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 really wanted to like this more… Sadly, that’s not what happened. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it! It was an easy, fast paced read, but I just didn’t get all the “edge of your seat” action that was tauted.
I really like Tris. Her inner struggles about who she is and where she belongs are relevant to pretty much everyone at her age, so she’s very relatable. She’s not some curvy, gorgeous, super human girl that gets everything she wants. She struggles between doing what’s right and what she wants to do. I love her.
I also like Four. I like that he isn’t all goo-goo ga-ga over Tris. Yes, he likes her, but he doesn’t seem like the typical YA love interest. He isn’t easy on Tris because he has feelings for her. He pushes her harder, instead. He knows that she is capable of great things and won’t let her give up, even when she is so homesick and wants to leave. In short, I like their love story.
Also, I liked that this book was mostly clean. It was violent, but there wasn’t a whole lot of language that I remember. I don’t know why that bothers me so much. Maybe it’s because most of the time, I feel like bad language is thrown in just for shock value or to be “cool”.
Overall, I give this a 3. I haven’t decided if I will continue to read rest of the series or not. (Thoughts? Is this a series that gets better as it continues?) My problem is that I love the characters, but not the writing.
One more thing: Excellent casting!
Sexual Content: mild to moderate (there is kissing, talk of feelings, and desires but no sex)