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Editorial 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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Amazing!! but kind of thealready seen type of book

If you could sum up Divergent in three words, what would they be?

iloved theromance alot

Who was your favorite character and why?

Tobias Eaton bc he's handsome and amazing and had such a charm and i totally loved the romance between him and Tris and woops i love him

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

The main character Tris bc her voice really fit in and stuff, i loved it a lot. though at some points it couldve been better and she performed some male characters better but idk i really liked imagining Tris' voice as Emma's.

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

youve kind of seen these kind of movies but youll probably love this anyway unless youre a very critical person

Any additional comments?

<3<3<3<3<3 cant wait to have money to buy the last two books

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A Much Better Movie Than An Audio Book

The amount of actual required material covered in the book is suitable for a much shorter book. As such the conversion to a movie was better than book and better than most book to movie conversion. Some interesting topics/concepts were discussed, but it took too long for my tastes to get to the point. A decent performance by the narrator makes it worth a listen.

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Great Adventure!

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed reading this science fiction book. I normally read mysteries but was enchanted by the character adventures and of course the relationship that bloomed between the two lead female and male characters.

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Senior Citizen loved the book

What made the experience of listening to Divergent the most enjoyable?

Although I am on medicare, I did love both the movie and the book. Am I already senile?

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  • Le
  • 10-01-14

*Shrug*

Would you try another book from Veronica Roth and/or Emma Galvin?

I dont know if I want to read the rest of the books. I had made up my mind to "read the book" before seeing the movie, so when I started I wanted to stop but was a bit stubborn.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Read headline.

Did Emma Galvin do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Yes. Nothing you thought about while listening so I guess she did a good job-

Was Divergent worth the listening time?

NO!

Any additional comments?

Hope the movie is better than the book.

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Divergent

What made the experience of listening to Divergent the most enjoyable?

The description of the city of Chicago and picturing the landmarks as they may be in that world was fascinating.

What other book might you compare Divergent to and why?

It reminded me a bit of The Hunger Games because it dealt with young people forced to become adults whether they were ready or not.

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

Again I think listening to the descriptions of Millenium Park and the other parts of the city made it seem real.

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

Be careful what you wish for.

Any additional comments?

This is a very engaging story but not as intense as Hunger Games. Definately worth a credit.

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  • Jonathon
  • Silt, CO, United States
  • 09-27-14

Interesting concept turned sour

While I would never limit what a teenager wants to read, I certainly would not suggest this book. Some of the themes were awful. At first the anti-intelligence mentality was pretty mild and I could get past it. By the end of the book, the message about hatred and distrust for the intellectual elite was too much. This seems like a fundamentalist prepper's wet dream. The 'meek' religious are victims of the nasty smart people that take reason too far..better make sure you are part of the special group within the meek that are prepared for action with guns.

Also, on the guns..the author clearly does not know much about guns and did a very poor job on the do diligence to make sure she didn't sound ignorant. I'm not a huge gun guy, but details can make or ruin a story and some of the things just made me roll my eyes.

The romance part of the book was awful, but that's not why I gave it a low rating. I expected that in a book for a younger audience.

There were some definite plot holes and some serious cowardice in terms of unwillingness to follow a good story arch regardless of who dies. I like an author that will kill off any character if it makes sense to the story. Saving deaths for later so you can keep characters you want is lazy. If you have to, create new characters!

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Great story with an annoying main character

What did you love best about Divergent?

Unique story, all based in post-apocalyptic Chicago. The city is everything to the characters, and sometimes it's easy to forget that the factions are split in one city instead of a much larger geographic area. The outside world is never mentioned, so there's no way to know why they are only in Chicago.

Who was your favorite character and why?

My favorite character is probably Four. He seems pretty level-headed and even though he's a born leader, he has no desire to take that role.

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

Emma's story-telling ability is excellent and she makes it very easy to know when different people are talking. I'd definitely consider listening to another book that she reads, just for her abilities.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, it's pretty long, listening to it in one sitting isn't really feasible, although I did get through it faster than I expected.

Any additional comments?

The only complaint that I have about this story is that the main character is a 16 year old girl and has a tendency to act like it. While I realize that she is portrayed realistically, it also makes a lot of her actions and dialogue somewhat annoying due to her immaturity.

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Interesting story

Would you listen to Divergent again? Why?

The storyline was interesting. I tend to enjoy these dystopian-type stories. I'm not sure if it's one I would listen to repeatedly, but definitely great for at least one time through. The writing style took a little getting used to. Having just come from a Rupert Degas narration of Metro 2033 (he is excellent), I did not enjoy the narrator of this story as well as other narrators. Looking past some of the teenage angst that reminds me somewhat of Twilight or Hunger Games, the story is intriguing and makes me want to read more to find out what led to the current world situation and what is going to happen in the story.

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

I think part of the narrator performance seemed a little off-putting because of the unique writing style of the author. However, voice inflection, emotions, etc. often seemed wrong. Words would sometimes be read as if someone was angry and then immediately sound friendly. It was a little jarring and unnatural. Better than an electronic text-to-speech robot but far from some other stellar narrators I have listened to.

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Excellent read for anyone - slight spoiler alert

What made the experience of listening to Divergent the most enjoyable?

The Narration was good, She did a good job of helping distinguish between characters. Also the story drags you along at a very good pace.

What did you like best about this story?

The character development was excellent and Roth did a great job on making you feel like you (or at least myself) were Abnigation trying to make the shift into Dauntless.

What about Emma Galvin’s performance did you like?

Her variation between characters.