivations.
Emma's performance is top notch and helps the listener envision the environment and characters in beautiful emotional detail.
Survival of the odd.
I am an avid reader! (Zombie and YA mainly) I am pretty much depressed if I don't constantly have a good read lined up!
Another great recommendation from my sister I loved the concept of the factions!! It does remind me of Hunger Games but less intense and more concepts and facets to the story. I will definitely be reading the next in this series!!
Everything. Great plot and character development. Keeps you interested from the very start.
Triss and Four.
I like her voice a lot. I think it fits the character of Triss very well.
I did cry a little at the end... But I won't explain so I won't give away any spoilers.
If you liked Hunger Games you'll probably like this one.
The main character isn't as annoying as much as I found the main character in Hunger Games to be, but her naivete in the romance department was a little childish. Overall though following her through her discovery of her new faction was fun and I was definitely rooting her on.
I really liked the premise of the governments and their factions and how the revolution is unfolding, looking forward to the next book.
Nothing mindblowing, a little predictable but definitely grabs your attention and keeps you entertained and wondering where the ride goes next.
As a 30 something female, I read a variety of genres. I usually shy away from YA, but I have enjoyed Twilight and Hunger Games. This was a very good book. I read it several times and then decided to buy the audio version so I could listen and get stuff done around the house. I enjoyed the world the author created. It seems fairly plausible and I love the entire story. Following Tris through her journey was fascinating. The narrator did a very nice job. I felt like she really represented the characters and spoke the way I'd imaged Tris speaking when I first read the book. If you are looking for something similar to The Hunger Games but with it's own flair and no love triangles, this book is for you!
Yes! I loved the narrator and her pacing was very suspenseful. It was a great listen on my way too and from work- I couldn't wait for the commute and hoped for traffic!
I couldn't pick one with out too many spoilers. I will say that Triss's mother becomes my favorite character.
YES! This book is exciting, entertaining, terrifying, and emotional all at the same time. It is the perfect dystopian novel. There are many others out there, but this is the perfect balance of reality and fantasy. It has just enough emotion, with out being a sappy teenaged love story.
I finally went ahead and read this book because a 40-something man recommended it. Overall, I really enjoyed it and sped through the last half. My only complaint as an adult is the love scenes were annoying, but I can see that they might appeal to teenage girls. Without any spoilers, I'll just say that the very end was a little bit of a let down. It's almost as if the author was rushed to pull everything together, but there was a bit too much self sacrifice and not enough cool powers put to work. Oh well. Otherwise, the book was great, and I've add the sequel to my wish list.
Like many reviews have already stated, the narrator does an excellent job.
On the top shelf! One of the best I've listened to or read in a long while!
Four...love the variations and draw of him.
The carousel climb.
Audiobook Junkie... Love all types of Science Fiction
Divergent kept me entertained until the end, but probably could have used a better editing job. Divergent is about a society with five main classes of workers. At age 16, people are allowed to pick their area of craft that they want to be in for the rest of their life. "Faction before blood" becomes the motto that drive citizens to act and be a certain way. Often families and their generations stick to one trade and can not associate with other factions. Therefore, people who transfer to different factions can have it rough because they must face a different way of life that tends to be foreign to their own. Those of the warrior class (Dauntless) are brave and fearless, and act accordingly by jumping off buildings and onto trains for sport. Those of the Abnegation class are selfless. They live by the philosophy that they should give away what is in excess, and not fall for temptations. Those of Abnegation don't even look in the mirror because they do not wish to be vain. Now, if you do not pass the initiations tests to get into one of these factions you could end up faction less. This essentially forces one into poverty doing all the unwanted jobs for food. The principles behind the idea of a class system were originally meant to keep peace, but as we go along in this story we learn many of these ideals have been warped and there is corruption.
This story is told through the eyes of a 16 year girl named Beatrice. She has been tested and found to be divergent. We don't fully know what that means right away, but we come to understand that Beatrice may have an aptitude for several different classes. Children are forced into a tough decision at age sixteen that marks the course of the rest of their life. Beatrice comes from a Abnegation faction background, but never quite feels like she has fit that role. She must grow up and adapt quickly in her life if she is to survive and help solve a crisis that may plunge her city into a revolution.
Some issues I found with this book were from the female protagonist. She came off weak, irrational, and emotionally unstable at times. There was some teenage romance that made the story a little sappy at parts. From a males perspective it was hard to resonate with the character. I did appreciate that this wasn't one of those happily ever after fairy tales. There is viciousness, injustice, death and some room for character development. Life can be hard in this society and the corruption of moral values has made it so Beatrice must be extremely vigilant and smart about what she says and does if she expects to survive. The story could have progressed a little faster. Because of the pace I felt the ending was a little abrupt. The story shifts gears fast in the last hour, and we get a conclusion that, while solves the current dilemma, beckons for more.
Divergent is reminiscent of other dystopian literature. Hunger games showcases children who have to go through a selection process and fight to survive in harsh realities that are brought about by use of different caste systems. Aldus Huxley has the best dystopian world in his novel Brave New World. Divergent also incorporates technology as a method to control citizens. Although we don't have the drug Soma to help control the populous, there are other mind invasive attempts used to facilitate transfers of individuals into factions which they may be best suited. Some technology can even control the mind and bring out ones greatest fears.
Avid marathoner and hi tech market analyst. Lover of Ken Follett, Christopher Moore, Timothy Zahn and any book that pulls me in.
You can just see the execs at Harper Collins who gathered in search of the next Hunger Games crafting this one. Kids in peril, broken into sects (ala Harry Potter's Sorting Hat), pitted against each other (Hunger Games). This is very derived, by the book and predictable. Don't bother
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