ARC Review: Divergent Thinking by Leah Wilson

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Title: Divergent Thinking
Author:  Leah Wilson
Publisher/Year:  BenBella Books Inc 3/4/14
Length: 256 Pages

Overview

Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy (DivergentInsurgentAllegiant) has captured the hearts and thoughts of millions of readers. In Divergent Thinking, YA authors explore even more of Tris and Tobias’ world, including:

• What Divergent’s factions have in common with one of psychology’s most prominent personality models
• The biology of fear: where it comes from and how Tris and the other Dauntless are able to overcome it
• Full-page maps locating all five faction headquarters and other series landmarks in today’s Chicago, based on clues from the books
• Plus a whole lot more, from why we love identity shorthand like factions to Tris’ trouble with honesty to the importance of choice, family, and being brave

With a dozen smart, surprising, mind-expanding essays on all three books in the trilogy, Divergent Thinking provides a companion fit for even the most Erudite Divergent fan.

My Thoughts

I know what you’re thinking – i’ve actually seen the comments online so far as to why we need to have a book that dissects what we’ve all come to love, and apply it in ways that are far outside of the reasons for the series to begin with.  I have to say, while i like to be a skeptic, i pride myself in being a thinker, not a philosopher, but someone who likes to play devils advocate, who loves dystopia for some sick and twisted reason and likes to apply all that i’ve read into what is going on now and what i’m fearing for my kids in the future.

Divergent Thinking takes us outside of the fiction and applies quite a few bits of the story into theories and life situations that make you want to keep thinking.  We get various essays/thoughts/stories by YA authors that are applying things and making you think.

The introduction starts off really re-hashing what’s gone on in the series – picking out game changing moments and drawing comparisons into what we’ve seen throughout.  We get to think about what makes Divergence something to fear, we talk about what brings Allegiant closer to our society, drawing the link that we need and then think a bit more about where it ties back to life.

For example, the first segment is is by an author named Rosemary Clement-Moore where she’s talking about the faction system and how it’s really grounded in what we have in life right now, and what it means.  She has a section where she equates the meanings of the factions into elemental signs.  she dissects the idea of choosing your faction to even pick up lines of ‘what’s your sign’.  honestly, it’s not earth shattering insight here, but it makes you think.

There’s even a section called Choices can be made again by Maria V Snyder and her 16 year old daughter Jenna.  what’s interesting here is that they are drawing constant similarities between Tris and Jenna. ….and what life was like then and what it would be for Jenna now.  While i want to enjoy this section a lot, i feel like i’m forced to think about it too much like a ping pong.  not everything needs to be directly related.  but all in all, it’s interesting.

all in all, while not a dystopian novel, it makes you think, and it brings things full circle.  Dystopia is just about post-apolcolypic stuff right?  where we are in the future?  so it’s based in the ‘now’ or what will be the past – so it’s nice to think about it from time to time.

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