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Divergent Paperback – February 28, 2012
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A Q&A with Author Veronica Roth
Q: What advice would you offer to young aspiring writers, who long to live a success story like your own?
Roth: One piece of advice I have is: Want something else more than success. Success is a lovely thing, but your desire to say something, your worth, and your identity shouldn’t rely on it, because it’s not guaranteed and it’s not permanent and it’s not sufficient. So work hard, fall in love with the writing—the characters, the story, the words, the themes—and make sure that you are who you are regardless of your life circumstances. That way, when the good things come, they don’t warp you, and when the bad things hit you, you don’t fall apart.
Q: You’re a young author--is it your current adult perspective or not-so-recent teenage perspective that brought about the factions in the development of this story? Do you think that teens or adults are more likely to fit into categories in our current society?
Roth: Other aspects of my identity have more to do with the factions than my age. The faction system reflects my beliefs about human nature—that we can make even something as well-intentioned as virtue into an idol, or an evil thing. And that virtue as an end unto itself is worthless to us. I did spend a large portion of my adolescence trying to be as “good” as possible so that I could prove my worth to the people around me, to myself, to God, to everyone. It’s only now that I’m a little older that I realize I am unable to be truly “good” and that it’s my reasons for striving after virtue that need adjustment more than my behavior. In a sense, Divergent is me writing through that realization—everyone in Beatrice’s society believes that virtue is the end, the answer. I think that’s a little twisted.
I think we all secretly love and hate categories—love to get a firm hold on our identities, but hate to be confined—and I never loved and hated them more than when I was a teenager. That said: Though we hear a lot about high school cliques, I believe that adults categorize each other just as often, just in subtler ways. It is a dangerous tendency of ours. And it begins in adolescence.
Q: If you could add one more faction to the world within Divergent, what would it be?
Roth: I tried to construct the factions so that they spanned a wide range of virtues. Abnegation, for example, includes five of the traditional “seven heavenly virtues:” chastity, temperance, charity, patience, and humility. That said, it would be interesting to have a faction centered on industriousness, in which diligence and hard work are valued most, and laziness is not allowed. They would be in constant motion, and would probably be happy to take over for the factionless. And hard-working people can certainly take their work too far, as all the factions do with their respective virtues. I’m not sure what they would wear, though. Overalls, probably.
Q: What do you think are the advantages, if any, to the society you’ve created in Divergent?
Roth: All the advantages I see only seem like advantages to me because I live in our current society. For example, the members of their society don’t focus on certain things: race, religion, sexual orientation, political affiliation, etc. I mean, a world in which you look different from the majority and no one minds? That sounds good to me. But when I think about it more, I realize that they’re doing the exact same thing we do, but with different criteria by which to distinguish ourselves from others. Instead of your skin color, it’s the color of your shirt that people assess, or the results of your aptitude test. Same problem, different system.
Q: What book are you currently reading and how has it changed you, if at all?
Roth: I recently finished Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma, which I would call “contemporary with a paranormal twist,” or something to that effect. It’s about a girl whose sister has a powerful kind of magnetism within the confines of a particular town, and how their love for each other breaks some things apart and puts other things back together. It was refreshing to read a young adult book that is about sisterhood instead of romance. It’s one of those books that makes you love a character and then hate a character and then love them again—that shows you that people aren’t all good or all bad, but somewhere in between. Imaginary Girls gave me a lot to think about, and the writing was lovely, which I always love to see.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-In the dystopian Chicago setting of Roth's novel (Katherine Tegen Bks., 2011), the population is divided into five factions. Upon declaring allegiance to one of them, 16-year-old Beatrice will decide her future. Beatrice and her brother, Caleb, grew up in helpful, unassuming Abnegation, always putting others first. During her aptitude testing, a simulation probes her suitability for Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless, and Erudite. Rather than getting a clear reading of her strengths, Beatrice's result is disturbing and dangerous: she is Divergent. At the choosing ceremony, the teenager impulsively joins Dauntless, the tattooed "hellions" whose value is bravery, and who protect the community. Beatrice, now called Tris, finds she feels brilliantly alive in Dauntless, even during the brutal training. She enjoys seeing her muscles harden, testing her courage, protecting the underdog, and working her way up the ranks of recruits. Making both friends and enemies, she moves through simulations tailored to trigger her Fear Landscape. Gradually, her Divergence shows itself, allowing Tris to see that the faction-dominated world isn't as wonderful as she has been told. The likeable characters, excellent pacing, and blooming romance will have listeners hooked. Emma Galvin's youthful voice has a twinge of huskiness that lends itself to voicing both young men and women. The audiobook will be very popular, so library patrons will have to be careful considering the packaging: a lightweight box and foldout sleeves. You might want to purchase the audio download instead.-Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TXα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
From the moment I picked up this book, I stopped reading for one simple reason, and that was to eat dinner. Other than that, I read it straight through because I just had to know what was going to happen to Tris and Four. I was thoroughly engrossed in the world Veronica Roth has created. The ending WILL take you by surprise and anyone who says they saw it coming is a liar. Not only does it shock you, but it will leave you craving, wanting, and dying for the final book.
The Tris in Insurgent is very different from the Tris in Divergent. The events in Divergent have altered her and made her question a lot about herself and the people she trusts. I still believe she is a great and incredibly strong character. Despite what happens to her, she still perseveres and tries to push though. Four (Tobias, whatever you prefer to call him) is beginning to compete with Patch for the title of "Teresa's Favorite Fictional Character". But if I am honest, there is no way for me to choose between the two because they are so different. I love that Four is strong and doesn't coddle Tris, because he knows she is strong. This is such a difference from many male leads who feel the need to be way too overprotective. I love Four, plain and simple. I hope the next book has Four in every single scene, although I know this is impractical.
This next bit of the review might be a bit spoliery, but not really since Veronica Roth stated it before Insurgent was released, but here was your fair warning to skip to the next paragraph. I absolutely loved that there was no love triangle. It would have gone against everything in Tris' and Four's characters, and personally I think there are more important things going on in the series. While this in no way means Fourtris had it easy, the problems came from themselves and their situation, rather than some new random love interest. This fact made me love the book even more.
Normally, the second book in a series is my least favorite, and while I cannot say for sure that I liked Insurgent more than Divergent, I can say that it lived up to every single one of my very high expectations. The story itself was incredible and the plot twists kept me constantly guessing. Normally, I can get some sort of beat on where the story is going and how it is going to end. This did not happen here, I never knew what was coming and was shocked on numerous occasions. This book has everything a good book should have: action, romance, heartbreak, shockers, and drama.
Overall, I highly highly recommend this book. It will not disappoint. If you loved Divergent, you need to read this now. If you have not read Divergent, what are you waiting for? Read that, and then read Insurgent and join the rest of us in the wait for the final book.
Veronica Roth has wow-ed me again with Insurgent. The plot, the characters, the surprises, the secrets, the emotions! There's so much I want to discuss about Insurgent, and I will try to do it without any major spoilers! However, if you haven't read the first book, be warned! there are Divergent spoilers.
Let me start with our Dauntless heroine. Tris is shaken by what happened at the end of Divergent. Nightmares about the death of her parents, and what happened with Will keep her up at night. She keeps running the scene in her mind, thinking she could have done things differently. This was the hardest part for me, seeing Tris lose her Dauntlessness because she's blinded by grief. Lines like the one below made me want to slap her.
There is a part of me that wants to be lost, that struggles to join my parents and Will so that I don't have to ache for them anymore.
There are a lot of lines like this. I really thought Tris was stronger than that, than wanting to die. I understand the change, but what I hate about it is that she's giving up! She's giving up when there's still a reason to live, and his name is Tobias. He loves her enough to keep trying to get her to snap out of her dark mood, but Tris is too caught up with her inner demons. Tobias doesn't want her to give up, but he also won't put up with her reckless behavior forever, and I loved that he said so to her.
"If you throw yourself into danger for no reason again, you will have become nothing more than a Dauntless adrenaline junkie looking for a hit, and I'm not going to help you do it." He spits the words out bitterly. "I love Tris the Divergent, who makes decisions apart from faction loyalty, who isn't some faction archetype. But the Tris who's trying as hard as she can to destroy herself...I can't love her."
What made me sad though is that Tris continues on her downward spiral even after Tobias talks to her about it. Doesn't this mean that she doesn't love him enough to want to live? Doesn't she see that she's not alone? She has not lost everyone. Sigh. It takes a strong shock, an ultimate reality check to get her to see sense, but I thought that was a little too late for her to realize that she had someone who loved her. And that she should fight to stay alive because of him. Still, amid all the angst and depression Tris is still able to see things as they are, and take action.
Four is still the hot, badass, sexy man we love. We get to know more about his past when it comes back to haunt him, and Tris realizes she might not know all of Tobias. I thought he trusted too easily, which I found completely out of character for him, but I liked that Tris called him on it every time. Their relationship is struggling but neither wants to give up the other. Though it makes for a very frustrating romance, it's also more realistic. I mean, relationships aren't supposed to be easy, and I liked that they try again and again to work through their problems.
The plot wasn't all inner angst and relationship troubles. There was action, secrets that needed uncovering, a bit of back stabbing, and no end of surprises. We get to know more about some of the other factions, as our heroes travel back and forth between each base. There was a lot of death in this sequel, which is why one of my favorite parts is the paintball fight at Dauntless HQ. This is what Tris says:
"I decide to keep the shirt to remind me why I chose Dauntless in the first place: not because they are perfect, but because they are alive. Because they are free."
I think after all the death and chaos we too needed a reminder of the true nature of Dauntless, and a little fun time if only for a minute.
The ending was a real shocker. I'm still going back to that last chapter and re-reading it, making sure I read that shit right. I so didn't see that one coming, though now that I think about it, there were some hints. As for Tris and Tobias, though they return to a 'happy note' I thought they still had issues to resolve. I already know there's more trouble coming their way. Not just for the factions, but for them personally and I can't wait to read it! All I have left to say is that the wait for the third book will be horrible. HORRIBLE.
Most recent customer reviews
i have read them all and I enjoyed them all very much