Book Review: Divergent Thinking*

image– Leah Wilson (Editor), V. Arrow, Janine K. Spendlove, Elizabeth Wein, Blythe Woolston, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Mary Borsellino, Rosemary Clement-Moore, Debra Driza, Julia Karr, Dan Krokos, Elizabeth Norris, Maria V. Snyder.

So not many people then?

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: 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 read Divergent last year and really loved the series as a whole. Upon seeing Divergent Thinking, I thought it would be really interesting to read and to delve more into the themes and ideas in the books. Now this book comprises of a variety of essays, each in their own ‘chapter’, if you like. Each essay focuses on something different, which ensures that the same points aren’t made over and over again. It was clear that each essay was written by a different person (or people) as the writing style definitely changed throughout. I wouldn’t say this was a bad thing – some essays just seemed more informal and chatty, with others being quite formal and fact-based.

I had a few essays that really stood out to me, and funnily enough these were more so the fact-based ones. I’m not exactly sure that it was the way those ones were written or whether that content just interested me a lot more. I’m leaning towards the latter though! It just so happened that these chapters were mostly right at the beginning of the book too. So, the essays that stood out to me?

Immediately I thought the first one was really interesting with it talking about how humans do put themselves into groups – just like the factions. These groups can be anything – horoscopes, fandoms, school cliques. It’s strange because it seems so normal. We do separate ourselves quite naturally without even really thinking about it. Adding to this, the essay about personality traits also had me paying very close attention. Each faction focused on one main personality trait, and we see how that affected the city. Those that are Divergent are ‘genetically healed’ and it shows that you can’t just focus on one thing – you need to balance everything out for a community to work. Now, never having been to Chicago, I thought the essay about mapping everything out was brilliant. I never would have thought that you could put the places in the book into a real life city. I just thought of it as a made up Chicago to be honest! I enjoyed looking at the maps and learning just a little bit more about the area! The last essay that really stuck out for me was the one about ‘coming of age’. It’s something that every teenager will go through, whether they decide to go to college/university or go straight into work. In our world, we get to try out different things and if our first decision is the wrong one, we can always go back and try again. In the Divergent world, they only get one chance. If they choose the wrong faction that’s it. It just sort of makes you think about the big decisions that have to be made. Being in my third year at university, I really related to that one!

Now, I’m not saying that the other essays were bad – they were all interesting to read – but the ones that I mentioned above really stood out to me. I thought the book did really well in delving deeper into the Divergent world, and really had me thinking about all the different themes running through the books. It’s definitely a book for those who enjoyed the Divergent series and want to go more into the deeper meanings. It made me think about things from a different angle.

My Rating – To see my rating guide click here.

*Thanks to NetGalley for sending me this book to review.