I have a massive thing for YA dystopias. I think the first one I properly got in to was Matched by Ally Condue but I kind of always compare them, now, to Divergent. It’s a definite favourite of mine.
Divergent takes place in a dismal future where the citizens of Chicago are cordoned off and separated into factions according to their personal qualities. At sixteen they choose thwir new faction and leave their birth-factions after taking a test to see where they are best suited. Tris, born in to the selfless Abnegation faction, discovers that she is divergent- she doesn’t fit any one place- and chooses the brave, impulsive Dauntless but faces the wrath of the powers that be.
As dystopias go I do think the actual society is well thought out. Later books in the trilogy kind of turn the whole thing on its head, but the structure of future Chicago is solid and believable.
It’s also one of the few YA novels where I was actually invested in the romance. I’m usually completely disinterested in romance as a plot device (especially in YA- something about it makes me cringe). I really liked the development of Tris and Four’s relationship. Especially Four’s respect of Tris’ intimacy issues. There’s no pressure- and his backstory provides a realistic foundation for why he would be so considerate.
It’s not perfect- I’m sure. But it’s still one of my favourites. I also really like the films and I’m looking forward to the fourth one next year (they’ve done that new-fangled thing of splitting the final book in to two films).