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)
Reading is a must-have ESCAPE...
The short descriptions of this novel don't even begin to communicate how phenomenal the story is. Roth's characters, especially Beatrice, are so well written that you'll feel like they're real people. The story line surrounds Beatrice, or Tris, and the five-faction society in which she lives. Granted, the story was written for the teenager (and appropriately so) but the avid adult reader will be hard-pressed to put the story aside.
It's so well written and incredibly engaging... suffice it to say that you'll be hooked in no time. I consumed both Divergent and Insurgent (the 2nd book in the series) in only one weekend. Mind you, I'm a high school teacher with four children of my own.
This will not be neither a waste of your time nor money! Now when is the last installment coming out?!
Great story. Veronica Roth catches your attention right away and Emma Galvin does a great job with the narration. I enjoyed this book so much, I immediately downloaded the sequal and started listening to it within minutes of finishing Divergent.
This book has it all. Action, great story line, interesting multifaceted characters, etc.
There is not one slow part of this story. You are invested from the beginning and the descriptions are fantastic.
She is the best narrator I've heard so far on audible. Not over the top, not underwhelming. Perfect narration.
I got this because it was on sale and I'm so glad I did. It will keep you riveted from beginning to end.
I bought this book for my 12yr old son, but found myself anticipating the next chapter. Great book for tweens, teens and even adults!
Amimated reader - never was dull
Loss of main character's parents
Looking forward to listening to next book. We've already downloaded it
When you wake up wondering what will happen next in the book you are listening too, you know it is a good one.
This one is a great listen.
Listener of Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Intrigue (not romance), Historical Fiction and very eclectic in her literary wanderings.
This is a teen novel- that being said, I was fine with the gentle kisses and non-specific references and went with the flow.
I found the entire premise of society being divided into almost personality types intriguing. Indeed, I found myself asking the same questions the lead character does about how/why this happened in the first place.
The story does read a bit like a Boot Camp novel, with friendships kindled, enemies made and a hero finding her way.
I still found good twists in the storyline and I listened to the entire book in one day.
The reader is excellent; I have followed her through other series. She pulls the reader in, making the teen voice believable and a good listen.
Similar to THG in that it's a dystopian novel, but a totally different story.
Love an interesting plot with a strong female protagonist who yes, may have a love interest, but isn't defined by him.
(and it's YA fiction, but don't let that stop you!)
As soon as I finished the second, I came to audible to download the third... and learned it isn't out yet. Please hurry, Ms. Roth !
The story line is reminiscent of Hunger Games but still stays true to it's own story line and characters. It was a very easy read and listen. This was actually my first audio type book ever and even though I had previously read this book as well as Insurgent (book 2) I thoroughly enjoyed listening to it as well.
Having the ability to get through this book in 3 days by listening on and off as apposed to a week and a half just reading made this experience that much more enjoyable.
I am now hooked on audible and can't wait for book three to come out for this series.
Another teenage dystopia saga...and I still liked it. Hunger Games had more intensity, but Divergent has enough to hold my interest. Beatrice decides she is not good selfless enough to remain a member of the faction that values selflessness so she chooses to leave her family and join the faction of society which values bravery above all else. The story is clearly building and I like the underlying premise of genetic influencing value systems vs. cultural development of values. It is a different approach to the nature vs. nurture discussion.
former nuclear scientist
This quick and diverting novel is best enjoyed after the reader suspends all logic and decides not to ask questions. The protagonist is a self-unaware 16-year-old in a world that is an unlikely combination of callous brutality, strict order, and SAT words.
Written in an urgent present tense, we follow Beatrice, renamed a naughty "Trix" to symbolize her rebirth from confused, repressed Abnegate to confused, oppressed Dauntless. As she frets whether the hot guy likes her and is maybe too old for her at a ripe 18, she successfully navigates a deadly, take-no-prisoners initiation process because she has some weird brain wiring that she has to hide because, um, well let the author fumble around for awhile to justify why it's so extremely important and life-and-death that she can't really be herself.
As far as young adult fantasy goes, this is a decent, but not great, example; complete with self-doubt, quick moving and sometimes contradictory events (if the new faction doesn't accept all of its recruits, and it only recruits a couple dozen per year, and they like to do stupid things where a lot of them die, how can its halls be filled with hundreds of people?), the romantic teaming up with the guy who secretly liked her all along, and a new parallel universe to provide distracting morsels of interesting scenes, the book is interesting enough to pass time with, but for me not compelling enough to necessitate buying the sequels evident from the ending.
It seems like all young adult novelists nowadays are aiming for that cash cow: a popular series that can lead to riches and Kristen Stewart playing your gawky lead. Some storylines just aren't strong enough to sustain across more than one novel, and this is one of the weaker ones.
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