Review: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Saturday, July 21, 2012 9:08 PM
Title: Insurgent
Author: Veronica Roth
Published: May 1, 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Series: Divergent #2
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Pages: 525
Source: Purchased
Rating: 3 stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

*Warning: This book review contains spoilers for Divergent*
“It reminds me why I chose Dauntless in the first place: not because they are perfect, but because they are alive. Because they are free.”
― Veronica Roth, Insurgent

Synopsis
One choice can transform you--or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves--and herself--while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable--and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so. (Goodreads)
My Thoughts
Insurgent picked up right where Divergent left off. Which I found interesting because trilogies don't often do that. Each book usually ends to an extent and a new conflict picks up or new developments arise. This felt kind of like the next episode in a soap opera series. Previously, on Divergent...well, you get the idea.

Insurgent is a very sad book, but I expected this after all the characters have been through. Tris misses her parents, and she is guilt-ridden about killing her friend Will. While she had no choice in the matter, she still feels horrible, and I can hardly imagine what that must be like. Killing a close friend cannot be easy even if your life is threatened by that friend. Divergent had a tragic ending, and I'm glad that Roth didn't simply forget these atrocities and have the characters move on. There is a lot of grief and coming to terms for the characters, especially Tris. Roth does a great job of having the characters work through their sadness, and we get to see how much Tris is suffering which is realistic. I also appreciated that the relationship between Tris and Tobias isn't just smooth sailing. It would be a little far-fetched if everything was peachy perfect between them after all they've gone through. Of course there's going to be bumps in the road.

In Insurgent, we are introduced to the other factions and I enjoyed seeing their different lifestyles and values. We learned about the other factions in Divergent, but the first book mainly focused on Dauntless because that was Tris's new faction and she was familiarizing herself with her new life. In Insurgent, we were able to move onto other factions and witness their struggles during this troublesome time. We learn more about Amity, Candor and even Erudite. And outside of organized society, we discover more about the factionless. I enjoyed seeing other parts of society that were able to survive outside the system despite the difficulties they faced.

While there were many aspects of Insurgent I loved, there were just as many I could have done without. Actually, what really annoys me about this book is Tris. While I understand she's been through so much and she is suffering, I was sick of hearing about it. That sounds awful but it's true. The entire book was about Tris going through something. After the first half of the book, and even before that, I felt like this was becoming The Bell Jar. If she wasn't crying over Will's death, she was keeping secrets from Tobias, the one person she should be able to trust. Her angst and mental problems are convincing, but they eventually grew tiresome and slowed the pace considerably. Pretty much all the action is at the end when Tris finally snaps out of it. She makes a lot of stupid decisions in this book, and I wasn't as fond of her as I was in Divergent. In Divergent, we learn that she could have fit well in either Erudite or Dauntless. But I find that hard to believe when she makes illogical decisions throughout Insurgent. The Erudite are far from illogical. I understand she was cycling through many different emotions, but I can only forgive so much and I didn't buy the explanations given for her decision making.

Besides making idiotic choices, Tris constantly pushed away everyone and lied to them. I just wish that these trilogies would have a heroine for once that is strong enough to confide in others and to lean on others when necessary. I didn't blame Tobias when he was fed up with her suicidal behavior. But then Tobias wasn't always 100% understanding, and I felt he was a little harsh towards Tris when she needed comfort at times.

I don't know. Insurgent just seemed to lack the spark Divergent had and it didn't keep my interest as much. The focus was constantly shifting from one faction to the other, as the characters looked for help, and it dragged in certain parts. I also felt like I was seeing a completely different Tris and Tobias than I met in Divergent. I will read the next one definitely. I just hope I like it as much as I did Divergent.

The expected publication date for the third book in the series is fall 2013. Ahhh! That seems like a million years away! Excuse my dramatics. The book is still untitled and no cover obviously. I can't wait until it is revealed!


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