Tag: Divergent

5 YA Genres That Are Totally Dead

Young adult fiction is undeniably one of the most popular genres of all time. It was first categorized around the 1930s with Lauren Ingalls Wilder’s series Little House on the Prairie. Teachers and librarians were slow to accept books intended for younger readers, but young adult books today focus on issues in society with such a passion that even older adults love to read them.

YA subgenres have ebbed and flowed over the years, and the two ever-reigning subgenres seem to be fantasy and contemporary fiction. You can always find a unique new release of a fantasy novel or a self-aware contemporary love story. But what genres are so dead that publishers in 2019 will rarely publish them and why did young adults stop reading them?

 

 

1. Dystopian

Image result for the scorch trials city"

image via crosswalk.com

 

Ah, yes. Dystopian. Nostalgia for 2012, anyone? Maybe it was because everyone was talking about the Mayan calendar and the end of the world, but people were in a craze over dystopian society books like The Hunger Games and Divergent. Books about post-apocalyptic societies like The Maze Runner weren’t too far behind in the craze, either. Most dystopian subgenres are based on sci-fi and these particular subgenres started to oversaturate the sci-fi genre. Because of the immense popularity of books like The Hunger Games, every author wanted to replicate that fame and success. Understandably, readers got bored.

We became sick of tropes like “the chosen 16-year old who has a special ability that allows him or her to rebel and change dystopian society.” Readers began to pay attention to different genres and new authors, and the dystopian genre and its tropes slowly died out as YA readers found more relevant books. With the upcoming release of Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakesit’ll be interesting to see how this dystopian writer tackles this so-called “dead” genre.

 

2. PARANORMAL / URBAN fantasy

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image via empireonline.com

 

When you think of paranormal YA, think vampires, werewolves, and zombies. So basically Twilight minus the zombies. For a while, the Twilight series was the reigning series for the paranormal subgenre. Teens were obsessed and buying t-shirts to show off their pride in Team Edward or Team Jacob. So what happened? Well, other authors tried to replicate the success of Twilight, and teens kept reading vampire and werewolf books until they wanted a taste of something different. Once the movies were released, Twilight stirred up even more controversy as readers began to release that Bella and Edward were an unhealthy relationship portrayal for young teens.

 

 

Still, it seems a bit disappointing that the whole vampire subgenre should die out because of one bad portrayal— especially when there’s so many amazing vampire stories, like Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire. But never fear for those readers who were into paranormal or urban fantasy books other than Twilight, or even those who were into Twilight (no shame here)— these subgenres are making a slow return, starting with Renee Ahdieh’s new vampire novel The Beautiful.

 

 

3. STEAMPUNK

image via the portalist

 

Steampunk is one of a few YA genres that has never taken hold of a readership. Any successful steampunk books are technically classified under other YA subgenres and only have small steampunk elements. Those books that did attempt to focus solely on steampunk, an attempt that surged around the early 2000s, were usually adult books and were just too similar to each other to claim a place as a real subgenre.

 

4. Superhero

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image via CBR.com

 

Superheroes certainly have a presence in comic books and movies, but this genre just isn’t present in YA. There’s no clear reason why superheroes are more popular in movies than books— maybe viewers would rather see sexy superhero actors and actresses blow stuff up rather than reading about them. Or maybe, like steampunk, superhero YA books have just been too similar with dead YA tropes like “the chosen one.”

 

5. TIME TRAVEL

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image via the next web

 

Time travel in YA sci-fi hasn’t been as successful as you might think, although time travel in YA fantasy has more of a presence. Maybe it’s because sci-fi books like H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine were written way back in 1895 and readers’ fascination with time travel has died out since then. Yet time travel is still popular in movies and TV, so it’s also up to speculation as to why this genre hasn’t taken off in YA.

If you’re interested in more about the book market or dead genres in publishing, check out this video by Alexa Donne, author of Brightly Burning. She explains all of these dead genres and tropes in-depth and also has some fascinating insights about the publishing world as well as advice for new writers.

 

 

 

Featured image via The Pilot Press

What Went Wrong With the ‘Divergent’ Film Series?

Tomorrow is the anniversary of one of the most popular YA dystopias of all time, Veronica Roth’s Divergent. Written while Roth was still an undergraduate, Divergent was a tremendous accomplishment, both personally and financially. Today, fans can celebrate the publication of one of their favorites! But they might still be wondering what happened to the movies, given their insanely popular source material. That story, unfortunately, ends in far less financial success.

In the early 2010s, YA film adaptations were popping up everywhere. Trying to replicate the success of Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, studios were trying extra hard to find the next big tween hit. Films based on Percy Jackson, Beautiful Creatures and The Maze Runner exploded onto the big screen. Some fared better than others, but most crashed and burned due to poor quality or lack of interest.

One of the most interesting cases of this phenomenon is the Divergent film series. What started out as a promising YA franchise quickly lost steam until it couldn’t continue. Let’s take a look at the book and film series and see what happened.

 

The Books

 

The Divergent Trilogy takes place in a dystopian society where everyone is defined by their dominant personality traits and forced to live in factions based on those traits for the rest of their lives. The main protagonist, Beatrice Prior, is classified as a Divergent, meaning that she does not fit into any group. The series follows Beatrice as she tries to navigate a dangerous world that kills those who diverge from the system and act independently.

Image Via Harper Collins. The fourth book, Four, was released later on and serves as a retelling of the first book.

 

The trilogy was easily compared to other series such as The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner. Nevertheless, the series was positively reviewed by critics for its action, characters, and themes of independence and identity, and each book became a bestseller. So, it seemed inevitable that a film series would come out of this.

 

The Ingredients For A Successful Film Franchise Were Already There

 

Studio Lionsgate purchased the rights to The Divergent Trilogy in 2011 with hopes to turn it into a film series, even going as far as splitting the last book into two films in the tradition of its moneymaking predecessors, Twilight and Harry Potter. With The Twilight Saga ending and The Hunger Games films just getting started, another YA blockbuster was a logical step.

The casting for the film was strong and well-received. Shailene Woodley, a rising star at the time, fit the role perfectly. A well-rounded cast featuring the likes of Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort and Zoë Kravitz gave the film a good amount of star power.

 

Image Via Screen Rant

 

With a modest budget and a dedicated fan base, everything was in place to make an amazing film.

 

Less-Than-Stellar Adaptations

 

When the first film, Divergent, released in 2014, reception was mixed. While the action and the performances were praised, the plot received criticism. Many reviewers called the film “unoriginal”, comparing it to other films in the YA genre. Still, the film did well at the box office, grossing over $280 million worldwide, and was well-received by fans.

 

Image Via Amazon

 

A sequel, The Divergent Series: Insurgent, came out in 2015. This movie was less well-received, with the same criticisms regarding the plot remaining. The film eventually grossed close to $290 million worldwide, but with a much larger budget the returns weren’t as significant.

 

Image Via Amazon

 

Things really turned south with the release of the third film, The Divergent Series: Allegiant, in 2016. Not only was this one the worst reviewed film in the series from critics and fans, it was also a box office bomb, grossing only $179 million against a $142 million budget.

 

Image Via Movie Insider

 

A Proposed TV Show

 

With diminishing returns, Lionsgate had to rethink its strategy. After slashing the budget for the last intended film, The Divergent Series: Ascendent, it was later revealed that the studio would wrap up the story as a television “event” series, set to premiere on Starz.

This revelation did not sit well with the cast, specifically Woodley. After almost a year with no news, Woodley finally revealed in 2017 that she would not be a part of the television series. Once the main star departed, other cast members showed a lack of interest in continuing, and the planned show was promptly cancelled.

It’s a shame that the series wasn’t able to continue, especially considering the last film ended on a cliffhanger. Given the series’ popularity, it’s likely that many fans are still hungry for more content. Fortunately, they can always re-read the books they love so much.

What are your thoughts on Divergent? Were you a fan of the movies?

 

 

Featured Image Via Screen Rant

The Handmaid's Tale

13 Quotes from Dystopian Novels to Get You Fired Up

For as long as we have been granted freedoms, there have been people fighting to take those freedoms away; this is the most human of cycles. There has never been (and will likely never be, at least not right now) a time when people haven’t had to stand up against the systemic and societal oppression they’ve been forced to deal with everyday.

 

We’ve been warned about what can happen when we allow ourselves to stop caring about the state of the world and the other people inhabiting it by authors since the beginning of time; the entire dystopian genre is centered around it. So, don’t allow yourself to grow sedentary but also don’t grow too fearful; for as many greedy, selfish, oppressive, bad figureheads there are in existence, there are way, way more of us who really do care and move with empathy while fighting for a world of genuine equality.

 

So, take a look at these thirteen quotes from dystopian novels and give yourself that extra push you may need to keep marching forward! 

 

“We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of print. It gave us more freedom. We lived in the gaps between the stories.”  Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

 


 

“Every faction conditions it’s members to think and act a certain way. And most people do it. For most people, it’s not hard to learn, to find a pattern of thought that works and stay that way. But our minds move in a dozen different directions. We can’t be confined to one way of thinking, and that terrifies our leaders. It means we can’t be controlled. And it means that, no matter what they do, we will always cause trouble for them.” Veronica Roth, Divergent

 


 

“Did you ever feel, as though you had something inside you that was only waiting for you to give it a chance to come out? Some sort of extra power that you aren’t using – you know, like all the water that goes down the falls instead of through the turbines?” Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

 


 

“If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” George Orwell, 1984

 


 

“There must be something in books, something we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don’t stay for nothing.” Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

 


 

“We can destroy what we have written, but we cannot unwrite it.” Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange

 


 

“Of course they needed to care. It was the meaning of everything.” Lois Lowry, The Giver

 


 

“That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary. There wasn’t even any rioting in the streets. People stayed home at night, watching television, looking for some direction. There wasn’t even an enemy you could put your finger on.” Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

 


 

“Our lives are not our own. We are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.” David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas

 


 

“Tell freedom I said hello.” Lauren DeStefano, Wither

 


 

“But you can’t make people listen. They have to come round in their own time, wondering what happened and why the world blew up around them. It can’t last.” Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

 


 

“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it’s yours.” Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

 


“I may be the last one, but I am the one still standing. I am the one turning to face the faceless hunter in the woods on an abandoned highway. I am the one not running, not staying, but facing. Because if I am the last one, then I am humanity. And if this is humanity’s last war, then I am the battlefield.” Rick Yancey, The 5th Wave

 

 

 

via GIPHY

 

 

 

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