I am not ashamed to say I LOVED this book – like telling all my friends, overanalyzing all the societal metaphors, staying up all night to finish it, love love love. It was so fun to read! I am not the biggest fan of dystopian novels (blame the eternal optimist in me), especially in the young adult genre, but something about this one works, and works in a way that seems entirely effortless. Yes, there are some of the tropes you would expect from a novel like this, or like The Hunger Games, or any variation thereof, but there are also glimmering, brilliant pieces of originality: the romantic relationships are actually not dragged out forever and riddled with frustrations, Tris’ parents get credit first for simply existing and second for being pretty cool, and lastly, this novel is smart. Say what you will about how the division-of-society-and-inevitable-revolution plot should be thrown out, but this one is special because it makes sense. It makes sense that we might divide society so that we emphasize one another’s strengths in order to cover up our weaknesses; it makes sense that we can’t keep them covered forever, but that maybe that isn’t the end of the world. Roth’s language may not be especially poignant, but I think she makes up for it in her ideas. After all, the concept of selflessness as bravery is about as poetic as the world gets, and that’s where I fell in love with this series.

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