This book was not what I expected. So many reliable people told me this book was amazing and that I would love it and I wouldn’t be able to put it down. It was decent, not amazing. I don’t love it; in fact, I barely like it. And it was very easy for me to put down.
I’ll start with what I did like. When there was plot progression, it was fantastic. The last 70 or so pages of the novel were the ones I couldn’t stop reading. Roth wrote the action very well and in a way that made it easy to picture without being oversimplified. However, the majority of the book is initiation training and trials, which slowed the novel down incredibly, in my opinion.
I didn’t feel connected with Tris and more to the point, half the novel, I kind of wanted to slap her. There’s written a strong female character, and then there’s taking it overboard. Tris takes it overboard quite a bit. In her attempt to distance Tris from the Abnegation, she goes so far as to seemingly lose a moral center. Being brave and facing your fears (aka Dauntless) doesn’t mean losing your ability to feel for other people. I have a major problem with Tris throughout the novel when it comes to this.
The relationship between Tris and Four feels…uncomfortable. I don’t buy it. There’s never a real connection and it’s hard for me to feel like there’s a real chance at a relationship there when they haven’t really spent much time together that wasn’t being used to train for the trials.
Unfortunately, because I’m curious and have a hard time telling myself no (even when I know better), I will probably be reading the next book just to see what happens. I’m really hoping it will surprise me and be better than the first.