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3.0 

Divergent Thinking

By Leah Wilson & Elizabeth Wein &
Divergent Thinking by Leah Wilson & Elizabeth Wein &  digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

Veronica Roth's Divergent trilogy (Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant) 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.


Contributor list:

Elizabeth Wein
Maria V. Snyder and Jenna Snyder
V. Arrow
Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Mary Borsellino
Rosemary Clement-Moore
Debra Driza
Julia Karr
Dan Krokos
Elizabeth Norris
Janine K. Spendlove
Blythe Woolston

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3 Reviews

3.0
“First of all, don’t read this book if you haven’t finished Allegiant yet—spoilers aplenty. I have read a book like this before—authors analyzing a work they find intriguing (in this case, Pride and Prejudice)—and I enjoyed it as well. I think seeing what others think, especially those who write for a living, can help open your own opinions and make you view the work differently. I’ll review each essay separately, as that only seems fair. From Factions to Fire Signs—an analysis of the innate human desire to sort ourselves. I think she does a great job exploring all of the ways in which we do this, starting from an early age. I also particularly loved one conclusion of hers: That we love to sort things but, paradoxically, love heroes who defy sorting. We may identify as a certain faction (Erudite, naturally, for me), but we value Tris because she’s a blend. Just as we value Mulan, Jo March, and even the Avengers when taken as a group—they are all Divergent. Divergent Psychology—a clinical analysis of the Factions based on the psychology concept of the Big Five. I do feel a few of the applications of Faction to trait are a bit forced, but overall she makes some very good points about the human condition (and this ties in very well with the previous essay about our love of sorting). Also a very interesting read, but might be dry to people who don’t enjoy psychological study as much as I do. Mapping Divergent’s Chicago—Answer one question: Are you from Chicago or one of those people who think Chicago is the city to top all cities (even if you aren’t a resident)? If yes, then please enjoy reading this essay. If you answered no, feel free to skip it. It’s pretty much an analysis of how closely Tris’ Chicago mirrors current Chicago. Not. All. That. Exciting. There is some cool analysis of gangs, though. So that’s something. Oh, and maps. Lots of maps. I love a good map. Choices Can Be Made Again—a parallel of Faction selection versus choosing a college. For a teen making this selection in their own lives, this might be an interesting read. For a grown woman who’s already graduated from two colleges and has yet to feel that “alma mater” bond to either (What did I say? Erudite. Don’t expect any Amity touchy-feeliness here), this essay was forgettable. I did like the format, though, with the mother and daughter team conversing about their thoughts; I also love the idea of a mom and daughter reading a book series together and getting so excited about it that they can talk endlessly about how much they enjoyed it. For a librarian whose mother doesn’t really read, there was some serious envy here. Ordinary Acts of Bravery—An analysis of the meaning of bravery, and how Dauntless doesn’t live up to their own manifesto of “…the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.” It also explores bravery in terms of the other Factions. An interesting perspective, and one that I enjoyed reading. Fear and the Dauntless Girl—Why do we fear things? And what exactly is the mechanism behind fear? Is it simply being afraid of clowns, or being deathly afraid of unknown, unrecognizable faces? Or fear of those who refuse to show said faces? Her analysis of fears, both rational and irrational, was very intriguing. As is often said, it’s not a fear of falling; it’s a fear of that sudden landing at the end. They Injure Each Other in the Same Way—an analysis of the role of family in Divergent. To be honest, I skimmed it, because it was heavy in praise for Allegiant, which I thought sucked. I’m not a big “family comes first” person (more of a “you choose your own family” person), so anything having to do with family sacrifice and family dynamics really doesn’t speak to me. Secrets and Lies—discussing the big lie that Chicago is an experiment. To be fair, about halfway through Divergent I started to figure they were an experimental microcosm (blame the movie “The Village”—I go into every dystopian book with the preconceived notion of experiments and evil scientists), so the big reveal in Allegiant meant nothing to me. That being said, this analysis of that lie is quite an interesting read and is well written. Bureau vs Rebels—again, very heavily having to do with Allegiant, which I honestly skimmed most of, so this story wasn’t very impacting. For the eight people or so who liked Allegiant, you may like this—the writing is good, it’s just the topic that sucks. Factions: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly—Just as the title says, it breaks down the good, bad, and ugly parts of a factioned society. The benefits of fitting into a like-minded and accepting group, paralleled with the pain and indignity of being left out of said group or being a non-conformist, and again paralleled with the dangers of being easily manipulated by peer pressure and like-mindedness are all explored here. There are also substantial parallels between factioned societies in real history vs in Divergent and how eerily similar they are. It’s probably one of the best essays in this book, in my opinion. The Downfall of Dauntless—a military opinion on the fall of a faction and how it affects the world as a whole. She compares the Dauntless to a peacekeeping force, with the job of a police officer, but lacking the set of moral codes drilled into a member of the military; this volatile combination leads to their inevitable fall. She also pulls in her military training, history, and group dynamics to support her point. Being the daughter of a Marine, I know their personalities and cohesiveness, so her logic and reasoning was pretty solid from the perspective of such a dedicated soldier. Emergent—Can I just start by saying this is what I hoped the third book would be called? Because I have OCD and when two books end in “gent”, I expect the third one will? Seriously, you dropped the ball, Roth. This essay explores the role of the factionless in all three books, primarily as the driving force that ties all three books together (since Allegiant, except for when it involves the factionless, seems like a disconnected book). One of her best points is how we only see the factionless through Tris’ tainted POV; maybe if the first two books had presented them in a more straightforward and honest way, we would have seen what happened in Allegiant coming. She also supports the view I held through all three books, that the factionless are, in truth, the “normal” society—what we would look at as normal; they just happen to live in some crazy, twisted dystopia that makes them abnormal. All in all, this was a pretty cool book for fans of the Divergent trilogy—it makes you think, is well-written, and offers fresh ideas on the central tenets of the series.”

Maria Snyder

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