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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

4.3 (22596 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Kathleen Angola, NY, United States 01-02-13
    Kathleen Angola, NY, United States 01-02-13 Member Since 2012
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    "A pleasant surprise"
    What other book might you compare Divergent to and why?

    Sort of Hunger Games-ish, in that you have a teenage girl living in a dystopia, rising above the turmoil to take a stand.


    What about Emma Galvin’s performance did you like?

    Narration was excellent. Glad to see she narrated the next book in the series as well.


    Any additional comments?

    Bought this book during a sale, based on other ratings and loved it. Immediately got the next one. I'm also going to have my daughters listen to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Allyn B Jacobs Des Plaines, IL United States 01-02-13
    Allyn B Jacobs Des Plaines, IL United States 01-02-13 Member Since 2015

    30+ IT/Geek Male. Used to read lots, but now the "reading" is best done via audible.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I didn't know this was even a "kids book"!!"

    Ok, so the above headline is a compliment. Other than the rather heavy use of the word "cheeks" indicating those on one's face, this was an awesome book! I am looking forward to the next two in the series! :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jenny Austin, TX United States 01-02-13
    Jenny Austin, TX United States 01-02-13 Member Since 2008
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    7
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    "Great listen!"
    What made the experience of listening to Divergent the most enjoyable?

    The story is great, and the narrator did a great job. Overall, I found myself staying in the car to listen and immediately downloaded the next book in the series when it was over.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia WILLOW STREET, PA, United States 01-01-13
    Patricia WILLOW STREET, PA, United States 01-01-13 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    "Good Read"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Divergent to be better than the print version?

    Did not read the print version


    What other book might you compare Divergent to and why?

    Any "coming of age" fiction book


    Which character – as performed by Emma Galvin – was your favorite?

    "Four" aka "Tobias" who loves the heroine in spite of her flaws.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Why pretend we are all created equal?


    Any additional comments?

    I liked this book enough to order the next in the series, which is not always the case. The plot is creative. My main problem is the mood swings of the heroine. She alternates wildly between being competent and helpless ("eek, eek").

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Bluefield, VA, United States 01-01-13
    Eric Bluefield, VA, United States 01-01-13
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    1
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    "Emma Galvin is a great narrator!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    It is a good book to listen to while working out, driving, or any household chores.


    What other book might you compare Divergent to and why?

    The maximum ride series based on the kids emotions during stressful situations.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas FORT EDWARD, NY, United States 12-25-12
    Thomas FORT EDWARD, NY, United States 12-25-12
    ratings
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    1
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    "good read"
    Would you listen to Divergent again? Why?

    yes


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Divergent?

    what's coming next


    What does Emma Galvin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    more depth


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The Gift


    Any additional comments?

    as with like stories (hunger games) etc it makes for an interesting story

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    vanessa san diego, CA, United States 12-23-12
    vanessa san diego, CA, United States 12-23-12 Member Since 2012

    I prefer audiobooks because I will become consumed by any story and with Audible I can get groceries, clean the house, and go about my day while being consumed by a good book.

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    "Great Story!"

    This was a good story. An original concept that was very well written. I can't wait for the final book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth Cary, NC, United States 12-22-12
    Kenneth Cary, NC, United States 12-22-12 Member Since 2007
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    "Good, Not Great"

    Divergent definitely reminds me of The Hunger Games. It's not going to go down in history as a great piece of literature that generations of people will grow up reading and becoming a classic. It is a young adult book.

    Because of that, one must go into it with a good bit of willingness to suspend disbelief. They do not explain what happened to society to leave it in this condition but I found that did not really matter much. In an adult book where there are several plot lines that are all interwoven, it would be expected. Because the target audience is younger, this story has one plot line and we follow it from beginning to end. (Well, the end of this particular episode.) It is a very simple and therefore, fairly predictable story but that doesn't mean it wasn't enjoyable.

    If you are looking for a deep, meaningful novel with complex plot twists and character development, leave the young adult section. If you want a fast moving adventure story, give Divergent a try.

    I finished it, listened to another book and now I have started the second book in the series so it did draw me back. I was curious to see where this was going. I hope it doesn't disappoint me in the end like Hunger Games did.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Tempe, AZ, United States 12-19-12
    Michael Tempe, AZ, United States 12-19-12
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    6
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    "Interesting concept yet flat"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    It was ok. I did not love it.


    What could Veronica Roth have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    I thought the middle third of the book became redundant in the development of the characters.


    What aspect of Emma Galvin’s performance would you have changed?

    If was good narration, but not great.


    Was Divergent worth the listening time?

    If you love teenage scifi adventure.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nel New Jersey 12-18-12
    Nel New Jersey 12-18-12 Member Since 2015
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    "It was just OK"

    Seeing all the flowing reviews I decide to give this a try. While the story was interesting enough to keep my attention most of the way, I felt that Tris and her relationship with Four was a bit juvenile. And the dialogue being laughable at times. But I will probably keep reading on to the next book hoping that it will get better, because there is potential here.

    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
  • Craig
    2/13/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great listen"

    Enjoyed listening to this daily. The narrator portrayed the characters and the told the story. I'm looking forward to insergant

    0 of 0 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
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