Publish Date: May 2011
In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, 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 one 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.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are -- and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating 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 a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves...or it might destroy her.
You guys, this book was amazing and fantastic and awesome and every other adjective for "great" that you could possibly think. As I tweeted during my reading, books like Divergent are the reason I fell head over heels in love with dystopian.
I really loved all the characters, even if it didn't happen until near the end for some. Tris has the perfect rate of growth throughout the story. I could totally understand her thought process, but I don't think I could ever be half the awesome kick-a** character she is. If I were to make a team of super-tough and awesome main characters, so would definitely make the cut.
It took me a little while to warm up to Four, but I finally did. I may have even fell in love with him a bit ;P At first I just thought he was okay, you know, not horribly mean but not exactly the kind of guy I'd go for either. But then, somewhere along the lines he became one of those dreamy YA boys you just want all to yourself.
The side characters were great too. Christina and Will were fun and kept things interesting.
The story itself was fantastic, but once again I was left wondering about the dystopian world history. I suppose that never really happens in the first book of a series though. It still worked fantastically. I doubt I'd miss the history if it wasn't one of my favorite aspects of dystopian.
The whole story was great, but that ending! I was up until 3 having myself a little sob fest (I don't consider this a spoiler since I didn't actually tell you anything) finishing it up.
Final Thoughts: Divergent was an amazing start to what is sure to be one of my favorite series. This book has the whole package: awesome characters, fantastic setting/world building, lots of action (but not too much), and just a hint of romance. In short, you should go out and buy this book (because you will love it) and then proceed to tell everyone you know how awesome it is.
Series: Divergent #1 (planned trilogy)
Rating: 5 stars