Giving in to an impulse to purchase a book without knowing anything about it has the advantage of surprise; the book can be wonderful, a dog with a neat cover or anywhere in between.
This story takes place sometime after a great (unidentified) war and is set in a much changed Chicago. The survivors believe that the cause of war was the total integration of different people with diverse value systems all fighting each other for power. The solution they came up with was to divide the city into 5 different zones, each occupied with a particular faction with no intermingling between them:
~ Candor values honesty above all else-clothing black and white-makes up the judicial
~ Amity is kind, loving wears yellow and red-they are the peacekeepers
~ Eruidite with their god being knowledge, must wear at least one blue article of clothing-they are the educators and scientists
~ Abnegation whose value of selflessness and doing for others is of the highest value-clothing is grey and plain-they form the government for all factions
~ Dauntless who values bravery above all else-they wear black, tattoos and piecings-they are the protectors
As each child reaches their sixteen birthday they are given an aptitude test and, based upon the results, recommendations are given as to which faction they belong. The teen may remain with their family in the faction of their birth, elect to join the recommended faction or join another of their choosing, but once the choice is made there can be no going back.
The story line was inventive and for the first 3/4 of the book I was glued to the pages as I followed our narrator, Tris, through her initiation into the Dauntless faction and the tests of fighting prowess and bravery that all new initiates had to endure to become actual members. Then about the 3/4 mark, the story veered away and concentrated more on the new romance of Tris and her instructor. Not being a fan of romance novels, from this point I had to struggle to find the interest to finish the book. There is little doubt in my mind that if the reader likes YA Dystopia with romance thrown in for good measure they will love this book, it was creative enough to stand out with strong characters, a good plot line, and decent writing.
Overall, I enjoyed it but didn't love it, but really could have. If I happen to find the second book on sale somewhere I might buy it but will not actively search it out.