Imagine a world torn apart by war. One city in America still functions but all is not as it seems. Society has been divided into five Factions. Each Faction focuses on the traits and abilities they feel will best protect humanity from further war and destruction. Abnegation values selflessness and honour. Candor values truth. Erudite values knowledge. Dauntless values courage and bravery. Amity values happiness. All children are born into a faction and grow up according to those rules and beliefs. At 16, each adolescent is test using computers and a serum to determine which Faction they are best suited to. the next day, each adolescent is allowed to choose their future Faction for themselves. If they get past the Initiation period, they are then fully integrated into their new faction. If they do not pass initiation, they then become Factionless and live on the streets of the city doing menial tasks.
Breatice, who becomes Tris begins the story as Abnegation, but after her testing goes wrong and her results are inconclusive, she is deemed to be Divergent and urged to keep this information to herself as it is very dangerous! The next day she chooses Dauntless for her new Faction, much to her father’s disgust, and begins a whole new adventure!
But all is not as it seems. As Tris learns to jump on and off moving trains, fight, shoot guns and conquer fear, as well as earn the trust and love of her new friends (especially the young leader named Four), the government of her city is being challenged by an Erudite leader who uses the media for a smear campaign. Tris’ father is one of the targets. Eventually the challenge steps up a few notches and challenges not just the government, but the whole belief system of the Factions!
I love this book! The characters are very empathetic and the society is brilliantly drawn. The factions mirror many of the cliques and groups found within schools and society in general. This book is a Dystopian Fantasy. That means that it depicts a supposedly Utopian Society and then looks at it’s faults and how those faults impact on the lives and choices of the main protagonists! Very well done! I highly recommend this book!