By Veronica Roth
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.
I consumed this book in record time because I had to know what was going to happen next. This book made me read a dystopian novel. I never thought that would ever happen as I am the single person on the planet that never read the Hunger Games. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the landscape. I have never been to Chicago but I’ve seen pictures and video. I’ve heard stories. So when the city was described, and Tris talked about the way it has always looked to her, you can’t help but be sad. A good portion of the city is completely empty.
To me, though, this book was less about a dystopian future and more about a girls fight to be who she wants to be. Her struggle makes her question the things she’s always believed in and it causes the reader to do the same. Why do we do the things we do? Why do we think the things we think? Do we come to conclusions on our own or has someone told us this is what we should do?
It’s not that Tris goes from mouse to mountain lion. When we meet her she’s already brave. We can see it in her she just can’t see it in herself. By the end of the book she’s proven it to everyone. I can’t wait to read the next one. There are a lot of unanswered questions like what exactly happened to make Chicago look and feel the way it did. Why is the lock on the outside of the gate that surrounds the city? I can’t wait for the final book to come out in October and the movie in March.
PG-13 because of violence.