4.5 stars. Wow! It took some effort from a friend to get me to read this but I am soooo glad that I did! Not my usual thing but a welcome change! Usually I shy aware from fantasy that seems too "smart" for me! It can be very intimidating! LOL! Luckily I was able to catch on quickly with Divergent. Here's my simple-minded synopsis without repeating the entire book, hopefully some of you undecided people who have not read it might give it a try now...bare with me, this is a little long...
Imagine a future where people have become fed up with our government and society. These people begin to divide into groups based on their own theories as to why our problems exist. These groups then adopt a single belief and choose to live their life wholly dedicated to enforcing this belief. After time, five main groups or "factions" are formed.
1- Candor: A group of people who only tell the truth
because they feel our problems are because of too many lies.
2- Dauntless: A group of people who are very brave
because they feel our problems are due to cowardice.
3- Abnegation: A group of people who are nothing but selfless
because they feel our problems are due to selfishness.
4- Amity: A group of people who are peaceful
because they feel our problem is too much anger and violence.
5- Erudite: A group of people who are very smart
because they feel that our problem is lack of knowledge.
Now these factions work pretty good for a while. They even mandate that every teen on his or her 16th birthday must take an aptitude test to discover which group they naturally fall into. Each can choose a new group based on their results and live in their true nature or they can decide to stay with the group they were raised but they must choose one and forever assimilate to that way of life. Having no group or being "factionless" is a horrible thing that includes being voiceless, living in poverty and working lowly jobs.
(BTW, based on the test examples in the book, I would have tested Dauntless which I think is interesting!
A clear benefit to these factions is that everyone has only one value so it's easy for their leaders to predict actions and control their followers. But what happens when a person doesn't fit into just one belief? What if this person is smart, selfless and brave? What if this person is not the only one? What if these hidden people are able to see the flaws and corruption in the faction system and can secretly convince others to stand up against it. We quickly learn that faction leaders would see these people as a serious threat...the Divergent!
I hope that all makes sense and does the story justice! I really liked this book. Good food for thought! There is even a little romance in there which is enough to satisfy my requirement! There are some very heartbreaking moments, ass kicking moments, moments I wanted to strangle people and even a little swoon time, too! I'm already reading book 2! I really recommend this series! Try it! You know you want too! :)