USA Today reports:
NEW YORK — Deafening screams filled the special events hall of New York’s Javits Center when authorVeronica Roth walked on stage Saturday.
Roth, author of the best-selling Divergent trilogy, was there to talk with her fellow young-adult dystopian author Alex London about their upcoming books Four: A Divergent Collection and Proxy, respectively.
The 25-year-old Roth (who called her age “old”) got the rock star treatment from a mostly teenage crowd, which was quick to cheer at the mention of favorite characters, or to voice a negative opinion. When London asked Roth why authors hurt the characters they love, several members of the audience shouted, “Yeah!”
Roth responded by saying that that’s sometimes where stories have to go. “People don’t become strong people by sitting around the house,” she said.
Roth noted that every character in her books, which take place in a dystopian future where people are assigned to factions based on the personalities, must ask the question, “What do I do with my power?”
This question, she said, is very important for the teens who love her books so much. “Such a natural part of being a teenager is realizing you have power,” she said.
So why does dystopia appeal to teenagers so much? Roth and London said the genre takes the life-and-death emotions of teens and puts them in actual life-and-death situations. “In a society that’s making teens feel invalidated…the genre makes them feel validated,” Roth explained.
The first of Roth’s Divergent triology was made into a film that premiered in March, starring Shaileen Woodley and Theo James. The sequel has just begun filming. Four: A Divergent Collection, which revisits the series from the perspective of Tobias (“Four”), is out July 8 from Katherine Tegen Books.