Divergent  - Veronica Roth AAAAAHHHHH!Well, now that my boldfaced scream has caught your attention, you are now reading my review. Good for you.I gave this book five stars. Although truthfully, I think it would be at more like a 4.5 ... I thought about rounding it down to 4, but I decided it was more on the higher end of the 4.5. There were some things that really irked me about this book. But I have to say, it was very engrossing, and it had me hooked from beginning to end. And although it had its flaws, it also had quite a few strengths.I have a confession to make. I was nervous about this book. Since everyone loved it so much, I had very high expectations. After all, it has almost 8,000 ratings on Goodreads with an average rating of over 4.5, which is just ... ridiculous. I haven't seen so many people raving over a book since The Hunger Games first stepped onto the scene. And, well, I had high expectations for Hunger Games that I didn't feel were met. And when I reviewed it, I got all those annoying "Y U NO LYK DIS BOOK, STUPIDFACE?" type comments. And I really did not want to go through that again.With Divergent, I didn't really know what to expect. But I already feared that I was going to hate it. Why?a) Everyone was comparing it to The Hunger Games, which I didn't like all that much.b) The author is only 22 ... so, a little more than 3 years older than I am. I'm a writer so, I have this irrepressible skepticism when it comes to young published authors. Like, "Oh yeah? You're published and I'm not? What makes YOU so special, eh?!"But, I found that this book is barely anything like Hunger Games. I think people just automatically associate dystopia with Hunger Games now. (Like, really? Dystopia has been around for ages. Not every dystopian story is "like The Hunger Games.") Also, Veronica Roth seems like a cool person. She went to Northwestern, which is where one of my best friends is going. And in her author bio it said she wrote this book when she was supposed to be doing homework. NICE. Sounds exactly like me. Oh and also, she's a great writer. So, I'm actually going to review this baby now.Divergent is set in future dystopian Chicago. (Why Chicago? I guess because the author lives there. Other than that, there's not much point in it being Chicago.) The city is apparently closed off from the rest of the world, and divided into five factions based on personality type––Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). The idea is that, the world was once in chaos and everyone decided it was due to clashes in personality and so decided to separate themselves. At 16 years old, kids are tested to see which faction is best for them; however, they may choose to leave their family and go to any faction of their choice. Most kids stay within their parents' faction; otherwise, your parents will most likely be ashamed of you and not want to visit you. And even if they do, they're only allowed to visit on designated "visiting days."Our main character, Tris, was raised in Abnegation. But when she goes to take her test, her results are unusual. Instead of falling into one category, she falls into several––a condition known as "Divergent." Instead of choosing to stay with her family, Tris chooses to join Dauntless.But choosing is the easy part. The catch is, everyone has to go through initiation before they officially enter a faction. And in Dauntless, the initiation involves a lot of knife-throwing, jumping off of things, and facing your worst fears. And even then, only 10 people make it into the faction. And if you get cut, you become factionless ... which means you're basically the scum of the earth.So, I suppose the competitive aspect makes it a little bit like Hunger Games, but the similarities pretty much end there. Except, the thing that happened to Four near the end was almost exactly the same thing that happened to Peeta in Mockingjay––the whole thing where they injected him with something weird to make him hallucinate, thus turning him against Tris and making him strangle her. But of course, maybe she wrote that part before Mockingjay was published. Who knows.Anyway, this was a very exciting story. It started off a bit slow, but once Tris actually joined Dauntless it became very addicting. Before I read it, I saw tons of reviews where people were saying this book is un-put-downable. And for me, this was also true. I'm pretty sure I read it in only two or three sittings. And it's a good 480 pages long.Tris is a pretty kick-ass main character. She's brave and determined and (usually) intelligent. Although she does make some dumb decisions. The main one being that she killed Will at the end ... I was like, "WTF?!" Why the hell did she shoot him in the HEAD? She could have shot him in the arm or leg or something, if she'd been thinking for two freaking seconds. I'm guessing the whole idea was just to create tension between her and Christina in the next book. However, I liked her a lot over all.And then there's Four ... *sighs* Okay, I will restrain myself and not go into fangirl mode. But, really. I have a thing for emo male characters. It's probably unhealthy for me. But anyway, he's awesome. Sure, the romance is rather predictable. Of course Tris goes right for the emo and off-limits type guy. But the actual romance is well-done. Unlike a lot of male leads in YA books, Four is flawed and shows as much vulnerability as the heroine. Throughout most of the book, I was getting so frustrated with him, like, "Four, dude. What is your deal, man?!" And ... well ... You'll just have to read it to find out. Although I found it hard to believe that he has only four fears ... in the whole world. Doesn't seem realistic. But it's a cool idea, anyway.Building off of that, I also liked that Tris was not a Mary Sue. Yes, she commented occasionally about how she was plain-looking and child-like ... but the thing is, she actually was. There was none of that corny "But you're beautiful to me!" crap from Four. In fact, he even admitted she wasn't that pretty. So, it wasn't the typical romance and it developed quite nicely.As for the other characters, they could have been fleshed out a bit more. Tris and Four were strong leads, but Tris's other friends were a tad boring. They were nice, but not that interesting. Except, I was really annoyed with Al. He just seemed like a whiny baby from the start, so you knew he was probably screwed. So when he killed himself, I wasn't all that surprised or upset.Tris's parents were actually pretty kick-ass, although this isn't demonstrated until near the end of the book. Her mom in particular is awesome, and her mysterious backround also gives her a lot of appeal. I was so sad they both died at the end. I would have liked to get to know them a bit better.Only a couple of things irked me.There was not a lot of world-building or explanation. I kept wondering what was going on in the world outside Chicago and why the characters didn't seem so interested in what was out there. But, perhaps this issue will be addressed more in the next books.The other thing was, I had difficulty believing the premise. I have this issue with a lot of dystopian books. I always find myself asking, "All right, so ... WHY did they think this whole idea was going to work out?" And there's often no explanation as to how the idea for the society developed and how the hell everyone agreed to it.But, despite its flaws, this was a pretty darn good read. It's well-written, it's riveting, and it has a likable pair of main characters. I highly recommend this.