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BuzzFeed, please read!

image: medium.com

Recently, BuzzFeed News ran an article about why the Divergent movie franchise was a flop. This is a refutation of that article.

Their Argument

BuzzFeed is basically arguing that Divergent didn’t work as a movie because the plot was too confusing:

One possible reason for its collapse is the weakness of the source material. The structure of Divergent ‘s fictional world was hard to understand, the plots were hard to follow, and the stakes were unclear. That made Divergent different from the YA books that have worked as movies. In Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games , for example, it’s obvious from the start that Katniss is the revolutionary figure who will end the Hunger Games, destroy the repressive state of Panem, and help bring about a more equitable world. In Twilight , Edward and Bella need to be 2gether4ever and, along the way, defeat the elitist Volturi vampire coven.
Roth’s story never had that clarity. Its muddled plot is set in postapocalyptic Chicago, where everyone over 16 is divided into five personality-based factions in order to prevent society from falling into the destructive chaos that led to the end of the United States. As the three books go on, there are different villains in each, with no obvious goal for our heroes to achieve. The novels are confusing, humorless, and derivative. And though they provide some interesting visual opportunities (trains that run through Chicago without ever stopping, an exciting zip line scene in the first book), the final novel — Allegiant — revealed that Roth had no real vision to conclude the story.

Kate Aurthur, BuzzFeed News Reporter

My Personal Rebuttal

The plot is only confusing if you haven’t read the books.

The books – and therefore the movies – do not stand alone. They build on each other. So, if you haven’t read the books before watching the movies, there’s no way in hell anything is going to make sense. No, the plot isn’t as simple as something like The Twilight Saga. But that’s what makes it brilliant.

Veronica Roth, who happens to be one of my favorite authors, didn’t have any glaring, anticlimactic plot holes like Stephenie Meyer had in Breaking Dawn. Not to say The Twilight Saga is complete trash, but Divergent has a layer of complexity to it that Twilight doesn’t have. And Veronica Roth, as the author, can do whatever she wants. I may not always like what happens, but that doesn’t mean I hate the books or the author.

BuzzFeed also argues that “the [Divergent] novels are derivative”. Derivative of what, though? Divergent is unlike anything I’ve read before, and it’s an excellent example of world building. The only explanation I can think of is that they mean to say that the books build on each other. Isn’t that how book series are supposed to work, anyway?

And I can totally understand why that won’t work for a visual medium. Movies usually have a beginning, a middle, and an end, and everything fits together and is explained by the end. You can’t ask an audience to do “homework” before seeing a movie. Who wants to do more than they need to, right? Most people just want to escape for an hour or two. If they pick up the books because they enjoyed the movie so much that they want more, that’s fine. Odds are, though, most people won’t do that.

So, the moral of the story here is, not every book works as a movie. And you know what? That’s totally okay. It doesn’t mean the books are bad. So, all I have to say is, “Go home, BuzzFeed News, you’re drunk”.

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Daily Prompt

If I were Dauntless

Yes, the title of this post is a reference to the Divergent series by Veronica Roth.

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Daily Prompt

Junk Food in Literature

This post was originally just going to be about Divergent and Dauntless cake, but then I thought, “Why not blow it wide open and include all the fandoms?”  So, here goes nothing.

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Books Movies Music TV

Home is Where the Fandoms are

I have a lot of fandoms.  I’ve hardly met a book, movie, music, what have you, that  I don’t like.  Outlander, Divergent, and Harry Potter, just to name a few.

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Music

It Might Just be the Best Soundtrack Ever

About a week ago, I was laying in bed listening to music (and probably playing solitaire) on my phone. I eventually found myself browsing my WishList in the iTunes Store. And that’s when I splurged.
I usually don’t buy entire albums, but the Divergent soundtrack was absolutely necessary. I liked all the music from the movie, I just didn’t have enough iTunes money to buy it right away.
The music is even better than I remember it from the movie. I’m addicted to it. Usually, I repeat individual songs. But I’ve had this whole album on repeat recently because I can’t get enough of it.

Even though there’s not a bad song, I have two favorites: Run Boy Run and I Won’t Let You Go.

As soon as I heard Run Boy Run, I freaked out. I finally found the song from the movie with the awesome snare drums underneath everything else in the song. Those snare licks are enough to give me an orgasm. (I was a percussionist in my high school marching band, so I know what good drums sound like). It’s a relatively simple pattern, but it’s a good one that fits the action of the movie. I can’t remember what scene it is in though.

I always wondered what happened to Snow Patrol after the success of Chasing Cars. It’s the only song of theirs I ever hear on the radio. Apparently they’re still making music, because they sing my other favorite song on the soundtrack, I Won’t Let You Go. It has a good beat, which is essential for me. If I don’t like the beat before someone adds words to it, I probably won’t like the song very much. The refrain strikes a chord with me:

There’s something happening here, there’s something here that I just can’t explain. I know I’m where I belong, deep down inside I’ve known all along. I won’t let you go, so don’t let go of me. I wanted something more, I wanted this right here.

For me, this is a song about not giving up, no matter how stressful school – or life in general, for that matter – becomes. I’ve already been through so much in my life, school isn’t going to stop my progress now. Granted, this song may not calm me down completely, but it does help.
Anyway, you can’t have Divergent without the music that makes it. Give it a listen. You won’t regret it ;).

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Uncategorized

My Mind just got Blown

So, I’m reading Much Ado About Nothing for the English class I’m taking right now. One of the main characters is Beatrice. Do you remember what “Tris” is short for? That’s right, Beatrice. I already love Shakespeare and this play, but now I love them even more. And on Friday, I get to go to the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, Virginia. I’m really excited. I’ll take pictures when I can and post them when I get back.

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Movies

Totally Bingewatching

So, I went out to Target today expecting to buy either Divergent or Catching Fire and an iTunes card. I found both movies for the same price, but the iTunes card would put me over budget. But then Mom stepped in to pay the difference with my birthday money so I could get all three things. I love her.

I would binge tonight, but Rising Star is on, so I’ll watch both movies tomorrow and have reviews on Tuesday.

Oh, and Catching Fire came with this really awesome app called Panem Run. It’s like Temple Run, but better!

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Books

Four’s Story

Last night, I finished up Four: A Divergent Collection. Veronica Roth wrote three new stories about Four and his life before and after his Choosing Ceremony, as well as three scenes from Divergent told from his point of view.

It was really interesting to see the other side of Four, while he was still growing up. It gave more depth to his choice of Dauntless. If you love Divergent, pick this up. 😉