In a future Chicago, sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to determine her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.
~Print copy, 487 pages
Published: 2011 by Katherine Tegen Books
(The unbolded summary above is not the back-cover summary, because there was no back-cover summary, just the bolded sentence and rave reviews of the book. That is the... what's-it-called.... the publisher's summary. The one located on the back of the title page.)
Yes, I'm super late. I don't normally read popular books. I only picked this up at all because the whole "one-choice" thing caught my eye.
It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought.
What did I like about this?
- I liked the voice. I don't come across the first-person-present often, and Roth's style was perfect for a mature-teenager.
- I liked the premise. Obviously. If I hadn't liked the premise, I wouldn't have bought the book.
- Beatrice was... a strong character. Weak at the same time. Instead of contradictory, though, her conflicting qualities blended together to form an actual person.
- The whole conflict was well-handled. By that I mean, it took precedence. This isn't a romance story; it's an action story, and the struggle between Erudite (the Intelligent) and Abnegation (the Selfless) was the overarching thing. Not Tris and Four.
- The world-building was pretty decent, as well. I understood sort of where they were, even though I couldn't even tell you where Chicago is on a map. (Seriously. I looked US map on google and was like, "Chicago's really that far west?!")
What did I NOT like about this?
- I'm not a big fan of romance-in-general. The whole thing between Four and Tris, while at least not too much a love triangle, still made me a little impatient. Everytime they had an intimate conversation (which wasn't too often, but still) I was like, "hurry it along. Tell me about Erudite's prejudice and speculate on what they plan on doing next!"
- I wasn't too big a fan of Four, either. He was kind of... controlled-violent. Well, really, I can't pinpoint what I don't like about him.
That's about it. I couldn't really organize my thoughts too well on whether I liked it or not, so I thought it over Sunday (yesterday) and came up with this. I guess it's a 4-stars. Or a 3.75, which still rounds to a four.
(And yes, it's a Monday. We have the day off -- it's a teacher workday, because it's the end of the 9 weeks. They have grades to put in, report cards to get.)