Cover Beauty Score: 6 out of 10
Goodreads Score: 4 out of 5
Plot Blurb: In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). When they turn 16, every member must choose which faction they wish to live in based on a personality test that tells them which way they lean. Beatrice makes a crazy choice and chooses Dauntless - leaving her family behind in Abnegation.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows in the toughest faction, Beatrice renames herself Tris has to undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. She also meets Four, the brooding instructor of her initiate class that gets pretty cozy with her by the end. But Tris also has a secret - her test results didn't show just one personality trait, classifying her as divergent. With Four's help, Tris learns that there are some in their society seeking out the divergent - and that things could be a lot more complicated than they appear.
My Reaction: I really didn't mind this book. The writing wasn't horrible - but it wasn't great, either. It didn't blow me away, but I didn't want to kill myself by the time I got through one page of it. It's a pretty easy read, with a unique concept. I've heard some people compare this book to Hunger Games, and it's really not. The only similar quality is that it's dystopian, but that's where the similarities end.
Tris' character is unique - she seems very real and has flaws, but is also pretty likable (unlike Katniss, who I felt was a grade A bitch). Tris makes a decision to leave everything she's ever known to seek out who she believes she is. We see her start as a pretty weak person, both physically and emotionally, and the initiation in Dauntless helps make her a stronger person. It's like it unlocks who she was meant to be.
There are some pretty great scenes with Four - he's a character that is a great contrast to Tris. And I'll say again how freaking relieved I am to have a book that isn't centered around a love triangle! Roth was really able to focus on Tris and her own maturation as a character instead of constantly freaking out about which boy to kiss. Because if we're being real, Four is pretty much the only dude I'd want to be kissing anyways. He's strong beside Tris, not behind or in front of her. It was a lovely little romance thrown in there.
By the time the revolution bits start happening and then up until the end of the book, I was a little disappointed. I felt like there could have been much more. And the climax was a bit rushed. But I suppose that is because Roth has a whole series arch in mind (which honestly can hurt a book more than it helps, imho). But overall it's a good read - not incredibly stellar, though.
But what about the movie? you ask! Honestly, I love the movie so much more than the book. Roth's bland writing style turned me off from really connecting to the characters. Everybody who knows me knows I have an insane girl crush on Shailene Woodley. The girl is so real and down to earth, not to mention a kick butt actress! She really made me connect with Tris in a way that the books failed to do. Going back to read the book after seeing the movie makes me like it about 1000 times more. And I really think they did an elegant job of translating it to screen. The part with her mom - man that got me to cry in the theatre.
So - final consensus? You should probably read this one - but it might help to watch the movie first.