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A Moment in Nerdvana

“I have a theory that selflessness and bravery aren’t all that different.”   -Four, from Divergent

Yesterday I got to meet Veronica Roth at a book signing. She’s the New York Times bestselling author of the Divergent series. Like me, Veronica grew up in the Chicago suburbs and still lives in the area. I follow her blog like it’s my job.

                     okay, so the photo is bad, but Veronica is the one on the far right.

Have I mentioned that she’s only twenty-four?

Veronica stayed and answered questions in front of a crowd of hundreds. Allowing everyone time to visit with her as she personalized all our books and gave us each a copy of an alternative beginning to Insurgent (the Divergent series).

Even crazier than how cool Veronica is, was listening in on the conversation of teens in the audience. There were teenage readers crying when they met Veronica. One teen behind me in line kept telling her friend how the Divergent series has changed her life. And I just kept thinking THIS is why I want to write YA. Not to try to become a NY Times bestseller, but to touch lives like that.

Books — words — have power.

More than just the authors out there need to take heed. The words we speak. The conversations we engage in. Those grumbling statuses on Facebook. All have power, one way or the other.

Many who shook their heads at Twilight and Hunger Games will probably lump Divergent with them. I mean, let’s face it, the books have kids killing kids. Adults being mean. War. Suicide.

But know what? The teen in line behind me was right. These books do have the power to change lives for the good. I’m going to share some quotes from Divergent here as examples of the amazing truth tucked in the pages of ficiton:

  •  “We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.”
  •  “A brave man acknowledges the strength of others.”
  • “There is power in self-sacrifice.”
  • “Human beings as a whole cannot be good for long before the bad creeps back in and poisons us again.”
  • “Human reason can excuse any evil; that is why it’s so important that we don’t rely on it.”
  • “It isn’t right to wish pain on other people just because they hurt me first.”
  • “I never thought I would need bravery in the small moments of my life. I do.”
  • “It’s not about being fearless, it’s about acting in spite of fear”

Does one of these quotes really strike you? Have you ever read a fiction book that challenged your way of thinking or helped form your beliefs? Can you share a quote that as stuck with you? Why do you think a made-up story can effect us this way?


About Jess Keller

I'm an author, speaker and chocolate eater who's chasing hard after my dreams.

One response »

  1. So good. I keep a list of quotes I love from The Chronicles of Narnia. I love in all the Dystopias I’ve been reading lately that we see how broken people are. There’s very rarely a real good guys vs. bad guys. It’s broken people who make mistakes taking a stand (or failing to) for what they believe in. But it challenges me to want to be one of the ones who DOES take a stand.


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