Divergent series by Veronica Roth

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Divergent is a book series by American novelist Veronica Roth. The first book of the series was published in 2011. The book series was initially intended as a trilogy, but soon the author added prequel and in-between book new books to the series. This blog post will help you pick and read the books in the right order. The reading order here is not chronological and it is not the publication order. It is intended to maximize your enjoyment while avoiding any spoilers.

The book that started it all


Divergent
Publication date: April 2011

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, 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.

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Four short stories

While these stories were written after the publication of the saga conclusion, they cover events that take place during the events of the first Divergent book, adding more background, and depth to the events. They should be read after Divergent to avoid spoilers, but before the rest of the books to maximize their enjoyment. These stories were collected together later in “Four: a divergent collection“.

        

 

Four: the transfer
Publication date: September 2013
While this book is a prequel, set before the events taking place in divergent, I recommend to read it after divergent to avoid spoilers, but before Insurgent to better understand Tobias/Four, that turns out to be one of the most interesting and intriguing characters of the whole series. This short novella is focused on Four childhood and initiation.
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Four: the initiate
Publication date: April 2014
Even if this is a prequel, set before the events taking place in divergent, I recommend to read it after divergent, to avoid spoilers. “The Initiate” provides readers with a glimpse into Tobias’s Dauntless initiation experience. It’s the story of a transfer from Abnegation that managed to complete initiation without losing a single match.
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Four: the son
Publication date: April 2014
Another prequel to the divergent series, that should be read after divergent to avoid spoilers. “The son” is set shortly after the end of “the initiate” and follows Tobias as he struggles to find a place in the hierarchy of the Dauntless.
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Free Four: Tobias tells the divergent knife-throwing scene
Publication date: April 2013
This book retell the famous knife-throwing scene (chapter 13) of Divergent from the point of view of Tobia/Four. The change of perspective is very interesting and it gives more depth to the story. Beware: this short story is just thirteen-page long, but it reveals unknown facts and fascinating details about Four’s character, his past, his own initiation, and his thoughts about new Dauntless initiate Tris Prior.
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Four: the traitor
Publication date: April 2014
This book describes the events taking place shortly after the famous knife throwing scene as seen from Tobias point of view. In this short story Four uncovers the details of an Erudite plan that could threaten the faction system, while getting to know and falling in love with Tris. I would recommend this only to divergent fans that are eager to re-live moment of the story they loved, even if this book does not add much to the saga.
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The Saga Conclusion

  

Insurgent
Publication date: May 2012
One choice can transform you, or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves, and herself, while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.
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Allegiant
Publication date: October 2013
The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories. But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves.
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Other Books


The World of Divergent: The Path to Allegiant
The book was released in September 2013 and it provides some backgrounds on the world of Divergent, about what inspired the author to write the series, and few teasers regarding Allegiant. If you want to read it, I recommend to do it between Insurgent and Allegiant.
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Movies

    

The saga has been adapted to a series of successful movies, that approximately follow the original story:

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