I just finished this last night and had to tell you about it. It’s a really fast paced and thought provoking distopian novel that fans of the Hunger Games may enjoy (and even if you’re annoyed with all the Hunger Games hype at this point, I would give this book a chance). It’s set in a futuristic government split into five factions, which focus on the trait each thinks most important: Candor (Honesty), Abnegation (Selflessness), Dauntless (Bravery), Amity (Peace), and Erudite (Knowledge). Every year all the sixteen year olds from all factions must pledge their loyalties to a certain faction, acceptiong it as their new family, and leaving their previous lives behind.
Tris is raised by Abnegation parents, and spends her whole childhood trying to put others first and not think of herself, which doesn’t come naturally to her. When the day of the Choosing Ceremony arrives, Tris is still unsure of where to go; she desperately wants to be be as selfless as her parents, the lifestyle is familiar and comfortable, but she knows she doesn’t really fit it there. The dececion, once made, is final. A person who transferrs from their original faction will be essentially cut off from their family, and no matter how much the initiate hates their new faction, cannnot switch or go back to their old faction. If they fail to fit in, they will be forced onto the streets, factionless. Tris longs for more freedom and adventure, but admires the ideals of her parents and is afraid of plunging into a totally new world. Is it more brave to struggle through a selfless life feeling repressed, or to venture into unknown territory?
I originally picked up this book because of the shiny cover, having no idea what it contained due to the enigmatic back cover. I had low expectations for it, but fortunately was proven wrong. Not only does the shiny cover provide hours of entertainment (results may vary), the book is very engrossing and written to make people think about the way they view the world. Let’s just hope this marks the start of a distopian phase that drives out the vampire one. 🙂