Yes, I’m one of those people: the thirtysomethings who devoured the Divergent book series and couldn’t get enough.
Unlike other popular young adult series, though, like Twilight (so poorly written I couldn’t get through the first chapter) or The Hunger Games (many a literary shortcoming forgiven because the story was so damn compelling), Divergent was a great story told really well (including the controversial ending). I borrowed the first book from a friend, the second one for free on Kindle with my Amazon Prime membership, and the third one from same friend. All in a single month.
But this isn’t the part where I critique the series, or its themes of post-apocalyptic austerity and challenges to authority, or even where I critique the film, which I went to see last weekend with girlfriends (and encourage you to do the same). It’s also not where I dissect the acting (a mixed bag, with the smoldering Theo James stealing the spotlight) or its relation to the book (pretty spot-on, with a few exceptions).
It is where I share my love for Shailene Woodley as a human being and as a beacon of hope for her generation. Girl has her head on straight and, though she was a far better actor in The Descendants than in this first Divergent film, I just can’t get enough of her. Check out this interview with Seth Meyers to see why — including getting rid of everything she owned (even her cell phone), taking urban survivalist courses, and couch surfing after Divergent wrapped:
She’s into herbalism, makes her own toothpaste & other DIY projects, studies indigenous cultures, spends time in the wild, and exercises minimalism while trying to stick to a mostly organic lifestyle. She’s also much more confident & self-assured than I ever was at her age, while refusing to define or discuss her sexuality for the media. You go with your bad self, Shailene. I wish you were a columnist for this magazine so we could dish about all things off-the-grid IRL, but really I just wish you had a column in any magazine so I could follow your growth as a human being and your lifestyle tips.
h/t Lucky Magazine