My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Book 1 of 3 (with a couple of short stories available in e-format that fit in between the novels). A dystopian-type story set in a future (post war?) Chicago where society has been restructured into 5 factions based on human qualities in an attempt to remove corruption from the different facets of society. The story revolves around Beatrice, a teenager who must undergo initiation in the faction of her choosing (see author's description below for more detail). If you've read & liked books such as The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins or Bane by H.M. Ward, then you will definitely love Divergent by Veronica Roth.
My appreciation: I couldn't put Divergent down. Whenever I'd end a chapter, I'd look at the time to see if I could sneak in another chapter. It's a gripping story. The story is fast paced and there is never a dull moment. There is a nice balance of action, friendship, lightness, deeper inner struggles, love, politics & war. Be forewarned, Veronica Roth is not afraid to kill off her characters for the sake of her story.
Constructive Criticism: The romance between the 2 main characters is wonderful but I didn't get butterflies in my stomach.
Technical stuff: Divergent is written in the first person, present tense, from Beatrice's point of view. I am an averaged-speed reader and it took me 12 hours to read it. Safe for younger teens: No sexual content (although there is reference to sex) BUT there is violence, blood, weapons & death. Genres and keywords: Dystopian, Teen, Science Fiction, Love/Romance, Politics, War.
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.
During 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.
Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the YA scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.