What Is ‘Divergent’? A Guide for Grown-Ups

This week, the trailer for the latest attempt at Building a YA Empire, Divergent, dropped onto the web. Shailene Woodley, its star, is a particular favorite of mine, so of course I recommend you see the movie when it appears next March. But those of you who are not either teenagers or parents of teenagers may again find yourselves puzzling over a teen phenomenon that, as far as you are concerned, has come out of nowhere. I have taken one for the team again and read both Divergent and its sequel Insurgent, and I am here to report on these Hunger Games clones — because there is indeed a little too much similarity between the world Veronica Roth constructs in these books and the one Suzanne Collins offered. And Roth suffers greatly from the comparison.