Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
Publication Date: 3 May 2011
Synopsis: From Goodreads
Beatrice "Tris" Prior has reached the fateful age of sixteen, the stage at which teenagers in Veronica Roth's dystopian Chicago must select which of five factions to join for life. Each faction represents a virtue: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite. To the surprise of herself and her selfless Abnegation family, she chooses Dauntless, the path of courage. Her choice exposes her to the demanding, violent initiation rites of this group, but it also threatens to expose a personal secret that could place in mortal danger.
I have had this book on my tbr shelf for ages and was put off reading it by all the hype. Yes, it does have the opposite effect for me, instead of pushing it up the pile the more people raved about it I buried it until the fuss died down. I am now kicking myself for waiting for so long. Honestly, in this instance the hype is perfectly justified. This book is utterly awesome and I will probably gush like a geyser in my review so you have been warned.
I have specifically used the Goodreads synopsis in order to show the different factions that exist within this society and the virtue it represents. I couldn't help but picture each faction as a different religion, and if the conflicts depicted in the news daily are anything to go by, different religions tend to think that theirs is the only true religion even though they all have the same fundamentals. I am getting very deep and philosophical but this is exactly what was running through my mind at the time. And where does this lead us, to conflict. What really stood out for me within each faction there is no room for freewill, the depiction of the group/gang behaviour there is absolutely no individuality. Making a very volatile repressed society on the whole. The creation of the factions was supposed to being peace to the society yet the way in which each faction tries to undermine each other is vividly portrayed within the narrative.Bringing to mind the question - is it mankind's nature to continually try to assert its authority over all things via conflict.
Written in first person narrative form Beatrice's (Tris) perspective, at 16 she starts off as seeming so much younger due to her petite appearance and inconspicuous demeanour, always trying to blend into the background, this is probably due to her sheltered upbringing. Tris has a superb narrative voice and her inner monologues make her very relateable, we all question who we are and what it is we want from life at points. She is very conflicted (which does make her a typical teenager). Tris seems to be one of the only people so far within the story to realise that people aren't just one virtue or another but a mixture of all of them, making her very astute and perceptive.
I am not going to go into details about the plot as I think it will spoil your reading experience as just take my word for it YOU NEED TO READ THIS BOOK. I will say that there are some thrill ride-esque twists within the plot. Revelations unfold dramatically I can only describe it like a cold bucket of water being poured over your head; shocking and bringing instant alertness.
The description of the tattoos was completely awesome. I read this book shortly after getting my own tattoo and can identify with the idea that the tattoo you choose is a visual symbol of who you are on the inside. Plus yes it is completely addictive, it is like having artwork on your skin. The adrenaline rushes were palpable via the narrative. The notion that being pierced and tattooed instantly makes you a Dauntless which in the eyes of the other factions is the equivalent of being a rebel made me giggle so hard, there is obviously no hope for me [ : D ]
I have always been a girl that goes for the bad boy, OMG, this bad boy is also a geek on the inside. So completely adorable. I am utterly in love with Tobias. *swoonarrific* More than that the relationship that blossoms is equal, they save each other in different and completely amazing ways. The scene from Pretty Woman comes to mind where at the end Richard Gere climbs the fire escape to rescue the damsel and she recues him right back. (Again I am showing my age in my reviews *sigh*)
Instead of telling you about the plot I will say this book is about finding where you belong. Although it might not necessarily be where you envisioned. It's about building friendships/relationships. It's about learning to trust other people; this can be one of the hardest things to do if you haven't had particularly good role models. It's about learning to work together and how important it is.
This isn't just one of those books that gets under your skin - it goes way beyond that. It made me question who I am and where I belong. For me, I think, I really am a mix of all the factions, obviously some are more dominant than others. Where would you belong??????