In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames
herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out
the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical
tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with
devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must
determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with
a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life
she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from
everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she
discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her
seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help
her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.
Divergent is the type of book that is fast-paced and exciting, making it easy to fly through. It is a good dystopian story, but it stands out as an original work within that genre. The characters are developed ones that you care about, and the plot is awesome and moves at a good pace.
POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD
Tris is a strong protagonist. In fact, she is brave and rather dauntless. This makes sense since it is the faction that she chose. She has been raised in Abnegation for her entire life, but she never feels like she is selfless enough. On Testing Day, she finds that she could choose from three different factions, since she is Divergent. She ends up choosing Dauntless. Her choice of Dauntless adds excitement to the story, since Dauntless has a very competitive initiation. Initiation really changes Tris and makes her into a stronger person. Before initiation, she would have never been able to fight, or use a gun, or zipline off a building.
Four is a fabulous character. At the beginning of the story, when we are first introduced to him, I didn't think I was going to like him. Well, I was wrong. The Four we meet at the beginning of the book is putting on a facade by acting super-tough. As the story progresses, Tris finds out more about Four, his past, and where he came from. The romance between Four and Tris is awesome. They know that they can't be open about their romance since other Dauntless initiates could accuse Four of favoritism when Tris does well.
The world building in this book is well woven into the story. It shows the five factions, especially Dauntless, throughout the story. The ideas of how the kids choose their factions works well. There is one thing about this world that I'm curious about. I wonder if the five factions exist outside of Chicago. This book takes place entirely in Chicago, so I'm not sure what's happening in the rest of the country.
If you like YA dystopian, read this book.