What is it about? 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, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.
-Summary courtesy of Goodreads
What did you think of it & why did you pick it up? For some odd reason I have an obsession with dystopian literature. It could be because I’ve always speculated about what would happen in the case of an Apocalypse or maybe its the danger and fear sprinkled with romance here and there that excites me. It certainly gives me an excuse to live vicariously through the characters and pretend I’m in another one of my old childhood games of survivor that my brother and I were fascinated by. Either way, I love it. I do, however, believe that authors get a little (a lotta) leeway in the actual writing department because of their excellent plot lines. But just because the average person (me) could never think of something that crazy doesn’t mean you get to slack off with your writing. I know I already wrote a bunch of reviews ranting about this (*cough* Immortal Rules and The Selection *cough*) but it continues to bug me. My life goal has become all about finding the perfect dystopian novel that has the best of both worlds (yes, I did just quote Hannah Montana).
As for the book itself, well, I loved it. There is no doubt that Veronica Roth is a talented author. This book lives up to all of the hype and then some. In fact, I might have even liked it more than the Hunger Games. Whoa. Calm down you die-hard Katniss Everdeen fanatics. I can hear your outrage over the internet. There is no need to bring out the pitchforks, it’s just a books guys. Alright, that’s a lie. It’s never just a book. It’s an entire world that you get thrown into. You fight the bad guys, you kiss the sexy love interest. Real book-lovers know this and use it to their advantage. This basically means we have no lives and enjoy sitting at home reading instead of hanging out with humans.
Anyway, the characters were wonderful as well. I totally fell for Four. SPOILER ALERT! (it’s not very large though.) At first I didn’t know that Roth was intending for Tris and Four to get together but once I did and they started to be all romantic I basically melted into a puddle. Although I did feel horribly empathetic and embarrassed for Tris when she went into the fear landscape and Four was there sort of…um, propositioning her. END OF SPOILER. I would die if that happened to me and people actually saw it was one of my fears.
The end was slightly expected. I knew something like that was going to happen. Also, there wasn’t as much build-up to it as I would have liked but it was still sufficient and I have a feeling that Insurgent will be even BETTER! Even though my friend told me that Four and Tris were mega mushballs in the second one.
Other little things that I liked: The idea that bravery can be present in everyday acts, the names of the factions, and going to school and thinking only of finishing the book.
The one thing I did NOT like was the setting. That was badly phrased. I loved the setting, Chicago is great, I went there over the summer, but I did not enjoy hearing them talk about Lake Michigan being a marshland and the city being destroyed without giving any information as to how it became that way. It didn’t even give you any hints or clues. Hopefully in the next book it will because otherwise it’s getting some major points taken off in my book.
Bottom line: Where can I get my hands on a copy of book two?!
I would suggest this for: Dystopian and Sci-Fi fanatics
Reviewed by: Lauren
Thanks for the awesome review Lauren!