From Page to Screen: "Divergent" Opens Friday

If you don’t have plans to jet off to an exotic locale for Spring Break, head to the movies next week and check out Divergent, based on the bestselling young adult novel by Veronica Roth. Maybe it’s just the English major in me, but if I know that a movie I really want to see is based on a book, I usually read it first! In this case, I happened to read Divergent two years ago before I even knew a movie was going to be made, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Now I know this isn’t always easy or practical considering we are going to be recovering from finals week, but if you are one of those girls who was able to devour The Hunger Games in a day or two, Divergent will be just as easy to read, I promise. But, if you don't have time to read it, have no idea what it is about or have seen the trailer on TV and didn't even know it was a book—don’t worry, this article will get you up to speed!

Here is a quick breakdown of the plot: Set in gloomy dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions that are each inhabited by people who perfectly exemplify a particular personality trait. The factions are as follows,

  1. Abnegation: the selfless
  2. Amity: the peaceful
  3. Candor: the honest
  4. Dauntless: the brave
  5. Erudite: the knowledgeable

How does one know which one to choose, you might ask? Well, when you turn sixteen you take an aptitude test that will determine the faction you are meant to be in. Now this isn’t like a Buzzfeed quiz that tells you where you should spend Spring Break or what kind of cookie you are—this test actually determines how and where you will live the rest of your life -- imagine that!

Most teenagers take the test, fit nicely into one of these groups and leave their homes, (unless they test into the same faction they were raised in), beginning a whole new life. For our protagonist Beatrice Prior (Tris for short), this is a problem. Raised in Abnegation, her aptitude test produces a rare, inconclusive result — she is what they call “divergent,” someone who could fit into several factions. They are considered a dangerous group of people who must hide their test results and choose a faction along with everyone else, since the government sees them as a threat. Tris chooses Dauntless, the courageous, daring, brave and often wild faction, and the action of the story takes off from this point.

Now I know what you’re thinking: this sounds great and all, but is there any romance? Don’t worry, there’s plenty and it is a subtle buildup throughout the book, not overpowering its positive messages about individuality or entering into sappy territory—although we can expect the movie to hype up the romance angle quite a bit more, and with good reason. Tris meets the mysterious and brooding Four, once she arrives at Dauntless. The actor who plays Four is Theo James, pictured above. Um, hello! How lucky is Shailene Woodley? The cast also includes the great Kate Winslet and Miles Teller. Fun fact: for fans of The Fault in Our Stars, Ansel Elgort, who will play Augustus Waters alongside Woodley in June, stars as her brother Caleb in Divergent.

Bottom line: read the book first if you have time, because it's quick and fun. Otherwise, just enjoy a relaxing movie break with your friends! In case you need another picture of Theo James—here you go (you’re welcome!), and watch the Divergent trailer here! Happy Spring Break ladies!