I wanted to see what all the fuss was about this book, this trilogy. Roth has a premise – the world has split into factions representing various characteristics – and, well, that’s it. She is incapable of creating a setting or character. Everything and everyone comes off as bland. Even the attempts at romantic friction fall flat, in part because there’s no variety to the descriptions of Tris’ interactions with the absurdly named Four. And if there’s supposed to be some import to the fact that she doesn’t think she’s pretty (and that Four agrees), it eluded me. Okay, she is still attractive because of her other qualities. Wonderful. Why does there have to be such an immediate love interest at all?

Tris’ transformation lacks credibility. She simply goes from one things to being another. Whenever Roth is stuck, she simply invents a detail that allows things to continue. Whenever Tris is nervous, she does the same bloody thing. How many times does she brush off her jeans when nothing is actually there?

The physical punishment Roth has her characters endure suggests she knows little about medical matters. There is no way these kids – and they are kids – would recover so quickly.

An awful book.

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