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I usually have a skeptical outlook on huge commercial successes, figuring they often tend to be to the literary world what McDonald's is to culinary art. I also usually do not like to start a series but would prefer to read a strictly standalone novel. So going in with low expectations I was actually satisfied. The book was fast-paced and kept me interested. Tris was a great protagonist--a nice multi-dimensional hero. I give it a solid 3 out of 4 star rating.
I am definitely glad I got to read this book before ruining that opportunity by seeing the movie, which I haven't done yet.
"That virtue we appreciate is as much ours as another's. We see so much only as we possess." - Henry David Thoreau
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My daughters read the 2 books of the series as well and loved it. They watched the movie as well, but I won't watch the movie. I would recommend the 2 books since they are exciting, fast and interesting to boot. The characters were well developed, the writing great, the plot interesting and the overall themes are relevant to teens and adults alike. In short a very quick and easy read.
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Now I read the book the day after John Green recommended it and I was disappointed and thought maybe the next one won't be so bad. So I waited until the next one came out and ta-da - it was worse. There is absolutely no world-building. Seriously, what does Amity even do for a living? And what's the point of jumping in and out of trains? Is that just for the purpose of making you look cool? Why are Dauntless so suicidal ? Aren't they supposed to provide protection? How are they supposed to do that when half of them don't even survive the initiation? Why does the government have no backbone? What happens to kids of Factionless? Do they also remain Factionless?
Now our protagonists (that have been through the most used cookie-cutter of YA Novels)-
Four: I'm the hottest badass in town. I have a tragic backstory and have NEVER dated anyone in my entire life. Oh look-a minor! I will protect this enigmatic girl by being an ass to her the entire time but that's okay because she'll be safe. (That's so original, Veronica. No one's ever thought of that before)
Tris : I'm hypocritical and pass judgement on everyone about the things I do myself. OHMYGOD my close friend just died. I should go and make-out with my teacher! Also, let me get a makeover because #YOLO
This pretty much sums them up. Actually I'm going to be brave and say this pretty much sums the ENTIRE book.
If you like mindless reading then its a nice book. It does have nice actions scenes and the book definitely gets interesting by the end
but I won't recommend it.
I would prefer to have more of a back story of the society they live in, such as; is this Earth that they live on? How long has their society been this way? What rises and falls have they had?
I think a short story prequel set on the main characters' parents, mainly Tris', would be an amazing addition to this series!
There were a lot of loose ends that were unfortunately tied up in the third book, so if you could get that far you'd be able to see a better picture of the series. That being said, the ending was very deflating. I like the fact that there are companion books to help fill in a little more of the blanks that Veronica left in the story, but I wish the holes weren't there to begin with.
All in all it wasn't a painful read, and after I get over the ending, I might actually read it again. I would recommend it to others.
It reminds, me of college. How others tend their sheep and maintain distances from loners.
Perhaps, it could 've been better. But, if they made a movie of this story, then clearly, it was a good marketing target.
Kudos to the young Author.