Divergent by Veronica Roth
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 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.
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. (from Goodreads)
This is an amazing debut novel by Veronica Roth. She has created a believable dystopian world, one that I can actually see existing. Her characters are vivid and and each one well-drawn. Beatrice, or Tris, is a strong heroine and watching her grow from the quiet girl from Abnegation into a kick butt fighter is quite a ride. Four, the initiate trainer, is mysterious, brash, mysterious, and sexy. The rest of the characters, whether they are Tris’ friends or enemies, are easy to love or hate.
There are so many twists and surprises in this story. I love reading a book and not being able to predict everything that’s going to happen. I was shocked many times by certain events, not just because of what happened, but also by how it happened. Roth is not one to soften the blow, and that works for me. I love gritty and unapologetic writing, and this definitely has that.
My one complaint would be Four’s name, although I do like the uniqueness of it. I kept reading his name as a number and would have to start the sentence over, reminding myself it isn’t four steps into the room, but that Four stepped into the room (does that even make sense?).
The ending is satisfying, enough questions are answered to keep from being frustrated, but I definitely want more and cannot wait for the second novel in this action-packed trilogy.