Previously, Peter is still evil and does not secretly have a beautiful heart made of rainbows, gold and bunnies.
We open with Lynn’s sister Shauna having been shot in the back. To make things simpler to understand, a character we don’t really care about has a sister we heard about once, and now this sister’s life is in danger! If that doesn’t make your heart race, I simply don’t know what will.
Fourbias carries Shauna back to…Merciless Mart…and the book proceeds to forget about her in favour of another argument between Tris and Four. In case you felt like Four wasn’t trying to dictate what Tris does enough and thus you weren’t sure that he was a good enough romantic lead, fear not, here’s this argument:
“I’m not going to pretend to know what’s going on with you,” he says. “But if you senselessly risk your life again—”
“I am not senselessly risking my life. I am trying to make sacrifices, like my parents would have, like—”
“You are not your parents. You are a sixteen-year-old girl—”
I grit my teeth. “How dare you—”
“—who doesn’t understand that the value of a sacrifice lies in its necessity, not in throwing your life away! And if you do that again, you and I are done.”
I sat here for a good 10 minutes trying to figure out exactly why this makes my blood boil. I put myself in Four’s shoes, and it’s not inherently wrong that he’s putting his foot down and telling the person he loves to stop risking their life needlessly. It’s just that he manages to do it by sounding like the most patronising fuckface ever. He frames it in a way that comes down to their relationship, an ultimatum, not because he’s worried about Tris not valuing her life or being in a place where she’s depressed and reckless.
Even Tris is taken aback by this:
I wasn’t expecting him to say that.
“You’re giving me an ultimatum?” I try to keep my voice down so the others can’t hear.
He shakes his head. “No, I’m telling you a fact.” His lips are just a line.
No, pretty sure that’s an ultimatum, dude.
“If you throw yourself into danger for no reason again, you will have become nothing more than a Dauntless adrenaline junkie looking for a hit, and I’m not going to help you do it.” He spits the words out bitterly. “I love Tris the Divergent, who makes decisions apart from faction loyalty, who isn’t some faction archetype. But the Tris who’s trying as hard as she can to destroy herself … I can’t love her.” I want to scream. But not because I’m angry, because I’m afraid he’s right. My hands shake and I grab the hem of my shirt to steady them.”
If you really love Tris, you love all of Tris. If someone who you love like this is acting out of character (a character Four hasn’t even known for very long!) and clearly there is something wrong with Tris right now, telling her you can’t love her when she’s hurting and acting out isn’t the solution.
To be fair, he does end this on a more tender note, which is nice:
He touches his forehead to mine and closes his eyes. “I believe you’re still in there,” he says against my mouth. “Come back.” He kisses me lightly, and I am too shocked to stop him.
I can see how from Four’s perspective it might be hard to see Tris throwing herself into danger, but I don’t exactly see how she’s doing anything worse than Four or anyone else. They’re in a dangerous situation!
Anyway, Tris talks to Tori and they call a Dauntless meeting and realize that they need to elect new leaders because all of their old ones are totally evil. Tris, Four, Tori, and some guy named Harrison. He’s middle-aged, so I guess there are some older folks in Dauntless after all.
Then this stupid shit happens:
“We only need three leaders,” Tori says. “We’ll have to vote.” They would never have considered me if I had not stopped the attack simulation. And maybe they wouldn’t have considered me if I hadn’t stabbed Eric by those elevators, or put myself under that bridge. The more reckless I get, the more popular I am with the Dauntless.
Tobias looks at me. I can’t be popular with the Dauntless, because Tobias is right—I’m not Dauntless; I’m Divergent. I am whatever choose to be. And I can’t choose to be this. I have to stay separate from them.
“No,” I say. I clear my throat and say it louder. “No, you don’t have to vote. I refuse my nomination.”
Tori raises her eyebrows at me. “Are you sure, Tris?”
“Yes,” I say. “I don’t want it. I’m sure.” And then, without argument and without ceremony, Tobias is elected to be a leader of Dauntless. And I am not.
The fuck? So Tris chooses this because she’s worried about disappointing Four? Whatever way you slice this, this is coming off the back of the conversation where Four basically told Tris that she needs to start acting the way he prefers or their relationship is done. Tris worries a leadership roll will force her to be more reckless and less…Divergent for some reason, and so she concedes leadership to him? Fuck this noise.