Divergent is set in a dystopia of, we can only assume (by where it takes place...no spoilers!) the future. Society has separated itself into five "factions" and all young adults choose their faction (for life!) at age sixteen. Raised in Abnegation, Beatrice has always felt like she didn't quite have the selflessness it took to remain in that faction, and inspired by her brother Caleb choosing the Erudite faction, she chooses Dauntless. Dauntless is only for the brave, those willing to put themselves in danger for both the protection of others and their own thrill seeking. Leaving her home behind, Beatrice changes her name to Tris and begins training with the other new recruits for the coveted ten spots as a new Dauntless. But Tris harbors a major secret...her aptitude tests didn't show she actually belonged anywhere...she's a Divergent.
Divergent is gritty and violent, and Tris spends quite a bit of the story being beaten up and injured. Still, she's determined to persevere, and her quest is made more determined when she finally admits her attraction to Four, one of her trainers/leaders. But it also becomes clear that those in charge of Dauntless no longer share its high ideals, and Tris will have to decide if she can let her forbidden Divergent side lead her into uncharted territory in order to save others. Does she have the courage? And what will be the cost?
Loved Divergent--it's well written, with many on the edge scenes and characters I with whom I could easily identify. Tris's loneliness and determination are remarkable, and the ultimate choices she must make left me very eager for the sequels. I loved Four; I'm glad he could see that special something in Tris that went beyond her looks and into her soul. Though much of the book seems to be a set up for a showdown in the society, there is enough action to keep the pages flying. I would actually give this one 4.5 stars as I sit here impatiently waiting on the next book in this trilogy. Well written, well plotted, intriguing...this one's a keeper.