Author: Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent, book 1
Genre: Young Adult
Review: One of my co-workers recommended this book to me and being on a YA kick this month I decided to give it a go. I was very glad I did too because I enjoyed it a whole lot.
The setting of the book is in post-apocalyptic Chicago where the humans have split into 5 factions. The five factions are Abnegation, Erudite, Amity, Candor, and Dauntless. Plus there are the faction-less folks who are pretty much the poor and the homeless. The five factions each have a defining characteristic that they take very seriously. Our main character, Beatrice or Tris as she calls herself, grows up in Abnegation. This is the faction that celebrates selflessness and tries to help others. At sixteen all children are allowed to choose what faction they will belong to. To help with the decision they are given a test consisting of a simulation designed to suggest the faction they are best suited for.
The story starts on the day of Tris's test where the simulation gives out unexpected results -- she is not suited for any one faction, but she is suited for three of them. She is divergent. And that's something she needs to hide in order to be safe. What follows is the story of Tris's adventures as she initiates with a faction that she chooses.
The plot is fast-paced and has a number of qualities I enjoy: a sympathetic main character, good supporting cast with complex relationship development, a romance, and lots of action. It's a fun story and I stayed late into the night to find out what's going to happen to Tris next. The conclusion of the story leaves a bit to be desired -- it goes by a bit too fast, but I thoroughly enjoyed the rest of it.
The story strongly reminds me of The Hunger Game series. There's a post-apocalyptic world with an underlying political plot. There's a brave and resourceful main heroine who overcomes her obstacles. There's a movie in the works. So if you liked the former, I would definitely recommend this book to you.