I know that whilst being a worldwide best-selling series, a lot of people still haven’t read this series. I think that is mainly because they read the synopsis and think: ‘oh, it’s like the Hunger Games only without the killing…’. Whenever I hear someone say that I want to slap them. Mainly because 1) this series has its fair share of killing and 2) WHY ARE YOU COMPARING IT TO THE HUNGER GAMES? IS IT CALLED THE HUNGER GAMES? NO! SO JUDGE IT ON ITS ON MERIT, NOT BASED ON WHAT THE OTHER SERIES DID BETTER! That pretty much sums up my feelings. I love this series based on its amazingly relatable and realistic characters, its intricate and intriguing world, the fast-paced plot and the engaging and exciting writing style. This series is nothing like the Hunger Games. The only similarity is that this series could be labelled ‘dystopian’. There is no love triangle. There is no televised murder quest. But there is a kick-butt main character who I think is more relatable than Katniss. There is a swoon-worthy love interest, who is also a fully-fleshed character in his own right. There is a thought-provoking and intriguing world that you dream about living in. And there is a really inspiring and exciting story that stays with you long after you have read the books.
This series follow Beatrice – or Tris – Prior who lives with her older brother Caleb and her mother and father in the faction of Abnegation, where the inhabitants dedicate their lives to be selfless and helping others. But Tris, along with every other 16 year old, has a decision to make. Does she stay with her family in Abnegation where she will dedicate her life to other people and spend the rest of her days focusing on everything else but herself? Or does she transfer to one of the other four factions and face being cast out from her family? Will she join Dauntless, the home of the brave and the fearless? Or Candor, home to the truth tellers? Or Erudite, home to the intelligent and the smart? Or Amity, home to the loving and the peaceful? But with Tris’s decision, she realises that the perfect world she lives in, is crumbling around her feet – thanks to the actions of people who want more. And Tris is going to fight back. Whatever the cost.
One of the main things that I love about this series are the characters. Tris starts of as a girl who is unsure of herself and is unsure of who she is and what her role is in the world. But throughout the course of the series she develops into a strong, young woman who is independent and self-sufficient whilst being a great friend and a inspiration. I felt really connected to Tris because she wasn’t perfect – and there were moments when she was scared and couldn’t stand up for herself or mean and moody to her friends, but then there were the moments when she showed her enemies who was boss and was a really considerate and supportive friend. I also loved Christina and Will for the support that they have Tris throughout the series, but for also being great characters on their own. Christina was sassy and sarcastic and Will was adorable. I really loved all of the characters in this series because they were all so developed and relatable, one way or another. And we have to talk about Four. Not only is he extremely swoon-worthy, he is a great fighter, a great friend, a great person, AND a great kisser according to Tris. I even liked the bad characters because they were so fully fleshed out and didn’t seem flakey.
I also adored the world. This is one of those books where when you know about the 5 factions, you instantly try and put yourself in one. I think I would be in Abnegation because I know that I’m too nice for my own good. But then I would like to be in Candor, because I have a sarcastic humour and I just love the whole ethic. Everything was so fully explained and thought-out, there were no details that as the reader you were confused or unsure about. You knew everything that Veronica Roth was saying and that made the story even more exciting to read – being set in this complex and intriguing world. The story was fast-paced and exciting and creeps up on you as you read. You begin to think that not much is happening and then BAM! a gun is fired or a punch is thrown or a building is detonated. The story is filled with action and adventure and mystery and suspense and a really great romance. The three books flow really well and even though the second and third books took a different direction than to what was happening, I still enjoyed them despite the mixed reviews about the final book. I was satisfied with the conclusion and although I wanted to cry during the last book, I understand and appreciate why Veronica Roth finished it in the way she did.
Overall, I really loved this series. It is DIFFERENT to The Hunger Games, but in my opinion is equally as good in its own way. I would give this series a 5 stars out of 5 and if you are looking for something to fuel that dystopian fire, then I would definitely give this series a shot.