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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
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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
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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)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Grant on 05-24-12

It's not for me. Loved it anyway.

Closet 50-year old-white-male fan here. The only reason I did not give it five stars is because there's a little too much teenage lip-meeting, hand-holding and waist-caressing going on for my taste. But the overall premise and storytelling is great. I devoured the second book right after I cruised through this one. Want. Third. Book. Now.

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242 of 257 people found this review helpful


By Jim "The Impatient" on 07-26-13

Insane No, Dauntless Yes

HASTE WILL NOT HELP
I don't need to review this as so many already have, but for those who care what I think, this is a very good book. It of course is a teen book and it reads like one. As a 54 year old man I liked it, but believe teens would like it even more. Unlike some authors who believe writing for a younger audience means writing with less skill, Roth writes a very intelligent novel. I liked Ness's Chaos series better and Hunger Games a little better, but this is still a five star read. I liked the main character a lot. She is not a beautiful girl, but she does not sit around and cry about it. In most situations, she may doubt herself at first, but she most always, gets her sh#t together and faces down the fear. In this way it is an upbeat story. I believe it teaches teens and even us old people, that you have to face your fears, it is not one of those good things happen to those who wait for it to happen. This is one of the most important lessons, especially for our young, in my opinion. The books is predictable in spots, but there is plenty that happens that I did not see coming, especially toward the end. There is also stuff here on brainwashing, another important subject.

POLITENESS IS DECEPTION IN PRETTY PACKAGING
The only thing that bothered me a little and only a little, was the premiss that a population would purposely divide into factions. They claim they did it to help prevent war. I believe that most intelligent people would do exactly the opposite. Dividing into factions would naturally lead to war. That aside this is a really good book and I am looking forward to reading the sequels.

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Lara on 01-07-12

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.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful


By Miss Victoria Hicks on 04-07-13

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.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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