Much has been written about Divergent by the CBR bloggers recently (from Ashley and Even Stevens) -- and it has all been good. I'm here as the third representative of our little group to tell you to RUN OUT NOW AND READ THIS BOOK. I loved it, its as simple as that.
Divergent is the story of Beatrice, a 16 year old girl in futuristic/dystopian Chicago. At age 16, all citizens much decide with which "faction" of the community they'll choose to live out the rest of their days. Each group values one aspect of their personalities above all else. The choices are: Abnegation (the selfless), Candor (the honest), Amity (the kind), Erudite (the intelligent), and Dauntless (the brave). Do you choose to stay where you grew up, and where your family will be? Or do you choose to leave for another faction, to go alone into a part of society where you'll pretty much be alone?
Beatrice makes her choice to leave Abnegation early on, and in her new community she gives herself a new identity, Tris. Tris has to undergo a seriously challenging initiation in order to become a true member of her new group (those that do not pass initiation are left "factionless", with little support/food/shelter from the city, which provides to the other 5 factions). Along the way she makes friends, falls in love, finds out secrets about her family and herself, and most importantly, finds out what is going on at the top of the government chain, and why there is so much political unrest in the city.
I can't wait to read the next two installments of the planned trilogy. I hope that the future books will answer some of the questions I had while reading this: Is every city set up similarly to Chicago? What about people who live in the country, far from the cities? What about the rest of the world?
My only complaint about this book is that I read it as a new release, and now will have to wait an incredibly long time to read book two.