Well, a lot has happened this week. March Madness has officially taken over the sports world, Kimye finally got their Vogue cover, and A capella music seems to be getting cooler by the minute – especially with this amazing video. BUT, my mind has been elsewhere. I’m deeply distracted by the lure of the dark Dauntless compound, blown away by unwavering courage of Tris Prior, and like most of us, dying to give Peter a swift kick to the face. Where am I? Blissfully trapped in the fictional world of Divergent, and I don’t ever want to leave.
The next YA powerhouse franchise, Divergent (novels written by Veronica Roth) hit theaters TODAY (3/21) with the first film in the series. I haven’t seen it yet, so I can’t speak to how different it is from the book, but if the films stay close to the books, we’re seriously in for a treat. Based on the trailers, gifs, and posters, I think we’re in good hands.
Divergent follows the story of Beatrice Prior as she enters her remaining teen years faced with a very tough choice that will change her life forever. Set in a futuristic, dystopian version of Chicago, people are given the choice in their late teens to choose their faction – the group of individuals they share common traits with, and the communities they want to be part of. She has to decide if she should stay in her current faction with her family, or leave and join a different one. And when she goes to take her test to see which faction she’s best suited for, her results are “inconclusive” which means she’s Divergent. Ruh-Roh!
Then things get awesome. Here’s a trailer to better demonstrate just how awesome.
If you’re not already sold on this story quickly becoming the only thing that matters to you, here are 14 reasons you’re about to get hooked.
WARNING: SOME SPOILERS AHEAD.
1. We should all face our fears.
Beatrice joins the Dauntless faction and changes her name to “Tris”. Her life of selflessness in Abnegation immediately transforms into a life of jumping on and off of moving trains, learning to defend herself in a fight, and basically facing anything she’s ever been scared of with Dauntless. The mission of Dauntless isn’t to become fearless, but how to face fears head on and not let them win. Which is really an important reminder we all need in our lives.
2. Nobody should be placed into one ‘box’.
There’s probably one or two dominant traits in each one of us that can be used to explain our behaviors. However, none of us is just one thing. Each one of us is a combination of many things. But in the Divergent world, you are forced to live your life as just your faction would, and when Tris and Four begin to fight against the injustice behind that, their world begins to change.
3. Go with your gut – always.
Tris relies on her instincts, which is something we should all do more of. If you’re in a situation and things just seem a bit…off, trust that feeling and BOUNCE.
4. Courage is cool.
Because this film is based on a YA novel series, I’m all the more impressed by the positive messages scattered throughout. This story promotes courage and strength and determination. Everything a whippersnapper needs to one day rule the world. Get after it!
5. Shailene Woodley is an outstanding choice for Tris Prior.
Throughout the series, Tris is underestimated by everyone she meets because at first glance, she’s just a plain, skinny girl. Nobody sees her as a threat. They have no concept of her power because she doesn’t stand out in a crowd.
Now, Shailene Woodley is anything but plain. In Hollywood however, I’d say she’s about as real as it gets in terms of young actresses. She doesn’t wear a lot of makeup, she’s not afraid to put comfort first when strutting the red carpet, she’s an Earth-loving hippie kid who goes into the mountains for her own fresh supply of water – she’s just different. Much like Tris.
6. The romantic relationship between Tris and Four is beautiful and healthy.
Four is her Dauntless instructor. As an initiate, he guides her through each stage leading up to officially becoming a member of the Dauntless community. The sparks between them fly immediately, but their relationship remains very innocent since they’re both very young and on the verge of facing a faction war. There’s no toxic jealousy, no possessive behavior. Their love grows out of mutual respect, trust, and the need to protect one another. He encourages her to be brave and to learn how to defend herself. It’s exactly what you’d want in a life partner.
7. Speaking of Four……THEO JAMES.
Okay, okay. I won’t gawk. I’ll do my best to go into his acting background and why he’s the perfect choice for this role.
Nah, screw it. Theo is a human masterpiece. I can’t help it. And Four is a total dreamboat. He’s incredibly brave, beautifully inked, and cranky most of the time – which I am an absolute sucker for. Theo has even said that he can be “grumpy and reclusive like Four.” SWOON.
8. Kate Winslet plays a villain!
I’m still not sure how I feel about this, because I love Kate Winslet, but I’m excited to see her in a different kind of role.
9. Maggie Q
Does anyone else have a crush on Maggie Q? She is equal parts badass and enchanting. She plays Tori, the Dauntless testing volunteer who delivers Tris’s unsettling inconclusive results. She’s also the best tattoo artist in the Dauntless community and quickly becomes an ally to Tris. Tori and Maggie are both just straight-up cool chicks. Casting perfection.
10. Familiar faces: Miles Teller and Ansel Elgort have major roles.
Don’t you just LOVE when actors pair up for multiple projects? It makes my IMDB-powered heart sing. Shailene Woodley starred with Miles Teller in The Spectacular Now, which was a wonderful and underrated love story, and she now gets to kick his ass in Divergent. Because he plays Peter. Oh, and we hate Peter.
Tris’s brother in Divergent (Caleb) is played by Ansel Elgort, who also stars with Shailene in the upcoming film, The Fault in Our Stars.
11. The tattoos are magnificent.
I don’t have any tattoos, but I’ve wanted to get one for years and years and years. I guess I’ve just been waiting to find the right symbol or image?
Forget about me and my dragging feet though, because the Dauntless crew and their tattoos had me completely mesmerized. Tris’s collarbone tattoo of the three birds? Four’s tattoo of all the factions? I.JUST.CAN’T. I love the artistry of tattoos and the statement they make. Like, this is so important to me, I wanted it on my body for all eternity.
12. Since it’s a franchise, we have more to look forward to.
You can go into the first book or first movie knowing it’ll take you a while to reach the end of the story. In fact, it’s actually hard for me to start a book now if I know it’s the only one, or if I have to wait for the next book in the series to come out. Waiting is the worst and I would prefer to live inside my favorite tales as long as possible without interruption.
13. And something big is coming. Something unexpected.
I’m halfway through Allegiant and I know the ending is going to absolutely crush my soul even though I don’t know what’s coming. AND PLEASE DON’T TELL ME. But with stuff like this all over my Pinterest, I’m gearing up for a very emotionally exhausting conclusion. If you don’t hear from me for a few weeks, you’ll know why.
14. The next Hunger Games movie isn’t out until November.
At the very least, this will surely fill your YA dystopian void until then.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to head to movie theater and see just how well the film stacks up to the book.
Will you see Divergent? Did you catch the midnight showing? Share your thoughts on the books and movies below!