I read this book a while ago when I first joined Goodreads and I didn't really know what a dystopia book actually was, I wasn't aware The Hunger Games was dystopian- but I guess that was the first ever dystopian series I read. When I finally figured it out, I loved the concept.
Beatrice Prior lives in a society where everyone is grouped in 5 factions depending on their strongest personality trait, Bravery (Dauntless), Honesty (Candor), Selflessness (Abnegation), Intelligence (Erudite) and Kindness (Amity). At 16, everyone has the opportunity to pick which faction they want to belong to for the rest of their life. Beatrice has to make the decision of staying with her family in Abnegation or leaving them behind and choosing another faction. She must then compete in the initiation, which can't be failed. If someone fails initiation, they end up factionless. It seems that everyone is in the same boat during initiation, but Tris has a big secret, that she must keep hidden, as she has been warned that if anyone found out, it would result in her death.
I love love loved this book when I read it. I thought it was the most fascinating creation ever. Of course, the faction system is flawed to a massive degree, how could you pick whether you're more honest than brave or kind, what if you're more than one, what if you're not any of them? Does that make you a bad person? Why? Who came up with that idea? Obviously throughout the rest of the trilogy we find the answers to these questions. But basing it on just this book, I had a lot of questions running through my mind.
I really liked Tris in this book, I think she was very strong minded and although she didn't always make the right choices, she always came out stronger on the other side. Four is probably the best male character I've come across for a long time, especially when they all first meet him during initiation. I loved his ruthlessness and the fact that he was so stern. He's the perfect guy for me!
This book is jam-packed with action, violence and frankly situations that made me wonder why anyone would willingly go through, if it were me, I'd drop out of initiation, be factionless and clean the streets. Seems like a must easier life right?
The writing wasn't perfect, it was flawed, it's definitely not something you'd want to read in an English lesson, but that's not the point of this book, the book is full of fun, action, romance, friendship, morals, life lessons etc.
I love YA books that have subtle life lessons, the ones that make you think about the characters decisions, and understand why they did what they did, this series certainly did that for me because it was easy to separate their personality traits. I'll give you a random example, -- If someone in the book said 'If she asks, I'm going to tell her the truth' then I'd understand why because that person obviously came from/or is a Candor, and honesty is the key.
If you haven't read this yet, I highly recommend that you do, especially now that the 3rd and final book in the trilogy is out! No excruciatingly long wait to find out what happens!