by Kate Spencer
Divergent Movie may be the most anticipated book-to-movie adaptation since The Hunger Games got its turn last year. With a release date of March 21, 2014, announced yesterday and rumors that Limitless director Neil Bruger is attached to the project, all we need now are a couple of pretty faces to obsess over. The roles of 16-year-old Tris Prior and her love interest, Tobias (Four), are sure to be a big get for any actor and we already have a few favorites already in mind. So does Twitter, where people are constantly proclaiming their love for certain stars they see fit for the leads. Let’s discuss some of our favorites here at VH1 Celeb headquarters, and then we want you to tell us who you envision getting their Dauntless on on the big movie screen.
Taissa Farmiga is my number one pick to play Tris Prior, and I even have the author’s approval on this one. Veronica Roth once replied to my tweet about Taissa as Tris with “ooh. She’s spot on, looks wise.” Not only does she completely embody Tris physically, but her raw and vulnerable performance on American Horror Story proves she’s got the acting chops, too. Our friend and NextMovie editor Breanne Heldman loves Molly Quinn, telling Hollywood Crush, “Molly has a sass and intelligence that’s also so totally Tris Prior.” Castle fans, do you agree?
While I’ve struggled trying to find a Four I like (Skins cutie Luke Pasqualino comes closest for me, for now), VH1 Celebrity editor Sabrina Rojas Weiss is rooting for Pretty Little Liars’ Tyler Blackburn. And hello — how perfect of a Tobias (Four) would he be?!?! Brooding, handsome, chiseled … we like this one, for sure.
On Twitter, fans have been very vocal about Taissa (high fives), as well as Max Irons and Colton Haynes for Tobias (Four). While we think the delectable Max Irons is probably out of the running due to his role in The Host (opposite Saoirse Ronan, who’d also make a perfect Tris), we’re curious about Colton, who is incredibly hunky on Teen Wolf. We’ve got them, and other interesting contenders (and all your tweeted suggestions!), in our gallery below.
Who do you imagine as Tris Prior and Tobias (Four)? Write in other nominees in the comments!
The Dauntless train is slowly (but surely) pulling away from the station.
To be sure, progress on the big-screen movie adaptation of Veronica Roth’s dazzling dystopian tome “Divergent” has been anything but speeding-locomotive fast. Since the movie rights were purchased by Lionsgate/Summit Entertainment in March 2011, the only concrete news has been the appointment of screenwriter Evan Daugherty (though rumor has it that “Limitless” helmer Neil Burger is in talks to direct). Well, that all changed when Summit Entertainment announced that a release date has been set for the movie. Mark your calendars for March 21, 2014!
For the uninitiated, “Divergent Movie” is set in a near-future Chicago, where society has been split into five different factions dedicated to the cultivation of a specific virtue. All 16-year-olds must pledge allegiance to a faction. Readers meet Beatrice “Tris” Prior during the lead up to her big decision—one which will change the course of her life and many others.
With a release date set, we couldn’t help but wonder which pretty young thing in Hollywood will be pegged to play our heroine Tris Prior and become the next big thing in YA movie adaptations (a la Jennifer Lawrence). As such, I assembled my fellow MTV YA Book Club members (yes, this exists) to gather their picks, which include a vampire, a fashionista, a dutiful daughter and a ghost. Check ‘em out after the jump!
I’m pulling for AnnaSophia Robb. Physically, she’s just about perfect for it: She’s Tris-sized at 5’2″, and pretty enough that we’ll be happy to watch her for a few hours on a big screen—but quirky enough that we’ll buy her as a character who self-identifies as “not beautiful.” And since AnnaSophia is basically exploding right now, with a few high-profile parts (including Carrie Bradshaw herself in “SATC” prequel “The Carrie Diaries”), it’d be nice to give “Divergent film” a marketing boost with a newly minted big name. —Brooke Tarnoff, NextMovie
While playing cheerleader-turned-”Vampire Barbie” Caroline Forbes on “The Vampire Diaries,” Candice Accola has had to convey the three very qualities that make Tris “Divergent”: She’s brave, warmhearted and smart as hell. It’ll be hard to make her look like a properly modest Abnegation girl at first, but that’s part of why she broke out of her family’s faction in the first place, right? “TVD” is way campier than “Divergent” should be, but I’m eager to see Candice rise to the task. —Sabrina Rojas Weiss, VH1 Celebrity
Molly Quinn is my Tris. OK, so I’m still a little bitter that she didn’t get the role of Clary Fray in “The Mortal Instruments”—Lily Collins is great though, so that cushions the blow—but I’m so ready for this supporting player on TV’s “Castle” to have a major breakout on the big screen. On the show, Molly brings impressive depth to a small role, giving Alexis an uncanny mix of vulnerability and strength: two big qualities our Tris must possess. Off camera, Molly has a sass and intelligence that’s also so totally Tris.
Looking at casting for these big YA franchises recently, I know actors who live on TV rarely get the big leads, presumably for the scheduling difficulties doing both may create. But Molly’s role on “Castle” is small and hiatuses are easy given that her character is going to college, so boom! Summit, hear me out. —Breanne Heldman, NextMovie
I snuggled into Hollywood Crush’s Casting Couch more than a year ago to reveal my picks for tough-as-nails Tris… but that was before Taissa Farmiga gave us all the goosebumps on FX’s “American Horror Story.” As troubled teen Violet, Taissa delivered the kind of deeply nuanced performance you’d expect from an actor two or three times her age. (Plus, did we mention she’s kind of a dead ringer for author Veronica’s physical description of Tris?) No longer just Vera’s kid sister, “AHS” earned Taissa a legion of fans eager to see her hop the train as Tris. Including me. —Amy Wilkinson, Hollywood Crush
Who do you want to see as Tris Prior in “Divergent Movie”? Tell us in the comments!
Veronica Roth’s short story Free Four: Tobias Tells the Divergent Story was originally released in April as a treat for Divergent Movie fans when Insurgent pre-order sales reached 35,000 copies, and now the title is being released in e-book format.
According to Harper Teen, it’s no longer available for reading on their Facebook page and will be released for sale on August 7th.
Free Four is a thirteen-page story written from the character Tobias/Four’s viewpoint. It transforms a knife-training scene previously told from Beatrice (Tris) Prior’s perspective in Divergent Movie, and it is currently available for pre-ordering at Amazon.com for $0.99!
Roth previously blogged about composing Free Four and noted, “This was really good for me, because it gave me a fuller understanding of his character and of what he was going through while Tris was an initiate. I’m confident that some things in the scene will surprise you, because they definitely surprised me.”
The film adaptation for Divergent Movie is now officially in the pre-production phase, according to Deadline!
Reportedly, Snow White And The Huntsman screenwriter Evan Daugherty has now completed his work on the adapted screenplay for Veronica Roth’s best-seller, and the studio – Twilight and The Hunger Games studio Lionsgate – is looking to begin filming the project as early as this year!
No news of casting selections or a chosen director for the movie, yet, but if filming is to begin later this year, those headlines will soon follow.
When the news that Veronica Roth’s Divergent Movie and Insurgent reached over one million books sold!
Veronica Roth has always been “cautiously optimistic” about the fact that Summit bought the film rights to Divergent Movie, but now things are in motion. Deadline also reports that Summit has the film rights to book two of The Divergent Trilogy.
For the comments: Who do you hope to see get cast in Divergent Movie?
Veronica Roth’s The Divergent Trilogy has been nominated for “Choice Book” in the 2012 Teen Choice Awards!
Though only two books in the series – Divergent and Insurgent – are yet released, the series is nominated against Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games trilogy, Lois Lowry’s iconic The Giver, Stephenie Meyer’s The Twilight Saga series, and Nicholas Sparks’ book The Lucky One!
Both Divergent and Insurgent are currently number one bestsellers on The New York Times’ Bestseller List and have been for two consecutive weeks!
Voting for the 2012 Teen Choice Awards can be completed here.
This is the first Teen Choice Awards nomination for Veronica Roth and the Divergent book series. Book three in The Divergent Trilogy, the name of which has yet to be announced, is due on shelves sometime next fall.
Film adaptation rights for Divergent Movie were purchased by Twilight film studio Summit Entertainment which was later acquired by The Hunger Games film studio Lionsgate. Evan Daugherty (who wrote the first screenplay draft for Snow White And The Huntsman) is currently penning the script for the movie adaptation, the release date for which has yet to be announced.
Veronica Roth has been coasting along on the New York Times’ Bestseller List for the better part of this year thanks to both Divergent and the recently released first sequel Insurgent.
According to a tweet from publisher Harper Collins yesterday, a new landmark has been reached for the series: Sales for the two books have now reached over one million copies!
That certainly doesn’t hurt Divergent’s chances of making it to a movie.
Last year, prior to Divergent’s release, Twilight film studio Summit Entertainment (now Lions Gate) snagged the movie adaptation rights to Divergent Movie and hired Snow White And The Huntsman screenwriter Evan Daugherty to adapt it.
In a (great) recent interview with Veronica Roth, she updated to say that it is still “so early in the process that I can’t say with any clarity what is going to happen” with the movie project.
Well, with the books now in seven digit sales numbers and the final installment on the way next fall, the process just might speed up soon!
Veronica Roth exploded onto the YA scene last year with her smash dystopian novel, Divergent. To promote its follow-up, Insurgent, she is touring the country this summer with several other authors on the Dark Days book tour. I had a chance to visit with Veronica while she was attending the BookExpo America convention in New York, the first stop on the tour.
Serena: Welcome to HEA, Veronica! You’re on a book tour with Aprilynne Pike, Elizabeth Norris and Bethany Griffin. How is the group promotion dynamic different from the “my-book-only” focus?
Veronica: I really like the group tour better than going it alone. First of all, it kind of takes the pressure off a little. I’m not a naturally extroverted person. But I also like it because it brings in new fans. For example, someone who really loves Aprilynne Pike’s books might pick up mine and vice versa. I think it’s really good for all the authors involved.
Serena: Your blog is always fun to read due to your quirky sense of humor. You even have a “joke” title and cover art for book three of the Divergent Trilogy, which features a container of laundry soap and the title, Detergent. Clearly, you are a fan of fun. Have any of your close friends or family been surprised that you would write such dark-themed books?
Veronica: Yeah, I think some people were surprised about the dark themes because I’m just not a violent or a dark person, really. But I think they adapted pretty well. They know that I’m not the books or vice versa. They got over it pretty quickly.
Serena: I love how the taglines for the series really set the stage for the theme of each novel and build upon one another to give the gist of the series. Divergent’s is “One choice can transform you,” and Insurgent’s is “One choice can destroy you.” Just for fun, what would the tagline for Detergent be?
Veronica: I think it’s “One choice can disinfect you.” I like to poke a little fun at myself and my books. It’s nice to have a little laugh at yourself every now and then, so Detergent is sort of how I do that.
Serena: Readers have left comments on your blog such as, “I’m the one at Comic-Con who gave you the handmade (fill in the blank).” Do you have a special place you keep all the material evidence of your fan love?
Veronica: I do. I keep it in my office. And some of it is great! People make me key chains … someone attached a Dauntless symbol to a silver pen. That one is what I use to sign books. I use that a lot. I like to keep them around because they remind me that people are waiting for these books and that they really love them. It gives me motivation in those times when I’m not feeling very motivated.
Serena: Do you ever cringe when readers ask questions or make statements about who lives, who dies, who’s a traitor, etc., that might spoil some of the surprises for those in the crowd who have not yet read the books?
Veronica: It happens a lot on the Internet, like on Twitter where things are pretty public. I try and reply, and then someone’s like, “No! You spoiled it!” But spoilers are everywhere, even in reviews. So I figure if people really don’t want to find spoilers they usually don’t — and if they want to find them, they will. Hopefully the books aren’t spoiled because of a few things you may have been told beforehand.
Serena: How about when your readers refer to Tobias by his given name rather than “Four,” the name he adopted when he joined the Dauntless faction (and by which he was known through most of Divergent). Do you worry it will spoil the first book for those who haven’t yet read it?
Veronica: Not really. It’s just so hard to try to ward off those comments. And it’s kind of my fault, because I keep calling him Tobias, so …? But it’s not a particular spoiler. A lot of people figure it out before anyone says anything or before they’ve read the whole book.
Serena: How would you define romance? And how does that definition apply to your writing philosophy and this series?
Veronica: I think romance is friendship and attraction sort of meeting together and that does influence what I’m writing a lot. I try to establish the attraction, obviously, but I also think it’s important to show the characters having actual conversations about things other than their feelings for each other — and to develop their friendship on the page. That was really important to me. And they have mutual respect for each other and I tried to establish that also. All those things that I believe about relationships and what makes a healthy relationship really made it into the book.
Serena: For a novel with such serious themes, the romance between Tobias and Tris serves as an anchor to the story without slowing it down. As a writer, was it difficult to fine-tune those scenes so that a simple touch of the hand could convey such deep connection and comfort?
Veronica: It did take some fine-tuning. I had to think a lot about my teenage experience of love and just how you focus so much on all the little details. How every touch can feel like your heart’s going to explode or you’re going to throw up or whatever … so I had to edit a lot. It’s hard, sometimes, to go back and relive that experience, but I just tried to remember how exciting everything was when I was just falling in love.
Serena: And there is a sort of life-or-death feeling in the teen romantic experience that sort of plays into your story.
Veronica: Right. Everything feels like life or death when you’re that age. And there’s some truth to that. You’re making all these huge decisions and you want everything to last forever even though it can’t sometimes. Trying to capture that life-or-death feeling is a little tricky.
Serena: A lot of popular YA fiction creates romantic tension by the “opposites attract” factor — or authors skew the idea to pit characters against each other or separate them in some way to ratchet up the romance. You chose for Tobias and Tris to have more in common. They both reject the same faction (Abnegation) in favor of Dauntless. They are both Divergent. Was there a specific motivation behind giving your heroes so much in common?
Veronica: I think that’s how I see love. I see it developing from friendship. Common ground is a strong basis for friendship. My husband is my best friend and we have a lot in common even though we’re admittedly different people. I think it evolves from how I see relationships working. You know, the opposites attract thing happens all the time, but so does the best friends thing. It’s just a great kind of relationship in fiction.
Serena: Tris has a hard time saying she loves Tobias aloud, and the first time she does, she says it in a way that he won’t hear, prior to doing something that she believes could make him stop loving her. Are you, like Tris, someone who is hesitant to pronounce “I love you” too soon?
Veronica: Not really. I guess I haven’t had the opportunity to test it that much. (laughs) I’ve only been in two serious relationships and one of them ended in marriage. But yeah, I don’t have huge issues with it. You have to say “I love you” knowing that the feeling you have could either change or become deeper and stronger over time. I think Tris puts a lot a pressure on herself. She has to be so sure of knowing exactly what she feels. And I don’t put that kind of pressure on myself.
Serena: Tobias is just the opposite; he’s more open. Do you see more of yourself in his expression that way?
Veronica: I kind of do. Actually, he’s a lot more like me than Tris is and I’ve realized that over time. He’s pretty sure of himself in different ways and sort of private in ways but I think he’s always certain of how he feels about Tris and he just doesn’t think it’s a big deal to tell her exactly what the experience he’s having is.
Serena: In Insurgent, the romance between Tris and Tobias has matured, both physically and emotionally, from where they left off in Divergent, yet they are still very much two teenagers in love. How do you straddle the fence of keeping their romance — and their response to romance — so age appropriate while they are dealing with life and death, adult-size horrors?
Veronica: I don’t really think about what’s “age appropriate” for my audience because I think they can handle quite a bit, but I do try to think about what’s honest and true to my characters who have grown up in situations where they’ve been taught to handle these things very carefully and that they’re very powerful. As far as their romance goes, Tris is afraid of physical intimacy and Tobias is a little uncertain, so it would be a little unnatural for them to move very quickly. It would feel very forced. I just try to think about them and what they would actually do. And they’ve only been together for, like, two months, and they haven’t had a lot of time to be alone. There’s only so much that can go on!
Serena: Summit Entertainment, the company that brought Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight (The Twilight Saga) series to theaters, has optioned the film rights for Divergent Movie. As an author, that has to be a huge pat on the back — the thought that someone would consider making your book into a movie …
Veronica: It’s really flattering and it’s so shocking. I never even thought about it when the book was published. It was like, “Oh! And there’s also this element?” It’s pretty great. Cool. But it’s so early in the process that I can’t say with any clarity what is going to happen.
Serena: A couple of years ago you publicly vowed (on your blog) that you would jump into a pool filled with marshmallows if you achieved success as an author (as in: signed a book deal) and … you not only did it (using a bathtub rather than a pool, of course, because that would be an incredible amount of marshmallows) but you posted the video online for all to see. What sort of fun video should we expect from you if the film version of Divergent actually makes it to the silver screen someday?
Veronica: Hmm … well, I feel like I’ll have to be in a tub of something else in order to keep with the theme. I’ve always wanted to jump into a pool of Jell-O. That may be really hard (to make happen), but for something as incredible as a movie coming out? So … yeah. I’ll call it. Jell-O.
Serena: And now you’ve said it in front of millions of USA TODAY’s HEA readers, so …
Veronica: Yeah. It’s official now. I can’t back down.
Serena: Jell-O it is! You’ve been fairly engaged in the world of dystopian Chicago for a while now. Have you started getting an inkling about what you might write when you’ve finished the Divergent Trilogy?
Veronica: You know, I really try to focus on what’s right in front of me. So I haven’t thought very much about what I’ll do next. I know that I’ll be writing for young adults for a long time. Mostly because I just love the readers and the teachers and librarians that I interact with. So that’s all I can really say. I have a few ideas, but nothing really solid.
Serena: There’s such amazing writing going on in YA right now. It’s a great place to live.
Veronica: Yeah. YA is a wonderful genre. There’s so much room for invention and creativity. It’s remarkable. Especially right now.
Serena: Some reviewers and fan sites have likened the world you’ve created in The Divergent Trilogy to the same sort of alchemical plotting and characterization used by J.K. Rowling in the Harry Potter series. How does it feel being compared — favorably — to such a literary giant, especially by her fans?
Veronica: That’s nuts! It’s kind of … terrifying, but an incredible compliment. I mean, if you’re going to be compared to someone … she’s a pretty great person to be compared to! I don’t feel like, “Oh, I’m J.K. Rowling,” obviously! No way. I mean, Harry Potter is the best thing.
Serena: Did the philosophy of alchemy have any cognizant bearing on the creation of this series, its characters, plotting, or sociopolitical factions?
Veronica: No, not really. I’m really glad someone thought of that, but it’s not something I thought about. I’ve read a lot of analyses about the Harry Potter books and I even saw the one that mentioned Divergent. When I saw it I was just really pleased that I had accidentally done something right!
Serena: Are you an outliner or do you create your stories more organically as you go?
Veronica: I’m definitely what we call a “pantser,” which means, “write by the seat of your pants” — so I don’t outline. I had to outline the second book in order to sell the first one because they like to be sure you have a plan and that you’re not really risky (for the publisher). That was hard, but I just sort of built on what had happened in the first book and let everything come. I had to do a lot of editing, because that’s what happens when you don’t outline (laughs), but it was a really great experience.
Serena: Although you write for a mainstream YA audience, you’ve never hidden that you are a Christian. In Insurgent there are brief moments when Tris’ doubts, questions and thoughts about God seem to resonate as someone seeking a way to combine the different factions’ faith practices into something that is true to her own experience. Are you ever surprised when hints of your faith show up, unannounced, on the page?
Veronica: I’m not really that surprised because I wanted to be true to the teenage experience, which often involves a lot of consideration about existence and about God and even whether you believe in a God or not. I didn’t feel that Tris would be a real person unless she considered those things. I tried very hard not to have her proselytize the reader or anything like that because what I really think is that Tris is always questioning everything. She never comes to a decision about spiritual issues. My opinions don’t really bleed onto the page, but the things that I think about she also thinks about. I just try to make it as honest and real as possible.
Serena: In the dystopian world you’ve created, could it ever be possible for a divergent character to have equal aptitude in Dauntless (the faction known for bravery and lack of hesitancy to resort to violence) and Amity (the faction known for kindness and love of peace)?
Veronica: Oh, I don’t know … that’s a good question! Anything is possible, but it certainly wouldn’t be discovered by the aptitude test because it necessarily separates those two factions right from the get-go. I think someone can be brave while being kind and peaceful at the same time, but maybe not in the flawed system that Tris’ world has concocted.
Serena: There’s a lot pressure coming at you from around the blogosphere not to “pull a Mockingjay” with the final book of your trilogy. How do you respond when readers give you specific demands concerning what “not” to do?
Veronica: I try to remember that their demands come from enthusiasm, so they’re not really trying to be controlling or to put pressure on, they’re just trying to say, “Please don’t kill this character that I love!” or something like that. And sometimes they worry about things I’ve never even considered! Their demands and concerns really don’t play into what I’m going to do because even I don’t really control it. I just let the story go where it wants to go. I have no idea what’s going to happen in the end or who’s going to live, so it’s kind of like me saying, “I don’t know, guys! Just wait.” (Laughs) That’s what I’m doing!
Serena: How do you respond to comparisons to Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games series?
Veronica: I feel like it’s very flattering. Again, it’s sort of like the JK. Rowling thing. She’s a really talented writer and her books are really incredible and I’ve been a really big fan of hers for a while. So the comparison is flattering. But, again, it’s a little scary. I don’t want to try to live up to someone who’s created something so incredible. I’m just trying to focus on what I’m doing and what I do best. It’s sometimes hard to focus in and only think about my books rather than how they measure up to someone else’s. But mostly it’s an incredible compliment.
Serena: Are you a writer who likes to read your reviews or do you try to stay away from them?
Veronica: I try to stay away from them. I’ll read a couple to sort of know what I need to work on. And there are people that I trust to give me good feedback in that respect, but other than that I avoid them because it can become overwhelming and they apply a lot of pressure even if they don’t mean to.
Serena: Is there anything else you’d like to share specifically with romance readers who might not have thought to pick up your books before seeing them here — but who might, now that they’ve learned a bit about the romance angle of your story?
Veronica: It’s an action-based book, but I think those action-y moments make the romance even more powerful and distinct in a lot of ways. If you can put up with a lot of running around and shooting people then … you might enjoy the book!
When we first met Beatrice “Tris” Prior, she was leaving behind her selfless faction of gray-wearing Abnegators in order to join the thrill-seeking Dauntless, falling in love with a mysterious boy named Four, and trying to protect her deadly, dangerous secret: That in a world based on single-minded adherence to one of five distinct principles, she is one of the flexible-minded few who have been branded by the authorities as a dangerous Divergent Movie. But in “Insurgent,” the second book in Veronica Roth’s dystopian trilogy, the secret is out—and by the secret, we mean ALL THE SECRETS.
Tris, along with the other surviving members of her family and faction, is struggling to survive in the wake of the Erudite massacre and government takeover that left most of Abnegation dead. Loyalties are being tested. Sides are being chosen. War is coming, and with it, a series of terrible choices. And Tris, haunted by guilt and grief over her role in the uprising (among other things, she was forced to murder her mind-controlled best friend), finds herself torn between the boy she loves, the responsibilities she can’t escape, and the tantalizing promises of a man who claims to know the secret of what lies beyond the fall—a man who tried to destroy the life of the person she holds most dear.
“Insurgent” is a compelling follow-up to its predecessor, “Divergent” (although anyone trying to pick up the former without having first read the latter will be completely lost, so be forewarned.) The action and intrigue pick up without a hitch as Tris, Tobias and their straggling band of rebels seek shelter at Amity headquarters, the first of several faction stops for the fleeing survivors and a wise choice of setting by Roth. Each faction tests the asylum-seekers through the lens of its own ideology, putting Tris and co. through a fascinating psychological wringer that nicely illustrates the trilogy’s overarching themes of free will and moral relativism…and, of course, there’s plenty of tormented teen romance and no small amount of indiscriminate bloodshed. (Don’t get too attached to any secondary or tertiary characters if you know what’s good for you.) Though Tris’ near-suicidal recklessness and overwrought exchanges with Tobias feel the slightest bit redundant by the book’s conclusion, the imaginative action and glimpses of a sprawling conspiracy (hello, book three!) are serious attention-grabbers, and the portrait of a shattered, derelict, overgrown and abandoned Chicago is evocative as ever.
Have you read “Insurgent”? Are you itching for book three? Sound off in the comments!
The third book in Veronica Roth’s best-selling Divergent Trilogy, which is as-yet-untitled but often jokingly referred to as “Detergent,” will be released next fall, Roth has announced.
Books one and two in the series – Divergent Movie and Insurgent – were released in May, 2011 and May, 2012 respectively, but Roth needs a bit more time to pump out the series ender.
She explained on her blog today, “I know that’s over a year away, and that seems like forever. The reason it’s so distant is pretty simple: I need more time to write and edit and polish it, so that when you get it, it’s the best book 3 I could possibly make it. The last thing I want is to feel like the last book in the trilogy needed just a little more time, and I’m sure you feel the same way, even if internally you are saying ‘OMG WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO US, CRUEL AUTHOR?!’”
Both Divergent and Insurgent debuted on the New York Times’ Bestseller List and received overwhelmingly positive reviews.
In Divergent, Veronica Roth explores a life where people become the virtues they choose. Set in a futuristic Chicago, there is a new order: All citizens are to select a predetermined virtue, called factions, and dedicate their lives to fully realizing its responsibilities. The factions are Abnegation (selflessness), Candor (honesty), Dauntless (bravery), Amity (peace), and Erudite (knowledge). Each faction lives completely separated from the other, and interaction between them is extremely limited.
Beatrice Prior, known as Tris, is sixteen years old and, along with her peers, must choose her faction. While all candidates undergo a grueling test to discover their true faction, the choice is ultimately their own. Especially for Tris, who has spent her whole life in Abnegation, the ability to choose something for herself is difficult and foreign. Will she be able to decide what is right for her own future? Further complicating her decision are her errant test results: She is labeled a Divergent, a dangerous assessment that she is advised to keep to herself. She is not given any information about the Divergents — not even a definition. With this particular lack of knowledge, the right decision seems impossible.
Tris surprises everyone, mainly herself, and chooses to be a part of Dauntless. As she braves the initiation process (which includes jumping off of buildings, catching moving trains, and intense fear simulations), she realizes the factions are not as pure as they may seem. She discovers certain Dauntless members can be mercilessly cruel, some Erudite members incredibly condescending, and even members of Abnegation massively selfish. More so, she faces the difficulties of growing up and leaving her family behind as she develops new friendships and unintentional enemies. One of the more mysterious and intriguing people she meets is a Dauntless named Four. As he and Tris develop their friendship, it becomes clear that their reliance on each other will be crucial to their survival.
It’s easy to get caught up in the fast-paced action of this novel, but it’s equally easy to fall in love with Roth’s complex and endearing characters. Terrible things happen to many of the people Tris loves, but her unwavering focus is inspirational. Finally, here is a young female protagonist who isn’t so much concerned with a love triangle as she is with making tough, moral choices. As Four explains to her, “Fear doesn’t shut you down; it wakes you up.” Combined with philosophical questioning of government and individual rights, Divergent (Divergent Movie) makes a compelling read that will have you on the edge of your seat.