In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is–she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are–and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.
I’ll tell you what I loved: I loved Tris. I loved that she knew she wasn’t good enough for Abnegation but didn’t forsake it even when she was truly becoming Dauntless. I loved how she was brave even when she had weakness like we all do. I like that she was proud but not in a way that demeans others. I like that she was smart and knew who to trust and just how much trust she could put in them. I loved her. She is my favorite heroine of 2013. She whipped Saba from Rebel Hearts.
I loved the violence. It was startling to see 16 year olds learning target practice. It was crazy to see knives being thrown at their heads. But it was real for those pages and impactful and later on in the book it makes even more of an impact. It was rough watching Tris get beat up but important because it changed her as a character.
I loved Four. He is a pretty good love interest if I may say so. He wasn’t the most charming but he had his moments. He wasn’t a complete ass like some bad boy archetypes although he was stern as an instructor and did have his dumb boy moments but I still liked him a lot. I also liked that he was honest without being cheesy.
I loved the originality. In a world filled with YA dystopian books, where the young heroine has to defeat the corrupted government/leaders. Veronica Roth found an extremely interesting way to be different. She uses fear as a tool to make the characters stronger rather than beat them down.
Now I’ve told you why I loved it. Now let me tell you briefly why I think it could have been better. It was faced paced, which was great, but the pacing of each stage of the book seemed off. I believe that the initiation stage could have been it’s own book and the ending section (I won’t say what due to spoilers) seemed rushed and just tacked onto the end. I mean, we get little sneak peaks of what is to come, as we should, but since that ending section was so short I finished the book with a feeling that I deserved a little more after I’d gotten so much info from Tris going through the initiation.
I know there are two more books but I felt like I had one false ending and then a haphazard conclusion to the real ending.
Book two and three should be visiting this bloggers review section soon as I can’t really wait to find out what happens next.
Please expect a guest review to also feature Divergent sometime this week since I know someone who had a slightly different take than me.