Two Pieces of ‘Carve the Mark’ News

Carve the MarkThe first and most exciting for me personally is… drum roll please…. my copy arrived today! I’ll probably start reading tomorrow.

The second bit of interesting news came from this interview Ms Roth did with NPR.  Two tidbits I found of particular note: 1) Cyra did not start out as a major character in the book and 2) the character and her “currentgift” were inspired by some acquaintances of Ms Roth who are chronic pain patients. Chronic pain is a problem often addressed by psychologists along with physicians, so I am hopeful we will see some more of Ms. Roth’s fascination with psychology shine through in the series. In the NPR interview, she states that a person’s “personality is like a mold that shapes how it comes out”–  “it” being the gift-giving “current” that seems to the the “force” of Ms. Roth’s new world.  Could there be more personality psychology showing up in the new series?  We’ll know soon enough.  I hope there are plenty of Hogpro regulars reading along.

You can also view this CBS clip to hear Ms. Roth talk about reading Harry Potter in the shower.

A look at the Carve the Mark sneak peaks: prose, photos and artwork

preprderVeronica Roth engages with her readers through a variety of social media outlets, notably Twitter, Instagram and Tumblir. With a scant two weeks remaining until the release of her new book, Carve the Mark, she is clearly doing what she can to generate and maintain interest, including offering an bonus epilogue to the Divergent series for those who pre-order. And yes, that particular bit of marketing strategy worked very nicely on me–not that I wouldn’t have ordered the book anyway.

In addition to releasing a preview chapter, Ms. Roth has been sharing regular “teasers:” sentences from Carve the Mark she has been releasing weekly, along with a photograph or painting, at least some of which her mother assisted in preparing. I thought it would be fun to look through the ten teasers released so far, speculate about what they could mean for the new series and look for any possible echoes to the Divergent trilogy.  So, here are the ten teaser quotes, in the order they were released, and including the art.

ctm-opening1. The first was the opening line of Carve the Mark.

Hushflowers always bloomed when the night was longest. The whole city celebrated the day the bundle of petals peeled apart into rich red– partly because hushflowers were their nation’s lifeblood and partly, Akos thought, to keep them all from going crazy in the cold.

As other previews have mentioned, plants apparently play a big role in this book. The red flower pictured above–presumably the hushflower–bears a strong resemblance to the red flowers featured in the book trailer.  A second plant, the “iceflower” is also mentioned as providing “lifeblood”–and given the opening trailer images of snowscapes interspersed with the fiery red flowers, and the red, black and white theme of the accompanying artwork, it is a possibility we could be looking at an alchemical organization, as Christine Wesley brilliantly deduced for Divergent. That would certainly be a nice Yuletide gift for John.

[Read more…]

A Slice of Divergent Fandom, as seen through Twitter

MaeAAMThe Divergent series may not have the dedicated fandom that Harry Potter and Hunger Games had—otherwise the movies would have done better and this post would not even be necessary. But there is clearly a core group of fans that are most distressed at the news that the final installment (Ascendant) will most likely appear as a TV movie rather than in the cinema. Several hashtags (#AscendantOnTheBigScreenm #MakeAscendantAMovie, #MakeAsendantMovie) have cropped up on Twitter. I was surprised by a few things as I read through them and so, like a good Erudite, I decided to do a little very informal analysis.

flyingallegiant-640x345Of the 126 tweets I read and classified, slightly more than half (70) were in English. The rest were all in other languages, the majority (35) Spanish.  Other languages I recognized were Portuguese, Italian and French. I knew Divergent had a strong international audience but I was surprised by how strong an international voice turned up on Twitter. I guess that is why Ms. Roth’s jetsonsnext book (Carve the Mark) will be released in 33 languages when it debuts.  It also reaffirms my opinion that lots of the movie decisions (e.g. replacing the rickety old planes with George Jetson-style sprockets) were made based how they would play in international markets, or how they would fly (pardon the pun) in future theme park attractions.   [Read more…]

Ascendant (aka Allegiant Part Two) Movie cancelled; may be TV movie instead.

Divergent-Allegiant-Movie-PosterThis news broke a couple of days ago on Variety, and has not been confirmed by Lionsgate; but it also has not been denied, so I guess it is true. Allegiant-the-movie (or rather, Allegiant-the-movie-somewhat-loosely-inspired-by Veronica Roth’s-Allegiant-the-novel) failed to scale the high wall of acceptable reviews and–more importantly, no doubt–box office proceeds.  Lionsgate has decided not to proceed with Ascendant-the-movie, but rather will tie up the franchise with a TV movie, that will hopefully launch a new TV series with different characters set in Roth’s dystopia.

divergent_series_ascendantAs the resident Divergent-junkie and Veronica Roth fangirl, I see the news as a mixed bag.  It is crystal-clear that Lionsgate overplayed its hand in thinking they could squeeze four films out of this trilogy, especially when the book they chose to “split,” Allegiant, itself disappointed so many fans. As it was, the Insurgent and Allegiant movies deviated so much from the books that inspired them that I don’t think I’ll miss the fourth movie on the big screen.  There’s also the fact that they basically used up all their source material in the third movie, unless they planned to spend 2 hours killing Tris and scattering her ashes from the Hancock Tower. Link to the Mugglenet academia podcast for more details on this. [Read more…]

Blog on Psychology and Young Adult Literature

NecklaceI just did my second guest post on the YAWednesday blog, (albeit in a special Friday edition for the Mockingjay premiere) on how psychology and YAL inform each other.  References to Harry, Katniss and Tris abound, as well as shout-outs to reader favorites like Mugglenet Academia, the Chestnut Hill conference and Hogwartsprofessor.com itself.

This is a great blog for students, teachers or anyone interested in the most critically acclaimed YAL out there.  New posts every Wednesday by scholars and writers, plus information on conferences and new publications.