I read this a while back, but I'm reading the sequel now so thought I'd pop back and review it. Such a mixed bag. The premise of the book doesn't work for me at all. I have bought into many dystopian worlds, but this idea of how society would reform itself after some sort of big disaster is so contrived, and would never happen. Even the whole "divergent thing". So, everyone is tested and gets to choose a faction based on having an aptitude for one thing, and the divergent are so dangerous because they are good at like, TWO things! And Tris is good at an entire THREE things! It is a lot to swallow.This was the pea under the many feather beds and mattresses of Divergent. If you can accept the premise and the initial world building (which I can't for long) then within that context, the characters are realistically written. If this sort of world existed (though, again, it just would not) this is how people would act, how they would talk. I loved Tris, and felt that I was getting to know her well from the beginning. The author articulates the characters well. The story is fairly well-paced, though in this first installment, that involved a lot of the world-building exposition, which kept irking me and taking me out of the story. Despite my reservations, I was hooked, and after a while, could not put it down. I'm reading the second one right now, and finding it all a little more believable. I still don't think this sort of society is plausible in really, any way. Roth is making it more complex than it first appeared, which helps me invest in it more. Still though. There's a lot of action, a good love story, and her writing is evocative. I can always see the environment, picture the people, understand how Tris thinks and feels. A lot of fun to read.