Author Spotlight: Veronica Roth
Born in New York and raised in Illinois, Veronica Roth is the youngest of three children and was an avid reader growing up. One of her favorite authors is Lois Lowry, who wrote The Giver, often cited as the original young-adult (YA) dystopian novel. She studied creative writing in Northwestern University and worked as a journalist before becoming a published author.
Roth is best known for her dystopian YA series, Divergent. The series is a trilogy, composed of Divergent, Insurgent, and Allegiant. She wrote the manuscript for the first novel during her senior year in college, and it was published in 2011 by HarperCollins.
Divergent is set in a dystopian future where all citizens are classified into one of five factions. The factions represent virtues: Dauntless for boldness, Abnegation for selflessness, Candor for honesty, Erudite for intellectuality, and Amity for peacefulness. At age sixteen, the citizens are able to choose the faction where they would live in forever after going through a battery of tests that will help determine where they are best suited. The series centers on Beatrice “Tris” Prior, a teenager from Abnegation who finds out that she is an anomaly: a Divergent, or someone who does not fit into a singular faction. Upon the day of choosing, Tris chooses to leave Abnegation and moves to Dauntless. There, she meets Tobias “Four” Eaton, who is the leader of her faction. The series follows Tris as she explores her new identity, her relationship with Tobias, and the revolution brewing beyond the shadows and over the walls.
The sequel, Insurgent, was published in 2012 and the final book, Allegiant, in 2013. The trilogy had sold more than 30 million copies by 2015. Roth published more accompaniment stories to the trilogy. Four: A Divergent Collection is a volume of short stories told from Four’s perspective. An epilogue to the series, We Can Be Mended, was also announced last December 2016.
The trilogy was adapted into a very successful film series which stars Shailene Woodley as Tris and Theo James as Four. Roth is currently working on her first series outside of the Divergent universe, Carve the Mark, a two-part science fiction series.
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