This book actually reminds me quite a bit of “The Hunger Games,” though I might like this one better (gasp!). The world is similar–it’s a dystopian future, and humans are split into factions that work, live and act in accordance with various beliefs and values. This is simliar to The Hunger Games different districts. The difference is that the factions have contact with one another, and kids go to school with children of the other factions. That makes it a bit more interesting because there is a play between very different lifestyles that you don’t see in The Hunger Games, since the districts are kept separate–except when the kids are thrown into the ring together.
In this book, all teens are given a secret test to advise them on what faction they should join. The kids are free to choose whatever faction they like, the test is just to show where their strengths are. The catch is that in this world, it’s “faction before family,” so leaving your birth faction means leaving your family forever.
The main character is a girl named Beatrice, and her test doesn’t go as smoothly as planned. This leads to her choose a different faction than the one she was born into. There is, of course, a love interest, but it didn’t bother me as much in this book as it has in others. I like Tris (she changes her name when she enters her new faction) because she’s a strong female character–must like Katniss, actually. And her love interest likes her because she isn’t helpless (looking at you, Bella Swan).
I could sense where the book was going, but my husband read it and about 20 pages in basically told me the entire plot. I don’t know if that means I’m a little slow, or if it’s a result of me not reading much science fiction. In any case, it’s a predictable book but fun nonetheless. I’ve already put a hold on the second book.
And hurry up and read it if you want to. The movie comes out in 2014.