In a dystopian Chicago, the city is separated into interacting factions: Dauntless (the brave), Abnegation (the selfless), Amity (the peaceful), Erudite (the intelligent), and Candor (the honest). When teens in each faction reach a certain age, they take a test and determine which faction they truly belong in. Beatrice, an Abnegation-born girl, takes the test and discovers she is something called Divergent, and even she isn’t sure what it means. Leaving the gray-clad ‘stiffs’ in Abnegation for the pierced, tattooed, and conflict-loving people of Dauntless, Beatrice renames herself and goes forth as ‘Tris’ to try and make it through the Dauntless initiation and figure out exactly what being “Divergent” means.
In the same category as The Hunger Games, but, in my opinion, much, much better, Divergent is literally a book that I could not stop reading. I spent several late, late nights focusing on Tris and her journey through the Dauntless initiation as she faced fear after fear. The characters are top-notch, believable, and, most importantly, aren’t introduced flippantly; Roth gives you reasons to care about or hate them, rather than making you simply feel like you should because they’re the bad guy/good guy. It’s categorized as Young Adult fiction, but it’s something that adults can read and appreciate as well. For being a very young author, Roth has a definite mastery of her words and knows how to build both a scene AND world. I would recommend this novel to anyone, and I eagerly await the rest of the trilogy.