Veronica Roth’s Next Novel Series

According to the New York Times, Veronica Roth’s next book series will see its first release in 2017!

She reveals that the story will be in

 “‘the vein of ‘Star Wars’ and will tell of a boy’s ‘unlikely alliance’ with an enemy.”

I know that many of you are pumped for the upcoming movie release of Insurgent and now you have even more to be excited about!

Here’s the full article.

Feminism in YA: Tris Prior (DIVERGENT Only)

Feminism in YA: Tris Prior

Written by Grant Goodman, 10/17/2014

NOTE: Full of spoilers for DIVERGENT

Beatrice Prior’s story follows the traditional tropes of teenage rebellion: when given the chance to pick a lifestyle, she completely rebels from her family’s traditions of being bland and selfless (Abnegation). Her pick is Dauntless which emphasizes combat-readiness and mental fortitude. With this change of identity, she also changes her name to Tris and—of course—gets tattooed.

What does it mean to be a strong woman in Tris’ world? If you’re a member of Dauntless, you jump out of moving vehicles, you leap off of rooftops, you let a hot guy throw knives at you, and you engage in full contact hand-to-hand combat. In Tris’ case, finding access to this strength means casting aside her family and her old lifestyle.

In fact, as she continues to grow, she loses more and more. Tris chooses her own path and in doing so she is sexually assaulted, shoots one of her friends (the circumstances are extenuating) and gets both of her parents killed. That’s a heavy message there.

Yes, she does find a way to express who she is. She has a smoldering relationship with Four and she finds a small core of people who want to be around her. Yes, she makes decisions on her own and literally confronts her own fears. The cost, though, is exorbitant.

Tris is a fascinating character, without a doubt. I’m honestly torn on how to reach a conclusion on whether or not she’s a strong role model for girls. Her intentions and her thirst for independence are admirable. The message about what you need to go through in order to succeed, though, is terrifying at times.

I’d love to know your thoughts. Let’s discuss this further in the comments section.

Veronica Roth Writes to Music (and Maybe You Should, Too)

Veronica Roth to Writes to Music (and Maybe You Should, Too)

Written by Grant Goodman, 10/11/2014

It has been a little while since Veronica Roth wrote about the music she listens to while she writes. (Check here, here, and here.) Even so, it’s a window into the craft of writing from one of the most influential writers in the YA scene.

Writing is all about channeling emotions and music is perhaps the most pure, direct artistic translation of emotion. One of my all-time favorite passages from Pat Rothfuss’ novels is as follows: Music touches [people’s] hearts directly no matter how small or stubborn the mind of the man who listens.” And he nailed it, because if you can find a song that somehow embodies the overall flow of the scene you’re writing, it will lock you in and keep you focused.

So let’s talk about Veronica Roth’s picks, shall we?

She mentions Mumford and Sons’ “Timshel,” a song that is not only hushed and beautiful, but also connected to John Steinbeck’s novel, EAST OF EDEN. That’s a double-literary bonus right there, for super-effective double damage.

She also gives a nod to Mumford’s “White Blank Page,” which swells and churns and honestly ranks among the best build-up songs ever written (according to me, that is.)

The band Now, Now was a part of her writing INSURGENT. I love their album, Threads, and I’ve seen them twice. Their concert performances have been nothing short of fantastic. Roth leans toward “Giants.” If I had to pick a writing song from them, I’d go with “But I Do.”

It’s fun to listen to the songs she listed and then try to pair them with the scenes from her novels.

Do you write while listening to music? Chime in with your top songs in the comments section. We’ll trade picks.