In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves… or it might destroy her.
I was introduced to this book through a Hunger Games comm, and obviously there are parallels: a YA book/trilogy that involves teenagers fighting and dying... a complicated and angsty 'ship... a post-apocalyptic world set in a future USA... But it really stands by itself, and, especially as a debut, it's pretty brilliant. I also really liked the extremely-subtle message that religion is okay, that it's something that is actually good and actually strengthens a person. It's not a message I see in fiction a whole lot. Don't know what more I can say! Read it!