Divergent Thinking: YA Authors on Veronica Roth's Divergent Trilogy Paperback – 20 Mar 2014
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This eBook was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
For fans of Veronica Roth’s Divergent series here is a book that delves deeper into the trilogy. Commonly referred to as “the next Hunger Games” Leah Wilson has compiled together several essays that treat Divergent in its own right. Divergent Thinking: YA Authors on Veronica Roth’s Divergent Trilogy is full of a variety of ideas each expressed by a different well-known author.
Although Divergent is a dystopian novel leaning heavily towards the science fiction genre, the essays in this book compare the storyline and its components with reality. Through the complex heroine, Tris, the reader learns about family values, friendships, secrets and lies – all of these things being something that is experienced within everyone’s lives.
What are really interesting are the various authors’ perceptions on Roth’s use of factions - from this stem essays on personality types, life choices, psychology, bravery and science. Divergent Thinking is full of thought-provoking ideas that many readers would not have considered when first reading the trilogy. These authors make the reader think more about their own lives in relation to Tris and Tobias’. Most importantly Wilson’s compilation draws attention to the amount of research Roth must have done in order to create a dystopian future.
What is particularly good about this book is that the authors treat the characters as people in their own right with their own personalities and opinions. Instead of criticizing the way Roth has portrayed someone they comment instead on how they disagree with a particular characters thought or action. This proves, in a way, the brilliance behind Roth’s writing. Through reading Divergent we are not only staring at a page of writing, we are drawn directly into the storyline.
To be able to appreciate the essays included in this book readers need to already have a good understanding of the original novels, in other words read the trilogy first. There are also many spoilers for those who have not yet reached the final installment, Allegiant. It would also help to be a fan of Divergent as all these authors clearly are. Overall this is such a fascinating read. Some chapters are more interesting than others but that will also depend on the reader. If you prefer science and facts there are essays in here for you, likewise if you prefer a more personal touch there is something for you too.
Having read the entire Divergent series (and you should read all three books for delving into some spoilers regarding the series), I was ready to delve back into the world of Tris and Tobias and examining Dauntless, among the many factions alike. The book was split into several different segments that one of the various authors would write, explaining a bit more about that particular element of the series. For example, Rosemary Clement-Moore expresses the personality types in Divergent and how they mold each member of the different factions.
Divergent Thinking goes further into the world of Divergent than we've ventured, into the psychology and how real issues in the series are based in each faction, in sort of an analyzing and sometimes conversational way. So being a fan of the series, it was amazing to see how other people thought of the complex themes and perception of the dystopian Chicago world.
I really loved how each contributor of the book felt about the series and how each of their opinions could change our own perceptions of the series and open our eyes to things inside the world of Divergent that we hadn't yet ventured to uncover. My favourite part of Divergent Thinking would be Debra Driza's part - she examined the secrets within the series and it really captivated my attention more than any other part.
Many of the parts were comparing the fictional world to our real world and our issues compared to theirs, shining a light on things we had missed and satisfying our fangirl/boy hearts by opening our minds back up to the dystopia series. Fans of Divergent will adore this book - it will entertain your need for more in the world of Divergent, fascinate you with it's new discovered topics and add a dash of astounding Non-Fiction to your shelf even if you're more of a Fiction reader.
Each author added something amazing to Divergent Thinking to bring together an almighty read worthy of a place on your bookshelf.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
It took me a long time to finish Divergent Thinking. I found it difficult to engage with the essays as most of them focused on the psychology of Tris and/or the factions. The collection felt repetitious as many of the authors seemed to be examining the same points of the story over and over (why Tris is not Abnegation? Why did she choose Dauntless? What does it mean to be Divergent?). I was hoping for more examination of the political climate, how Tris’s World mirrors that of Nazi Germany and even our world when it comes to prejudices and long-held beliefs.
My favorite essay was by V. Arrow called “Mapping Divergent’s Chicago.” V. works through plotting the location of each of the factions throughout Chicago and its suburbs. Maps are provided (although on the Kindle version they are difficult to read) along with strong arguments why the locations that were selected fit each of the factions best. With V.’s directions, you could safely created you own Divergent faction tour through Chicago minus jumping on and off the train.
This collection of essays would be a good fit for anyone who is interested in the psychology of Tris and the various factions within the series. Otherwise, I would recommend passing on Divergent Thinking.
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