In a dystopian society the world has been split into 5 factions. Each created to serve the people the best way they know how. The factions consist of Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent).
Beatrice was born in the abnegation faction and fights her selfish instincts every day. When she turns 16, like all her age, she must complete an aptitude test to determine which faction she would be best suited in for the rest of her life. But the test isn’t clear and she now has a serious decision to make.
Once the decision is made Beatrice moves factions, changes her name to Tris and begins a dangerous initiation to become a dauntless member. She is subjected to both physical and mental endurance that pushes her and her fellow initiates to extremes. Not only does Tris have to undertake these trails but there is something different about her, something that scares those in power and if she can’t hide it, it will mean certain death.
I had high hopes for this book but I have to say the first page had me shaking my head. I realise that this is only a personal opinion, nothing more, but I find it lazy to describe the main character by looking in a mirror, it has to be harder when writing in 1st person but there are plenty of books that show it can be done. Within the first three pages, there was a description of her, her mother and her brother. The writing style took me sometime to get used to. A lot of short, clipped sentences which as it was 1st person made it harder for me to connect with the MC. It wasn’t until the end of chapter three that I wanted to know Tris’ fate.
After what I have just said it seems hard to understand, but it did capture me. I was fascinated by the trails and what they put the children through. I did get the sense of the struggle between her situation and her true nature. It took only a few days to finish it and I pulled a late night in order to get it done, so the story drew me in.
The book concentrated on the initiation and growing relationships, as well as the undercurrent of something worse about to happen. I waited for this bigger event which we saw glimpses of at the very end and wanted more. But that may be the point, wanting you to go out and buy the next instalment.
I enjoyed this book, as a young adult it was an easy read, something you could quickly get through, though for me it felt like a prelude rather than a standalone novel. It set up the next book well.