I loved this book! So fun and so complex. It took me a really long time to figure out what was going wrong--Roth does a really good job of showing how...moreI loved this book! So fun and so complex. It took me a really long time to figure out what was going wrong--Roth does a really good job of showing how certain virtues when in excess can sometime slip into a vice. Very, very cool.
Also it is set in Chicago, which I love. It was so fun to know the street names, buildings, and structures that Roth describes. Chicago is the perfect setting for a dystopia, because essentially that is what it is. The Daley'w worked their hardest to make Chicago a beautiful city, and to tourists visiting it is, but go south or west and you will see that what the Daley's did was push everything they didn't like to the outskirts, while corrupted government officials get to sit in thier pretty buildings overlooking millenium park. So it's very fitting that the location for this dystopia is in the heart of Chicago, where corruption seems to thrive!
In terms of criticism, I would say that I felt that the transformation of Beatrice to Tris was a bit too much for me. I didn't really buy that she could change that much that fast, and there were some things that she thought and did that I felt were too extreme (and too cruel) given her upbringing. It's like Tris was barely influenced by the teachings and way of life she lived her whole life, and suddenly she becomes nearly the opposite. I understand that there were somethings that carried over, such as her selflessness when protecting other people. But I felt like there could be more.
On the other hand it does make Tris a more real character because she does tend to bounce to either extreme as she is trying to figure out who she is and what she values.
I avoided this book for a really long time because 1. I knew it was a fairytale retelling and 2. The cover looks Twilightesque. But I am really glad I...moreI avoided this book for a really long time because 1. I knew it was a fairytale retelling and 2. The cover looks Twilightesque. But I am really glad I got over my book cover prejudice because It was actually really fun. While it is a Cinderella story, it is also a dystopian novel, and frequently I found myself forgetting that it was a Cinderella story at all. It seems that they author uses the fairytales of both Cinderella and Snow White as a way to foreshaddow/give the reader some insight that the characters don't have. And it was really interesting to see how she wove two very different stories together.
Honestly I would reccommend this book to all YA lovers, very fun and intriguing. (less)
Very good. Sharon Draper writes books that Black Americans can really relate to. My students LOVED this book, and it was very impactful for many of th...moreVery good. Sharon Draper writes books that Black Americans can really relate to. My students LOVED this book, and it was very impactful for many of them.(less)
I really liked this book. It was intriguing and it grabbed me from the very beginning. I honestly am so bummed that the next book doesn't come out unt...moreI really liked this book. It was intriguing and it grabbed me from the very beginning. I honestly am so bummed that the next book doesn't come out until September. It had the perfect amount of action, politics, teen love, and futuristic fantasy. One thing that I found really interesting was the complete role reversal between men and women. For the first 10 pages of the book I thought the main character was a boy (I was sure surprised when it wasn't). I don't know how I feel about gender roles in the first place, but this wasn't a role reversal in a weird way. It was really interesting. I would definitely recommend it to anyone!
Also I read it with my 10th grade class after our state exam as a reward, and I have never had so many students actually do their reading at home! They loved it, and it lead to some really interesting conversations about the irony in the book. Such as how ironic it is that one of the themes of the book is to be wary of what you watch on television, and whether what you watch is morally acceptable (the people in the capital seem vain and ridiculous for loving the Hunger Games so much, and they don't seem to even care that children are killing each other). But ironically, this book is wildy popular and the movie is so popular because of the violence in the book. Oh how I love irony.(less)