Yeah, yeah, I know -- What took me so long to read this one?
I actually DVR'd the movie months ago, maybe going on a year ago, but haven't watched it yet. That shows you just how crazy-busy my life is. Maybe I should watch it today while I have the house and the TV to myself ... but I have editing to do and book deadlines to reach and ... yeah. That's my life.
Anyway... I can see how this book and the resulting ones just took off like wildfire and why they had to be made into movies. Roth has a clean, clear, easy-to-read style, so you're not aware you're reading. You're inside Tris' mind, sharing her fears, her worries, her hurt and questions. It's a frightening futuristic world she lives in. What makes it so frightening is that the divisions of society -- factions, where people live according to the guiding principles of life and how they should interact with others -- seem so utterly rational and workable. Of course, there are people within the factions who are manipulating things for their own benefit, and some who believe sincerely that the other factions are liars and hypocrites and cheating everyone else. So since their faction is what they believe in, that justifies what actions they take. No matter who gets hurt.
Along comes Tris, at the age when children in all the factions decide if they will stay with their parents' faction or move to another, choose a different life philosophy. As Tris learns when she makes her choice, one choice will change her, and her whole world. The faction she chooses seems exciting, then frightening, then brutal and cold, when even the friends she makes are forced to work against her, and she learns the power of forgiveness, and refusing the forgive.
Can't wait until I work through the HUGE stack of YA fantasy and SF I bought a month or so ago, so I can justify buying the rest of the books in the series and see how Tris' journey ends.