Series: Divergent #2
Published by: Katherine Tegen Books on May 1, 2012
Genre: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Buy the Book • Goodreads
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.
I wanted to like Insurgent so much more than I actually did. No, I wanted to love it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a good book, it just wasn’t as z0mg amazing as I hoped it would be (until the last 50-100 pages).
Insurgent beings literally right where Divergent left off: with Tris, Four, Caleb, Marcus, and Peter on a train on their way to Amity. There is no recap of events from Divergent, no reminder of who’s who — nothing. For me that wasn’t an issue since I only read Divergent two months ago, but if it’s been like a year since you’ve read it, then check out Veronica Roth’s recap of Divergent. She gives a brief overview of each character and reminds you of what happened at the end.
So, Insurgent is basically about the aftermath of Erudite’s attack on Abnegation. Tris, Four & co rush to Amity to look for support, but they’re turned down. So then they move onto Candor, where they once again get very little support. We’re reminded that Erudite is trying to wipe out the Divergent population (or find a way to make them succumb to simulations) and seize control over the factions. The Divergent threaten their ability to seize control, which is why they must be eliminated, or a new “Divergent serum” must be developed.
While reading Divergent, I got the impression that the Divergent were extremely rare and practically unheard of. That’s part of what made the book so exciting. Tris was special and unique.. maybe even one of a kind! But then in Insurgent, there are Divergent practically left and right.. or at least a lot more than I thought there were. I mean it makes sense that there would be a lot of people who don’t neatly fit into a box of bravery or honesty, etc., but it kind of ruined the magic for me. The whole idea just seemed a lot less special.
Now during the entire book, Tris seriously struggles with the fact that she shot and killed Will during the attack in Divergent. It was an act of self defense, but it still haunts her every day and makes her kind of weak and unstable. It’s certainly understandable, but it did annoy me a bit throughout the book. In Divergent I saw Tris as such a strong lead character, but her problems with accepting what she did made her a lot weaker in Insurgent. After a certain point I just wanted to shake her and tell her to get over it.
Furthermore, Tris and Four have some seriously annoying relationship problems. 🙁 This disappointed me because I loved their relationship in Divergent. But in Insurgent, Tris and Four are constantly arguing and keeping secrets from each other. It gave me a bit of a headache! Their arguments were just so petty and I hated that they weren’t being completely open and honest with each other.
He’s here to yell at me. He’s been keeping things from me. Insurgent by Veronica Roth, Page 248
About halfway in, things got better for me. There was less chatting, less politics, and more intensity. That’s when I started to really get excited about the book and was reminded about everything I loved in Divergent. There were still a few moments when I wanted to strangle Tris for lying to Four or keeping things from him, but not as many as in the first half of the book. Then, towards the end — the last 100 pages or so — I started to really love the book! It turned into a really terrific story with a lot of interesting ideas. We learn so much about the different factions, including the factionless. There are friendships (old and new), betrayals, and a few twists and turns that you might not see coming.
In summary, the first third of the book was a little “meh.” I was too annoyed with Tris and Four and the lack of action to really get into it. But things got a lot better and I ended up loving the second half of the book! It started to make up for all the things I disliked in the first half, and I’m definitely psyched for book #3! The end of Insurgent really leaves us hanging and sets a good stage for the third book. Maybe I’m overhyping it for myself again, but I’m really looking forward to the third book!