Divergent Lives

Divergent Lives

by Minnie Lahongrais


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Psych Thriller Adds Deviant Twists to Sociopath Theme

RJ and Adina enter the world as fraternal twins, one raised in El Barrio, New York by its biological parents who are old-world, controlling immigrants. The other is sold into a religious home filled with lies and scorn in Lebanon, Pa.

Both are sociopaths.

Turns out, RJ's got a secret, one that enrages him with the flip of a switch. Adina uses her sexual power to dominate every man in her life.

They are on a mysterious trajectory to cross paths in New York City where the end of their lives culminates in an apex of horror and carnage.

"One must feel sorry for those who have strange tastes, but never insult them. Their wrong is Nature's too; they are no more responsible for having come into the world with tendencies unlike ours than we are for being born bandy-legged or well-proportioned." ~~ Marquis de Sade, "Dialogue the Fifth." Philosophy in the Bedroom

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780988401600
Publisher: Lahongrais Books
Publication date: 12/29/2012
Pages: 318
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.67(d)

About the Author

New York City native, Minnie Lahongrais was born and raised in an area called "El Barrio." She currently resides in the culturally diverse borough of The Bronx.

Minnie released her first psychological thriller "Sinner's Ride" in 2011. She is currently working on her urban fantasy trilogy, "Resurrection of Dead Dreams" which she hopes to release late next year.

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Divergent Lives 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an Awesome movie!!
Pinky_Pollock More than 1 year ago
Having not read any other work by Minnie Lahongrais, I wasn't sure what to expect when I was contacted to review Divergent Lives. But all I can say is WOW !! What a wild ride.   Who are the fraternal twins Adina and RJ, separated at birth, and what is their story. We are led on a very dark and intriguing journey as we learn what has led to RJ and Adina becoming the people they are. What tragedies have unfolded in their lives that has fuelled their desire to inflict pain, control and manipulation on others.   I thoroughly enjoyed this book.   Minnie Lahongrais has written an intriguing and dark psychological thriller, that builds up to a breathless and gut wrenching conclusion, that this reader didn't want to believe.   She has given each character many layers, each just that little more warped than the last, and blended their stories together beautifully. I genuinely felt pain and sadness for both RJ and Adina as they shared their story with us.   I have not read anything else like Divergent Lives, and I will definitely be adding Minnie Lahongrais to my favourite author list.
Faye64 More than 1 year ago
I thought "Divergent Lives" by Minnie Lahongrais was ok. The book seemed to start out with so much potential. So many things were going on, it was very interesting and kept me reading just wanting to know what was going to happen next. Then all of a sudden it seems the excitement just stops. The book seemed to just start dragging on after that and became very difficult to read.
MarthaM More than 1 year ago
Divergent Lives has one of the most unusual story lines that I have read in the past several years. Unfortunately, explaining these story lines without spoiling the exciting read is very difficult, but I’ll try to give you a taste of it. The story opens with a passionate love affair between Adina and her boyfriend. Adina was raised by extremely religious and traditional Hispanic parents, but her sexual preferences involve dominance and violence. Adina has made the decision to enter into a vanilla (normal) marriage with her normal and patient boyfriend. However, on the night of their engagement, Adina is violently and brutally murdered. Yes, Adina’s past has come back to haunt her, but with many thrills and unanticipated twists. Divergent Lives pushes the borders of aberrant psychology and behavior to reach a compelling conclusion. It’s a disturbing, yet compulsive read, so much so that I quit noticing some of the grammar faults that would normally distract me while reading a book. There you go…I think I managed to give you the flavor of the book without ruining the main course!
KenishaP More than 1 year ago
It took me a while to pick up on where the story was headed. First we are focused on a woman named Adina and her relationship. Tragically she's slain by an unitendified man who seems to have ties to her. Suddenly, before we learn any details about the investigation we're learning of the birth of two children (one a girl and one hermaphroditic). The two children are separated at birth. The plot just seemed to be all over the place in the beginning, but things cleared up as I continued. Adina is willful and something of a wild child, but ultimately she tries to do right by her strict parents. RJ, on the other hand, has been abused for most of his life. His troubles are compounded by his ambiguous genitals, and he develops numerous complexes and perversions. The characters are fleshed out and multi-faceted. Divergent Lives, as you might expect from the title, is all about how their life experiences, surroundings, and gender/bodies affect them while growing up. The themes of nature vs. nurture is one that's rife for exploration. It's a very interesting tale, and unlike anything I have yet read. The writing is very descriptive, with only a few problems with grammar along the way. I felt disgusted reading a few details of Adina's death, for instance, and there is a great amount of sexuality and taboo matters in the book.
Bonnie0 More than 1 year ago
Divergent Lives by Minnie Lahongrais is an interesting read.  The story starts at the end and introduced Adina Cruz. She is a strong and successful woman. Based on her outward appearance everyone would assume she has her life together and knows exactly what she wants and needs. As the story progresses the reader is taken into the past which explains how the events in the first chapter came to be. The reader also learns the Adina’s outward appearance is a façade and she is not what others perceive her to be.  The main character RJ is a complex character. Through the story we learn his origins and what has caused him to develop into who he is as an adult. RJ has suffered his entire life in many ways and has never learned how to successfully deal with this suffering. He believes he has learned how to cope with his issues, but in reality what he has learned is he can temporarily push his issues and feelings aside in order to live a semblance of a normal life.  As the story continues the reader learns these two characters are similar in ways they would never have imagined.  I enjoyed this story but some readers may find parts of the story disturbing. 
tbower86 More than 1 year ago
Divergent Lives by Minnie Lahongrais is an intense, gruesome study of human nature, genetics, and psychology. The tone for the novel is set with a quote from Marquis de Sade about people with “strange tastes.” This could not be any more appropriate because almost all of the main characters have “strange tastes.” The horror begins in the very first chapter and does not stop until the very end. The reader is introduced to Adina Cruz as she is leaving work to meet her boyfriend Tommy Ortiz. Tonight they will reconcile after a year apart because of Adina’s unconventional sexual desires.  After dinner and a tender reunion, Tommy returns to his apartment to collect his things and finally spend the night with her. Once Tommy’s gone, an intruder attacks Adina and kills her, all the while professing his love for her and feeling sorry that he cannot control his rage. The story progresses by flashing back to forty years earlier as a pair of fraternal twins are born. With the nightmarish image of Adina’s murder always in the back of his mind, the reader is taken on a journey through the lives of two individuals as they are born, separated, and become adults. Adina is a beautiful, confident woman raised by strict parents. She escapes their tyranny after a tragedy, one that affects her throughout her entire life. Rhys was raised in a religious household with a dark secret that follows him everywhere.  Will Adina and Rhys realize their connection? Who murdered Adina? How is all of this drama related? Two people related, but raised apart. Similar, yet different. Lahongrais spins an intricate tale of psychological terror. The reader who enjoys dark mysteries, in-depth character studies, and crime stories will be hooked from cover-to-cover. 
Seattle-Slew More than 1 year ago
Divergent Lives follows the lives of Adina and her twin, RJ. The book opens with Adina being murdered in her home. From there the story goes back to the day that the twins were born and follows the paths each of their lives took that led up to that point. Adina and RJ were born in a hospital in New York on a very cold and snowy December day. Their father was sent home since the doctor had to perform a C-section, and since the mother was on anesthesia, neither of the parents knew that they were actually the parents of twins. Adina was a perfect baby girl, but RJ was a hermaphrodite. The doctor had a side business where he would take babies and sell them, telling himself that he was giving the babies a better life than what they would have. The twins' parents were given Adina and never told that they actually had a second child as well. The doctor sold RJ to a family in Pennsylvania where he was raised by a preacher and his, ex-prostitute, wife.  Adina's parents were old world Puerto Rican and were very controlling on every aspect of Adina's life. However, as Adina grew up she became the controlling person and dominated men in the bedroom. She was basically addicted to sex and loved inflicting pain and being in control. She would use her charm and beauty to her advantage and always got what she wanted. RJ was raised in a house of lies and abuse. His "man of god" father would constantly abuse him and his mother. He refused to allow RJ to have any medical procedures done to fix his "problem". RJ took his anger and hatred towards his father out on animals he'd catch in the woods; torturing and killing birds and other small creatures. His mother knew and let him be. But RJ was a very angry boy and certain things would make him flip out and lose all control. After murdering his father in defense of his mother, RJ relocated to New York and purchased a restaurant, revamping it into a popular place called Rhys's Pieces. From there Adina and RJ's paths would cross and culminate in nothing but more bloodshed. The story is really well written and definitely keeps you interested. As to back stories for characters this book is definitely not lacking. The problem is the reader is given so much information about almost every character (whether they're a lead character or secondary) that it can be a little overwhelming at times. There were also some tense shifts, but nothing too major that detracted from the story. It's definitely only for mature audiences because of the sex and violence, but if you enjoy thrillers I think this book would be right up your alley.
EDL85 More than 1 year ago
“Divergent Lives” is a thriller/suspense novel that begins with a horrific murder and then flashes to the past to show the reader the circumstances of that murder—how, over years, two people’s lives diverged and came together to result in violence. Adina is the beautiful daughter of a Puerto Rican couple who try their best to raise her to be a proper young lady. Though she doesn’t always live up to their standards, she becomes a kind individual who does charitable work with an AIDS foundation and falls in love with a good man named Tommy. Though she’s not sure he can meet some of her kinkier needs in the bedroom, she decides to commit to him anyway. What Adina doesn’t know is that she has a twisted twin brother out in the world, one who was sold by a doctor to another couple at birth. Adina’s brother, RJ, witnesses his father’s sexual depravities first hand, and suffers his father’s abuse for years, turning him into a twisted, hate-filled individual. His evil is magnified by his confusion over his sexuality—he’s a hermaphrodite whose organs have never fully matured, and that leaves him in a constant state of lust and dissatisfaction that he is unable to dispel that lust. Though the years, RJ leaves a trail of violence and murder in his wake. The question of genetics and nature v. nurture in this novel intrigued me—that RJ and Adina both had “deviant” needs, and that one could express them healthily and the other diabolically was perhaps only the result of how they were raised. I also enjoyed the characters of Adina and Tommy, and though I knew what happened to Adina right at the beginning of the novel, by the end I was deeply saddened by how her life was cut short. However, this book was a little graphic and intense in its subject matter for me. I’m far from a prude, but when it comes to necrophilia I draw the line—just can’t handle it. I’d recommend this for those who enjoy thriller/suspense novels that run a little deeper, but only the reader doesn’t mind graphic and thematic material.
Francine1440 More than 1 year ago
Divergent Lives, written by Minnie Lahongrais, is an exciting thriller that I practically devoured in two days. From the first few pages the author draws the reader in with a fascinating look at twins who are separated at birth and end up living very different lives. They eventually come together with very tragic results. The storyline on its own would make some great reading but the author spices it up by having one twin be physically and emotionally abnormal and the other one a sexual deviant. Both have issues with the people who raised them. The book is raunchy to say the least and if someone is a bit straight-laced they probably shouldn’t attempt to read it. However these parts aren’t what make it a page turner. The style of writing is wonderful, alternating chapters for the most part from twin to twin. Starting in the present with a major event that grabs your attention and then going back to the beginning of the twins’ lives to see how they became so damaged, the story moves at a fast pace. I kept thinking I would take a break after reading a chapter but then found I couldn’t put it down. The characters are well written, especially Rhys who has to deal with a rare condition that could easily be sensationalized but I found the author handles it well, albeit in a drastic way. This IS a thriller after all! I loved every second of reading this book and can’t wait to read another by the same author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago