Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia, Fiction
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 threatens to unravel her seemingly-perfect society, she also learns that her secret might be what helps her save those she loves . . . or it might be what destroys her.
This was one of those books I read because a movie adaptation came out and I want to know what crucial parts of the book they took out. So expect a lot of comparing the book and movie in here.
I didn’t entirely like the book. There were some parts that felt unnecessary, but I can’t do anything about that, can I?
I have no problem with the way the books starts, I think it started out smoothly. Direct to the point. The way how they’re being put into the five factions bothered me though. They have this aptitude test that works somehow like the Sorting Hat because it determines which faction you belong in, but it’s you who’ll make the choice of which faction you will join. So what exactly is the point of having a test to tell which faction you belong in, when in the end, you’re the one who chooses your faction? (At least with the sorting hat, it’s the one who chooses your house, after considering which trait you value most.) What if you get Erudite in the aptitude test, but decide to be in Amity just because you want to? They won’t be able to do anything about it. Yes, you might fail the initiation, but if you do succeed, the aptitude test would seem useless.
Also, why would you let people manually enter the result of some people who get problems with their test? That’s the whole reason Tris got away. It would’ve been easier to catch the rebels before they get scattered into different factions. Oh well, that’s Erudite’s fault.
Moving on, Beatrice Prior.
During the first chapter of the book, she already showed interest with the Dauntless faction, so it didn’t surprise me why she chose dauntless. Also, she was being bullied or teased (being called ‘Stiff’) since she’s from Abnegation, I suppose she wants all that to stop. Dauntless was actually a good choice for her. She evolved through their initiation and learned things she eventually used to save herself and the people she loved.
She sacrificed so much in the book. She left her parents during the Choosing Ceremony, for the sake of transferring to the faction she favors. She had both her parents killed because they were trying to save her and the rest of Abnegation. She shot one of the closest friends she had: Will, who helped her through tough times during the Dauntless initiation. (I got emotional with this death. There were no tears, but I felt bad.) And not to mention how she handled the guilt of killing all those mindless, innocent people. It’s a miracle she didn’t have a break down during the suicide mission she pulled off. She is 16 years old, that is too much to handle for someone in that age. (I should know, I’m like, a year younger!)
“The flag hangs from am tree branch, high above my head. I reach for it, and so does Christina. ‘Come on Tris,’ she says. ‘You’re already the hero of the day. And you know you can’t reach it anyway.”
I love how the book showed that the initiation isn’t just child’s play. In the line above, you can see how Christina becomes jealous of Tris. She didn’t like how an Abnegation girl like Tris gets all the spotlight. It showed that everybody can get blinded by greed sometimes and betray other people in the process. I know this is such a weak example but, considering it was Christina, Tris’ first friend in Dauntless, the idea of getting that kind of treatment is unimaginable. Other parts of the book shows the competition between the initiates, too. How Al, the boy who likes Tris, tried to kill her for the sake of a possible advancement in the ranks. How the initiates would literally kill their fellow initiates out of desperation for the sake of not getting cut out. This part of the book was removed from the movie and it is so disappointing. In the movie, Christina genuinely treats Tris like a friend and the importance of the initiation and not becoming faction-less is somehow lost.
Tris x Tobias
A lot of you may hate me for saying this but, I believe the romance between Tris and Four is completely unnecessary. I didn’t entirely understand how they established romantic feelings for each other. Is it because they’re both Divergents? Is it because they both came from Abnegation and transferred to Dauntless? Why? Please explain the origin and reason of their love story, because I just don’t buy it. They’re better off as friends who treat each other like siblings because they think they’re the only ones who understand each other. Yes, I do feel giddy every time they have their Tris x Tobias moments, and I do somehow ship them (although not entirely) but, I still don’t understand how and why they had to develop romantic feelings for each other. Help me understand the whole point of it all.
Anyways, the book was altogether incredible, despite the unnecessary romance. I look forward to reading its sequel. I give this book 4 potatoes!