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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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Performance

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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
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  • Missy
  • Rockford, IL, United States
  • 02-25-14

Loved the whole series!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Definitely! The narrator captured the emotion of the story and it was a great listen.

What other book might you compare Divergent to and why?

I would compare the entire trilogy to the Hunger Games Trilogy. Female protagonist saving a anti-utopia society. The world's are completely different which is what makes both trilogies must reads!

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

Beatrice the "heroine" in the story.

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

Yes, hard to walk away.

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  • Josh
  • United States
  • 02-23-14

Harry Potter meets hunger games

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

The plot is so similar to Harry Potter and Hunger Games that the book feels like you have already read it

Would you recommend Divergent to your friends? Why or why not?

no, because it lacks novel writing

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

yes

Did Divergent inspire you to do anything?

nope

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Very Good

I did enjoy this book -- I may dare say that it is better than Hunger Games. I was a little disappointed by the sappy love interest -- but the lead character is only 16. Overall, very good book and I will read the others in the trilogy. If anyone likes Hunger Games - then this is a must read.

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  • Jocelyne
  • milwaukee, WI, United States
  • 02-20-14

Excellent Book

Where does Divergent rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This was my first audiobook and it was amazing. I never thought that listening to book was so relaxing.

Who was your favorite character and why?

My favorite character has to be tobias the way he loves Tris. He make her do stuff that are out of this world.

What about Emma Galvin’s performance did you like?

Yes they way she uses different accents for every character

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When tris and four where alone in the room making out and saying that they love each other.

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Loved this book more than the others

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

It was very exciting and fast-paced, which I really love in Audiobooks. I never wanted to unplug.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

My extreme reaction was never unplugging from it! It never slows down, so I couldn't wait to find out what would happen next.<br/><br/>I just wish the other books in the series were as good in terms of story as this first book - they keep up the excitement but I felt like I was being lead through a maze if the person leading me kept changing their mind and suddenly switching to a different direction. Dizzying and not so great in terms of narrative.

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  • barc2003
  • Glendale, AZ, United States
  • 02-19-14

If you liked the Hunger Games series....

This book is geared to young adults. If you liked the Hunger Games series, you will probably like this also. This is about a world where there are 4 factions, basically intellectuals, empathetic, protectors and workers bees. At the age of 16 the children decide which faction they will join and spend their lives with. Each group has it's own initiation and agenda. The one thing you don't want to be is divergent, if you're not careful, it will cost you your life.

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Good Performance, OK Story

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

The story we well performed.

Any additional comments?

Overall I enjoyed this book but only moderately. If you've read Hunger Games and didn't like it, you may want to save your money. Change a few names, adjust the districts 1-12 of HG to districts divided by personality types and it's almost the same story, at least in book 1. There was a little Ender's Game like training and hazing, there was some back story but not enough, there was the obvious teen-love story with the brain washing of HG book 3 hitting book 1 of Divergent. There was the good girl wanting to be bad. There was the person that was secretly smarter than everyone else (in this case just because she is the only character in the book that is supposed to have any personality depth). Really, not kidding she's the hero because she can be war like, sympathetic, thoughtful, fair. The whole dividing society by a Myers Briggs like model thing just felt contrived at times. There is some Orwell in the theme and if you take it like a parable, it's easier to enjoy. I suppose I enjoyed it, because I do enjoy Orwell and Card and Hunger Games, but I would have enjoyed a bit more originality with the series.

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  • Mary
  • United States
  • 02-17-14

Distopia Adventure

What did you love best about Divergent?

I love these kind of books. It kept me completely hooked! I was listening to it in the car even if it was a few minutes drive just so I could get more in!

What other book might you compare Divergent to and why?

I hate to say this because they are entirely different stories, but if you are a fan of the Hunger Games you will be a fan of these books too. I actually like these books better than the HG. It is an exciting story also with a bit of a love story as well. I think that is what

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Her struggles she has with leaving her family and becoming her own person I can really relate to. She is a powerful young women and that is what I love to see scene after scene.

Any additional comments?

I would and have recommended to my friends! Can't wait to listen to the next book, but I also hate for them to end already!

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Are you the target audience?

Any additional comments?

As an adult, perhaps I am not exactly the target audience for this book, but that has not stopped me from enjoying any number of young adult fiction novels. <br/><br/>This book is great from the standpoint of entertainment, but I feel as though it may be lacking in some of the deeper thought and meaning that I have come to expect of such a high publicity piece. The characters can be one dimensional, and their development often leaving much to be desired.<br/><br/>I found myself speeding up the narration because the plot was more important than the words.

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  • Angelyn
  • Walpole, MA, United States
  • 02-14-14

Mildly entertaining for teenagers

What would have made Divergent better?

This story had some really good bones. But between the poor writing and the reader, I could barely stand it.

Has Divergent turned you off from other books in this genre?

I enjoy books from this genre, just not this one.

What didn’t you like about Emma Galvin’s performance?

She's the overactor. The one in the movie that you hope isn't in the next scene because they go overboard with emotion, gestures, etc. She's that one. She drove me bananas.

What character would you cut from Divergent?

I don't really care.

Any additional comments?

This book is young adult fiction. I got this book only because a couple of years ago I read the Hunger Games series (also young adult fiction) when I had a lot of busy-ness in my life and it was a nice reprieve. Here I am again with lots going on, and I thought it would be a fun trilogy. This book (unfortunately I bought the first two at the same time, never do that again) is young adult fiction, but for a younger age group than Hunger Games. I didn't find the emotional themes, the writing, dialogue, even the insights to be much over an 11 year old's maturity level. Couple this with the overacting reader, and you've got yourself a waste of a good credit. Thumbs down.