by Veronica Roth
This is a dystopian novel. There are five factions in society. Each faction holds a different set of values and therefore lives in very different ways. The factions are Abnegation who value selflessness; Amity who value peacefulness; Candor who value honesty; Dauntless who value bravery; and Erudite who value intelligence. A person is raised in the faction of their parents and then when they turn sixteen they chose which faction they want to belong to for the rest of their lives. Most chose the faction of their parents. A few transfer to other factions. It is the most important decision a person will make in their lifetime. It will determine what kind of life they live and there are no chances to change their mind or return to their old faction.
This story follows Beatrice Prior, who was raised in Abnegation but longs for a different life. When she takes her aptitude test, the one test that should tell her which faction she truly belongs, the test is inconclusive. Which means she is different, and in this society, being different is dangerous.
I picked up this book and two days later I put it down again, finished. Then I watched the movie. I shouldn’t have watched the movie. The reason I loved this book, (and I absolutely loved it) was the inner dialog from the first person point of view. The main character, Tris, is constantly facing fears while putting on a tough face. Reading the book you get to experience that double-sided conflicted emotion. We know her thoughts and how scared she is, but we also see how she acts and how tough she appears to everyone else. The movie was not able to portray that. Also, in the book there were tiny yet important differences that made the main character’s transformation all the more impressive. The movie was entertaining. The book was inspiring. They were not exactly on the same level. Anyway, I am going to read the next two, and I probably will end up watching the movies as well. Because, like I said, the movie was entertaining. I just will read the book for the real emotion and watch the movies for a good show.
Favorite Character: the main character, Beatrice Prior (Tris)
Favorite Scene: When the Tris flies down a zip line into pitch-black nothingness.
Favorite Line: Either this quote coming from Christina, Tris’ friend,
“I like to think I’m helping them by hating them,” (Christina) says. “I’m reminding them that they aren’t God’s gift to humankind.”
Or this quote coming from Four, Tris’ instructor,
“… Becoming fearless isn’t the point. That’s impossible. It’s learning how to control your fear, and how to be free from it, that’s the point.”
Gore Level: No gore, no magic or magical creatures either, just a good old fashion dystopian fiction.