Friday, October 25, 2013


Hey everyone! Instead of my regularly scheduled review, I'm going to be doing something a bit different. As many of you may know, Veronica Roth's book Allegiant came out Tuesday, October 22nd 2013. This book is very special because it's the final book in the Divergent series (exciting, right?). The series has become a very popular YA series and so the release of the final book also marked the beginning of a book tour. A book tour that kicked off in New York City the day the book was released. A book tour that I had the pleasure of attending.

And now that I have fangirled and freaked out in New York, I felt that it was my duty to share the fangirling and freaking out with you lovely people.

I took the train into New York with the intention of arriving at the venue at 5. (The even started at 6, and I would have gone earlier, as the seating was general admission and earlier meant better seats, but this was the earliest time I had transportation to the train station.) After a series of subway rides, and a short walk down the busy city streets, I arrived at the venue. The line stretched around the building, and by the time the doors opened, there were so many people behind me, I couldn't even see where it ended.

Finally, the doors opened and we were filed inside. People headed in two directions: to either find a seat or purchase a book (you had to either have brought a book with you or purchased one there to get it signed, it wasn't included in the ticket price). Normally, I would have bought my copy as soon as physically possible, but I sadly live on a college campus where freshman aren't allowed to have cars. Getting to the train station was enough of a hassle, trying to get to a book store would have been pushing my luck. So I stood on a line to buy a copy of Allegiant, along with a horde of other people.
The line was long but I was near the front, and I quickly purchased a copy and rushed inside to find a seat.

There was to be a discussion from 6:00 to 7:00, and then the book signing right after.
A few minutes after I sat down, the discussion started. First, there was a Q&A session. It started out with Veronica Roth being asked questions by the interviewer, and then there was an audience Q&A part.
Some of the questions were standard questions you would ask an author.
"How many drafts did you write?"
"Did you base any characters off people you know?"
"Which death was the hardest to write?"
"What was your creative process?"
I learned quite a bit about the series, like the fact that Tobias's name is based off of a character in Animorphs and that Tris's mother is a lot like Veronica Roth's own mother, who was sitting in the audience that night.

Then there were some strange questions, from audience members.
"The release date is 10/22/2013. Did you plan that 2+2 add up to four and 2+0+1+3 add up to six?" (She didn't.)
There were also quite a few questions about the
movie. She talked about how she really liked the way it was coming along and she mentioned that Shailene Woodley and Theo James actually scaled an actual Ferris wheel for one of the scenes. She was also asked what faction certain people would belong to. (Shailene: Amity. Beyonce: Dauntless. Lady Gaga: Also Dauntless). And there were some other fun questions, like "Coke or Pepsi?" or "Roller coasters or Ferris wheels?" or "Do you ever meet people and automatically place them into a faction in your head?"
The Q&A session was definitely really entertaining and the responses Veronica Roth gave were generally either really insightful or really funny.
After that, they decided to show us a "very special trailer."

 First, they showed us this trailer-like video with the actors talking about their characters and what they thought of the movie. They played some shots of them acting and trying to replicate certain scenes. After that, they showed us the actual trailer, which was super awesome and badass.
And then the special guests came out and they turned out to be actors Ansel Elgort and Christian Madsen, who play Caleb and Al, respectively.
They talked about filming the movie and working with all the other actors, and how much fun they had on set and how close everyone got to each other. They shared some stories (one of them involving a pair of ripped pants) and there was a mini Q&A session with them, too. They answered how they met Veronica and  Shailene, and how the filming process went altogether. They seemed like such funny, genuine people and listening to them talk was extremely enjoyable. I loved the stories they told and I really can't wait for the movie to come out.

Finally, the event was over and there was a mad dash to go outside and form a book signing line. Through some black magic and awesomeness, I was towards the very front of the line. Not only did this mean that I only had to stand outside in the cold for a very short time, but when a photographer told everyone to smile for a picture for the official Facebook fan page, guess who made it into that photo?
Look, there's me in the middle, wearing pink!

When we entered the room where she was signing, we weren't allowed to take photographs, which was understandable because Veronica Roth has mentioned her anxiety problems and a constant flash going off probably wouldn't have helped with that. She was being very kind and asking everyone a warm "How are you?" as she signed each book. When it was my turn, I exploded into an incoherent mess of "Hi, I'm great, I'm so excited that I finally get to read Allegiant and that I'm actually meeting you and I really love you and your writing and I'm sorry I'm speaking at a million miles an hour, I'm just really happy." She laughed and told me that I probably wasn't speaking as fast as I thought I was and that she was glad I liked her work.

With that, I was on my way, with the inside of my book signed by the one and only Veronica Roth. I'm still not completely over the fact that her words and her marker and her fingers have touched my book.

Basically, it was an awesome night and I had a great time. Because I have two other books I need to read for school, I'm only about a hundred pages in to Allegiant, but so far I think it's great and I cannot wait to finish it and have a review up for it. Okay, time for me to go read and have my emotions ripped out by a novel once more. Farewell!

- Noor

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