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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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    16,214
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • Phillip
  • OMAHA, NE, United States
  • 01-20-14

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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

I would recommend Divergent to a friend. At first I thought it would be like The Hunger Games but at no time did I ever notice any similarities, and that's good since I wanted a fresh story. I'm not a big reader and I still found myself wanting to continue to listen to know what comes next. I think the author provided just the right amount of character development and description without getting all Stephen King on me.

My wife read all three books and with the movie coming out I decided to try listening to this book on my new tablet, party because I just wanted to try the experience of an audio book.

Who was your favorite character and why?

My favorite character would have to be Beatrice, the main character, for the simple fact that she had the most development, so I felt like I knew her better. Plus her personality was likable. She wasn't too timid or too aggressive and reacted to many things in a believable and interesting way. Just for fun the worst character was Four, or Tobias. I did not like how he was written, although after a revelation at the end I can understand what the author was going for. I just couldn't relate to several characters from the various factions as they did not react in a "human" manner so it took me out of the story.

What three words best describe Emma Galvin’s performance?

Monotone, slow, soothing.

Was Divergent worth the listening time?

Divergent was definitely worth the listening time. it's a great listen and easy to get involved in.

Any additional comments?

Honestly, Emma Galvin didn't do a bad job. I think she was just a bit too monotone and paused just a hair too long between sentences. I tried to read along with the immersion experience but gave up after one page as I am just a natually faster reader and it was throwing me off.

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  • Timothy
  • YUKON, OK, United States
  • 01-16-14

Great book

I love this book series. It's easy to read and follow. I love the strength of the main characters and their strive to overcome all obstacles that the government throws at them.

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  • Drew
  • Kemptville, ON, Canada
  • 01-14-14

Great Book and Reading With a Few Reservations

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

It was well performed and really immerses you in the story. That said there are a few lines from time to time that pull you out and remind you the book is being read to you. Whether that's the performance of the reader or the writing I can't say.

What did you like best about this story?

Being my first Audible story I don't know if I can attribute my liking of this novel more because of the fact that I listened to it or if it's solely because of the writing. I do feel that you can feel for the characters. In two sad parts I actually just about cried and could feel tears trying to escape my face. That doesn't happen often at all. In fact I've never had tears while reading but you feel apart of the story quickly when listening to it.

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

Both Tris and Four. They seem like great characters. Tris brother, although only a part of the story for short periods of time, was also interesting.

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

I wish I could have listened to it all in one sitting. I breezed through it in four days or so and couldn't wait to get to the end because I was enjoying the story so much. In fact I used my other credit this month for Insurgent and will begin it as soon as I finish this review. Speaking of...

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  • Mike
  • Flowermound, TX, United States
  • 01-13-14

Probably won't read the series

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I enjoyed Ender Game, Game of Thrones, and Star Wars. I didn't enjoy Twilight, Hunger Games, or this book if that gives you any idea.

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

Ending was fine.

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

This was the first book I've listened to with a total female narrator, but she did a good job.

Could you see Divergent being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Yes. No idea, I don't keep up with that type of news.

Any additional comments?

This wasn't a bad book, nor was it great. I might read the next one, haven't decided yet. If you enjoyed Hunger Games or Twilight, this book might be for you. Regardless, I would recommend you read it, then decide whether or not you want to finish the series.

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Disappointing

I had high hopes for this series. I made it through this book, barely made through the second and didn't even bother with the third.

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A Fun Read

This book is a fun and interesting enough book. Definitely intended for young adults, but if you like Hunger Games, for the story, then you should like this book.

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  • bethmunns
  • Santa Rosa, CA, United States
  • 01-11-14

Excellent

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

Definitely, from the beginning to the end I could not stop listening.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Divergent?

The factor initiation.

Have you listened to any of Emma Galvin’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, but she was an excellent narrator.

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

Yes

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  • Aline
  • Walnut Creek, CA, United States
  • 01-09-14

Can't stop listening!

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

Enticing grabbing deep

What was one of the most memorable moments of Divergent?

when Tris went through Tobias's fear landscape with him and help him through it; the fairest wheel; the jumping out of the building at dauntless initiation.

Which scene was your favorite?

nd when Tris fights Tobias in the attack simulation and resists to shoot him and he finally remembers her.

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

absolutely

Any additional comments?

Outstanding! Full of depth while it is still a love story. I loved every moment of it.

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  • Matthew
  • Portland, OR, United States
  • 01-09-14

High School Goth Clique Angst

I wish it didn't talk about throwing up as much...seemed like every few minutes or so the girl is throwing up or tasting bile, or feeling sick, vomiting or tasting her own vomit. Too much vomit.

In all, i'm glad I listened to the audio version. I've listened to a lot of bad performance audio books and this wasn't one of them. A+ I didn't care for the story much though and that is probably just because it wasn't written with my demographic in mind.

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  • Justin
  • NEW PORT RICHEY, FLORIDA, United States
  • 01-08-14

Survival

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

this book is very suspenseful and it has excellent timing. its filled with descriptions in great detail.

Who was your favorite character and why?

i really can say my favorite character is four because there's a lot secret's still left to unfold.

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

Emma Galvin is a fantastic reader. She reads all the parts in the dramatic detail the book is written.

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

absolutely, couldn't stop listening once i began.

Any additional comments?

i wish Emma Galvin would read more books.