Jen’s Book Club Remix

Last month I reviewed Veronica Roth’s Divergent. Shortly after I was in a theater filling up on popcorn and Sour Patch Kids, waiting for the movie to start.

Now, normally my method of surviving book-to-movie adaptations involves a three step process. Step one is to have low expectations. Then I repeat that step twice. It’s the best method to avoid the up-in-arms aftermath of many books that hit the big screen. This aftermath includes but is not limited to angry eyebrows, screams of “BUT THEY CHANGED EVERYTHING,” and other means of disappointment.

My normal methods did not apply to Divergent’s on-screen adaptation. It was a concise look at the diverse factions of the novel, with a clear story line and much of the content I enjoyed so much in the book. The characters were well depicted by their chosen actors, with Shailene Woodley playing a convincingly shy-to-badass Tris Prior and heartthrob Theo James upholding Four’s rugged yet sensitive esteem. Their relationship was underplayed, allowing the conflict of the factions to take main stage. The heart of the film was found in the societal connections of the Divergent world, and the movie lent itself to the idea of choice and fear that was so prevalent in the novel.

There was no up-in-arms aftermath, and for that I was pleasantly surprised.

 

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Jen’s Book Club

Okay, so I’m going to level with you all: it’s been awhile since I’ve finished a book. I’ve picked some up and had every intention of plowing through them only to get distracted and stop. I used to be so focused on reading and I lost that drive somewhere in the last couple years. I think reading makes me a better writer, and I’m trying hard to get back into it.

Last week I had the pleasure of going to a really rad Caribbean cruise with some of my favorite bands, and that trip required a plane ride that allowed me to start and finish Veronica Roth’s Divergent. I know I jumped on this bandwagon late, but now I can’t get off of it and I don’t want to.

From Goodreads:

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is–she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

The issue of choice is key in the makeup of this novel, and I think a lot of courage is born from choice. Tris is bold in her own right, and chooses to cross line after line after line until she becomes someone her previous life wouldn’t recognize. I enjoyed the growth of character in this novel and the joy that Tris found in becoming a part of her new faction.

But Divergent is not a one note read. It’s also a rough and gritty look at what happens when power struggles and how choice and superiority breed conflict. When the factions clash Tris is at the heart of the fight, and her choices become ones that effect every faction. It’s a book about overcoming fear, trusting oneself, learning people, and is one you won’t want to put down.

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Divergent is the first of a three part series, and will soon be in movie theaters everywhere.