In this future dystopia, citizens are divided into five factions, but the faction that you are born into is not necessarily your faction for life. Beatrice is tested when she is 16 to see which faction would be the best fit, but her test does not go as planned. She learns that she is Divergent, a strange hybrid of several factions, but she must be careful not to show who she really is because the Divergent are a threat to the strictly organized society. On the day of the choosing, Beatrice leaves her family behind in their selfless Abnegation world and chooses the brave and fearless Dauntless. Once there, she must quickly learn how to fight, survive and leave her old, simple world behind. She also discovers feelings for her Dauntless trainer, Four, but his secrets are just as dark as hers. Add in a revolution in the making and other political unrest, plus some convincing bullies and bad guys, and this becomes a series to watch.
I thoroughly enjoyed Divergent. I thought that I had overdosed on dystopias lately, so I was determined to be ambivalent toward this book, but after a few chapters, that just was not an option anymore. Beatrice, renamed Tris upon becoming Dauntless, is quite a compelling character. She does not feel selfless enough to be Abnegation, but we learn that it is her selflessness that truly makes her brave. Tris also has to learn about survival by knowing when to show weakness and when to show strength.
Let's talk about Four for one minute. I'm not often prone to literary crushes. Edward's not my speed and I only like Jacob because his body temp is 108 degrees, and I'm always cold. I'm not all about Mr. Darcy or Harry Potter, but honestly, I'd take Four in a second. I have a total Four, or Tobias, crush. He's so strong and determined, yet Tris sees a vulnerable side, and he is idealistic without losing sight of the goal. Plus, I'm guessing he's hot. That might not be stated outright, but in my mind, in my reading, he's pretty hot. I think that Divergent has been optioned for a movie, and that's going to ruin Four, because some 19 year old up and comer is going to be cast and I'll feel like a huge perv for being a Four groupie. If at at possible, please cast someone like Ryan Gosling as Four so I don't feel so icky. Really, any guy over 25 that has not dated Taylor Swift or been in a boy band will do. (Although I'll take Justin Timberlake if I have to. I've never been a JT fan, but I wouldn't feel weird about liking Four if he were played by JT. I would just like Four as played by JT. This is getting too involved).
Let's bring this back to a more relevant topic. Setting: great. Future, ruined Chicago. So much more fun than ruined New York. It was great hearing about the wrecked Navy Pier and train lines. Imagine jumping from the speeding train over rooftops in Wrigleyville-not me, not ever. But knowing the train like I do makes it that much more incredible. I really want to try to get my hubby to read this book. He really liked Hunger Games, and with the Chicago setting, I really think that he would like Divergent too.
The best part about this series is since I was so slow to read the first book, the second is already out. No waiting! I do have several books on my list before Insurgent, so I have a feeling that by the time I finish that one, the third book will be out. There is really something to be said for being lazy and starting a series late.
This book gets my recommendation. It stands out from the other dystopias for me and even though I've been passing on some other sequels lately, I'm all in for Insurgent. It could be that I just want more Four, but I'm pretty sure I'm in it for the story too. Read Divergent. You won't regret it.