Divergent jumps to the big screen

One of our reporters reviews Divergent, a best-selling novel, and comments on the movie adaption. Divergent: 4½ stars (books)

Mackenzie Filkins, Reporter

Veronica Roth’s first best-selling novel, Divergent, is currently one of the number one young adult book series in the country. Many have described Divergent as “the next Hunger Games,” which is not surprising considering the series is a dystopian novel with a brave female character and a highly anticipated book to movie adaption.

Divergent begins in Chicago after a war changes their society and all citizens must be divided into five factions. Erudite the intelligent, Dauntless the brave, Abnegation the selfless, Candor the honest, and Amity the peaceful. At age sixteen Beatrice Prior (Tris)  must choose to stay with her faction, Abnegation, or choose a different path separate from her family. Beatrice believes the simulation test will give her an answer until the test reveals she is divergent, meaning she can fit into multiple factions and cannot be put into one category. For Tris, being divergent could mean losing her life.

The first book took only a chapter for me to be completely submerged into the world of Divergent. Once there, the book rarely had a moment of rest. Tris was constantly trying to survive or understand what being ‘divergent’ meant.

Every character had a distinct personality and is memorable, which can often be difficult in books with so many characters. Every time a new character was casted in The Hunger Games movies I often needed to look up who they were to remind myself. Predicting events before hand is another problem I find when reading a book. Aside from knowing which faction Beatrice would choose, I never predicted Tris’s failures and triumphs. The book is also a fast and easy read.

Divergent is one of my favorites and when I learned the book would soon be a movie I was initially upset because I love the books so much but decided to wait and see who was casted, before jumping to conclusions. For the most part I was happy with the cast. Maggie Q looked exactly how I imagined Tori and when the trailer came out I was even more happy with her performance as Tori. Tris’s parents were Ashley Judd and Tony “the president from Scandal” Goldwyn which were awesome choices. Janene looked completely opposite from how I imagined her, but come on, they got Kate Winslet. Will (Ben Lloyd-Hughes) looked a little old, but him, Christina (Zoë Kravitz), and Al (Christian Madsen)  seemed perfect.

Unfortunately I was not happy with the two main characters, Shailene Woodley for Tris and Theo James for Four. I think Shailene Woodley was a fantastic choice for Hazel in The Fault In Our Stars but not as the small and strong Tris. Theo James is a twenty-nine year old playing an eighteen year old and he looks nothing like how I imagined Four. When the trailer came out I became more excited about choices for every character besides the choices for the two main characters.

Divergent will remain one of my favorite book series but I can only hope the movie does not ruin the series for other readers who watch the movie before reading the book. I would recommend reading the book before watching the movie because that will enhance the overall experience of both the movie and the book.

Summit Entertainment