Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Hardcover: 544 pages
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release date: May 1, 2012
Series: Divergent #2
Source: Personal Shelf
Reviewed by: Tynga
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.
New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth’s much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.
Society as Tris knows it has come crashing down during Divergent and she now has to deal with the aftermath. Witnessing your parents’ death, both of them, and killing your mind controlled friend is bound to do damage and Tris is having a really hard time handling it all. With the help of Tobias, she will do her best to eradicate the erudite menace, but she’ll learn that things aren’t always what they seem and the price could be really high.
Divergent was my favorite young adult book of 2011, so my expectations for Insurgent were really high. I enjoyed Insurgent and wasn’t disappointed, but I have to say that, for me, it didn’t have the spark Divergent did. It might be because it took me nearly two weeks to read it, a chapter here and there because I was busy taking care of my baby girl, but the plot felt lengthy at times. I think the story occurs over the course of a week though, so it really is just a question of perspective I guess. You can’t really expect an entire society to recover from a major blow to their core overnight, can we?
So, the plot itself resolves around everyone’s reaction to the Erudite treason. The majority of abnegation died during the attack, dauntless is split in two, amity won’t get involved and candor is on the fence, the factionless also want their piece of the pie, blurring the lines. I liked that there wasn’t an easy solution to the conflict and that the main characters are also torn about their decisions. There is also a subplot about some secret information the Erudite leader was after and the whole thing added spice and suspense to the main plot.
Character wise, I was pleased with Tris’ reaction after the attack, to some level. Her reaction and trauma was highly believable, so kudos to Veronica Roth. On the other hand, we are used to a strong and fierce Tris, so seeing her weak and borderline suicidal was uncomfortable. Her relationship with Tobias was highly unstable and I’m honestly not quite sure how I feel about it. You’d think they’d be stronger than ever after the challenges they overcame together, but their couple was really shaky and I wished Tobias would be more supportive.
In Insurgent, Tris was really focused on herself and the secondary characters were mere shadows in the background. Christina’s reaction to Will’s death left me skeptical. She was indeed grieving at first and pissed off when she learnt that Tris was responsible but the aftereffect weren’t what I expected. I won’t elaborate though because I don’t want to spoil anything.
The end was high in intensity and there was a very shocking revelation. I’m super anxious for the third book in the series because the end of this installment will change everything. I honestly never saw the blow coming!
The Dystopian genre has been blooming in YA literature and the Divergent series is definitely a gem amongst the masses. I strongly recommend it to teens and adult alike!