SUMMARY -Beatrice Prior, now sixteen, is faced with the decision every sixteen-year-old in her society is faced with: Which faction does she choose? There are five factions: Erudite - the intelligent; Candor - the honest; Amity - the peaceful; Abnegation - the selfless; and Dauntless - the brave. Beatrice's family is of Abnegation, but Beatrice does not know if she could stay with them and live life to the fullest. He choice is the beginning of everything to Beatrice, now called Tris. The initiation process brings her closer to herself than she's ever been before, and closer to the boy who may or may not be a part of her future. And it brings her closer to discovering the meaning to the dangerous fact of her existence that she's been told to keep to herself. But how can she last, being the only one of her kind that she knows of, before falling into the wrong hands?
MY THOUGHTS -I am rejoicing right now - that this is a Forever Favorite! For the first 70 pages I had this feeling of, "Well, I like it, but it could go either way for me." I'd heard so many good things about it, but was so worried it would fall short.
I started to realize that I really liked it at the choosing ceremony, when she decided on a faction, the faction I was hoping for, and I grinned like mad. I stared loving the book when I read the Ferris wheel scene. That...made my heart burst with happiness. From then on out it got better and better and better.
Or perhaps not.
CHARACTER NOTES -Tris...she really stole the show - in a very slow process, yes, but she did it. At first, her character was undefined. There was nothing to set her apart from others; she was lost among the crowd. But then she decided on a faction, and began to act accordingly. It was as though she blossomed and became a woman and a totally original someone. She was finally set apart from the crowd. By the end, I totally loved her and felt like I knew her. It just took a simple choice to shape her into who she was to become. I loved that.
And while Tris was fantastic....there is someone even more incredibly awesome: FOUR. I honestly haven't stopped swooning over him since I finished the book a month ago, and will never stop swooning over him, loving him, being totally enthralled by him and his all-consuming wonderfulness. I loved his transformation from harsh trainer to lovelyamazingbeautiful FOUR. I kind of guessed his true identity, and I must say: 1. I don't really love his real name, even though it fits. 2. I fell in love with him when he was Four, so I think he'll always be Four to me. But in any case, he was real, tangible for the entire book. So consistent and portrayed as a very manly man, a fighter, a lover. *Cue swooning maidens* I recommend this book because of him, among other reasons.
Caleb, Will, Christina, Al, Peter, Drew, Eric, Jeanine, etc.... All played his or her own special role, and htey were all very realistic. I appreciate side characters who are just as well-done as the leads. And Peter - I think I was more angry with him than with the lead antagonist. I wanted to shoot his face off, ooooh he made me soooo angry!!!! >:[
STORY NOTES -I don't think I've ever read a book with a more original use of these concepts. Selflessness, bravery, honesty, etc., and the balance between them all. Is balance worth dying for? Is moderation in all areas of life? We may have individual gifts - writing, singing, photography, etc. - but shouldn't we all strive to be all of those good things - brave, honest, peaceful, etc.? That is what I love most about this book - second to Four, of course. ;)
There were some pretty intense scenes, scenes where I held my breath, or sat very still in my surprise. Some scenes made me want to punch someone (I'm looking at you, Peter) and others made me very sad. There is a sense of reality to this story that can't be ignored.
I loved everything that had to do with the fear landscapes! So cool! And this whole book is a fast read, too. The story flies by, catching the reader on a fast wind. The writing isn't my favorite, but it was easy and clear and definitely impressed beautiful imagery into my mind as I read.
SUMMING IT UP -Dauntless - because that is one of the factions, and because that's what this book is. I look at it and I think, "Veronica Roth is a very brave writer." I respect that and eagerly (Ok, verrrrry impatiently!) await Insurgent! May is going to be a very very very veeerrrryyy good month!! :)
For the Parents -
The romance in this story is sweet and clean. A few kisses are shared. In once scene they are alone in a train and the kiss gets passionate - not much detail. Once he has his shirt off and they kiss, a scene which has more sexual tension in their conversation than anything. (They talk about how Tris isn't sure what his "expectations" are because he's older. She thinks he's had sex before but he hasn't and the conversation embarrasses him and well as Tris.) I recommend this book to anyone between the ages of 14 and 100. ;)