Divergent by Veronica Roth (2012)
I was fascinated by the idea of the factions. Each one embodies a particular quality that the members feel is most important and they take it to an extreme degree. Amity values peace, Candor honesty, Erudite knowledge, Dauntless courage, and Abnegation selflessness. Throughout the book, I couldn't help by think about which faction I would choose. It's really hard to pick ONE quality and forego all others: why can't I be both smart AND brave? Which I suppose is the whole problem with this setup.
Of course nothing is as clear-cut as the society leaders would like you to think, as per usual in a dystopia. Some factions have lost their way, and trouble is secretly brewing. I won't say anything more, because this mostly happens later in the book as setup for book two. (Did I mention this is a series? Did I even have to? Of course it is.)
Focusing on Tris's initiation is enough excitement for one book. The story is fast-paced, with a little bit of romance thrown in, and is just as compelling as any dystopia out there. If you liked The Hunger Games, this will likely appeal to you.
Every time I think I'm burned out on young adult dystopias, I read another one and get sucked in all over again. Divergent is no exception - I've been wanting to read it all year, and I'm so glad I finally did. I'm dying to know what's going on in some of the other factions, and outside of the city. I can't wait to get a copy of Insurgent!