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Divergent Thinking: YA Authors on Veronica Roth's Divergent Trilogy Paperback – March 4, 2014
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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.
I love books like this that have different authors direct the original texts with their psychological break downs and their ideas of how the Divergent books relate to modern day thinking, how something like this could happen, why it may be possible, what in our own minds pulls us so strongly to the books. Let's face it, many of these books hit close to home and scare the s*** out of us as far as what the future may hold, and the reality of how much of this "fiction" is actually present today, and being accepted. I was given this book to provide an hinest opinion of.
I read the different author's opinions and expansions in the story and so many times they clarify or out in words what I was trying to unsuccessfully think completely think through along with pointing out many angles that make me realize "oh, yes I see that too now."
I love the fact that the writers in this book have some insight into what they are discussing as far as dissecting the different elements / social make up, psychology of fear, etc. I loved the original Roth trilogy and even like the movies. It always amazes me how governments use tech or fear to overcome their citizens, but this has happened throughout history one way oe another forever. SCARY.
Love the insight and the opinions of others. This book is a great companion after reading the Divergent Trilogy to get your thinking juices flowing.
I didn't really know what to expect with Divergent Thinking. All I knew was that it was a collection of discussions about the Divergent trilogy from various YA authors, one of whom is Dan Krokos. Once I started reading, I was excited by the analysis and discussions being done in each essay and surprised by how well the whole idea of this book matched up with what I like. I'd unknowingly picked up a book that was right up my alley!
Divergent Thinking, as you've probably gathered by now, is a collection of essays that explore various concepts, themes, ideas, and more within the Divergent trilogy. This was interesting and familiar ground for me, because this could just as easily have been a series of posts on a blog somewhere. (I suppose it's worth mentioning that this book CLEARLY assumes the reader has read the entire Divergent trilogy, because spoilers abound. I will avoid spoilers in this review, though.) These essays varied in quality and interest for me, but that is probably to be expected.
My favorites were the ones that dealt more with psychological and scientific analysis. The book starts off strong with Rosemary Clement-Moore's comparison of the factions to the multitude of personality tests and types we enjoy in our society. Jennifer Lynn Barnes followed that up nicely with her own interesting perspective on the psychology behind the factions. Even though I've never even been to Chicago, I was giddy with excitement as I read through V. Arrow's attempt to map out the Chicago we see in Divergent with the Chicago of today. Blythe Woolston's look at fear and its role in the series was fascinating.
Some of them satisfied my curiosity in a different way, but didn't quite scratch my analytical itch. That's really fine, though; I'd just been primed and spoiled with the analytical ones (my preference) in the beginning. I liked the way Dan Krokos pit the Bureau and the Rebels against each other to see which one is really worse, Julia Karr's comparison of the faction system to other problematic groups in history (like Nazi Germany, for example), and the interesting parallels (and differences) that Janine Spendlove drew between the Dauntless and the US Marine Corps.
The essays I didn't enjoy as much were the ones that seemed to have weaker arguments and less focus. Some of them felt like they were trying too hard or really reaching to expand upon their chosen topic of discussion. The contribution from Maria V. Snyder and her daughter Jenna read more like a mother-daughter conversation than an actual essay (that is, it felt like the kind of thing that only they would be interested in reading, not so much anyone else).
I very much enjoyed this book! I was pleasantly surprised by this collection of essays. I do wonder, though, how many people will end up buying something like this (I have a feeling that compilations and anthologies don't get a lot of sales, but maybe that's my own bias?). Like I said: I would have been just as happy reading these essays on a blog somewhere; in fact, I might have even enjoyed that more, because then I would have been able to engage in discussions about them more easily.
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