Review: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Posted September 9th, 2012 in book review / 11 comments

Insurgent

Book #2 of the Divergent Series

by Veronica Roth

Publisher: HarperTeen (May 2012)
Genre: YA, Dystopia
Format: Hardcover (525 pages)
Source: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository
Rating: ★★★★½ (4.5 stars)

Summary
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.

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At a Glance
I love, Love, LOVED Insurgent. I was a little nervous going into it because I heard mixed reviews, but I enjoyed it just as much as Divergent. And can I just say, I love the direction this series is going.

The Good
Here’s the Story…
Insurgent begins where Divergent ends. War is on the horizon between most factions. Tris and Four are still alive after their faction was taken over by another and used as a weapon, but not all walked away from the fight. Tris has lost most of her family and has even killed a friend. And now she is racked with guilt. Left with no other option, the few survivors try to survive by hiding amongst the non-violent factions. But even places of peace and truthfulness are not so perfect. Tris must now survive in a world that wants to use her or kill her. And her tentative relationship with Four is going downhill fast. He is keeping secrets  and his secrets might just lose them the war.

Factions…
EEEE! I can’t believe it took me so long to read this book. Many people said this book wasn’t as good as the first one, but I disagree. I loved it. It had everything a book should have: action, drama, love, and heartbreak. The world-building in Insurgent took a huge jump and a leap. This time around, we got to learn more about the other factions (Amity, Candor, and Factionless): see how they live and what their positions are in society. I respected and despised their principles at the same time. I understood how their beliefs worked for them but as a whole, it was obvious separated factions are simply not a good idea. To separate humanity into characteristics sounds like an interesting idea, but the concept realized is not workable. That was made obvious in this book.

Tris…
Tris went through so much in this book. She is still deeply affected by her parents deaths and her guilt over Will’s death. It doesn’t matter that Will was going to kill her, she can only see the other ways in which she could have saved both of them. Tris is not a kill or be killed type of person. That’s why she’s Divergent, she can never be 100% Dauntless. She was frustrating at times when her grief caused her to make some pretty stupid and reckless decisions. But I also sympathized with her. The death of people you love can make people do crazy things. I think she did the best she could. She still held on to her bravery and her determination. She even made the hardest decision of her life without looking back, knowing she would probably lose more people she loved, but she did it for the good of the majority instead of the individual.

Four/Tobias…Pick a Name, Roth
Four/Tobias was, in my opinion, very childish this time around. Sure, Tris did childish things as well but she had an excuse. Four’s reasoning was non-existent. He holds Tris by standards that he does not follow. If she doesn’t reveal every secret she has to him, then he pouts, but he can keep all the secrets he wants; secrets that are detrimental to the war they are trying to prevent/win. Sorry, this is the good section, so I shouldn’t be complaining about Four yet. Luckily, by the end, I started liking Four again. We get to see more sides to him. He let’s his emotions peek through, which was nice. He was more vulnerable, which made him even more endearing. I hope the next book takes Four and Tris’s relationship further.

Blow You Away…
I can’t tell you enough how much I am excited by the direction of this series. The ending will BLOW YOU AWAY. Though I had a small idea of what would happen, I was still shocked by what was revealed by the end. Even throughout the novel the surprises kept coming. People died, betrayed, and lived, even when they shouldn’t have.

Book 3 Better Be Coming Out Soon…
The plot and pacing left me breathless. Roth knows how to write with complexity and detail but without making it confusing or boring. There was also a lot more character building, even for the ones we hate. I don’t know how Roth does it, but she keeps setting the bar higher and higher and it only makes me that much more anxious for book 3.

The Bad
There wasn’t anything bad about this book. There was just little things that bugged me. Many are too insignificant to mention but one thing that could have been handled better was Four and Tris’s relationship. I didn’t understand why Four was being so weird and standoffish. And when he revealed why he was upset with Tris, I just rolled my eyes. So. Freaking. Childish.

The Snuggly
Oh yummy, yum yum. The sexual tension was pretty good. Four and Tris don’t go any further than they did in Divergent but I still enjoyed their times of closeness. So the books overall intimacy is YA-ish but still causes little butterflies.

Overall
If you loved Divergent, I don’t see how you couldn’t love Insurgent too. The action was intense, the romance was mesmerizing, and the world-building was superb. I really felt the emotions seeping off the page, making me want to cry and shout out in joy all at the same time. Highly recommended.

Quote
“People, I have discovered, are layers and layers of secrets. You believe you know them, that you understand them, but their motives are always hidden from you, buried in their own hearts. You will never know them, but sometimes you decide to trust them.” 
~~~~~~~

“I read somewhere, one, that crying defies scientific explanation. Tears are only meant to lubricate the eyes. There is no real reason for tear glands to overproduce tears at the behest of emotion.

I think we cry to release the animal parts of us without losing our humanity. Because inside of me is a beast that snarls, and growls, and strains toward freedom, toward Tobias, and, above all, towards life. And as hard as I try, I cannot kill it.”
 

Divergent Series
Book #1: Divergent
Book #2: Insurgent

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11 Responses to “Review: Insurgent by Veronica Roth”

  1. Heather M Bryant

    This was an awesome review! I’m so glad you loved it so much because I was one of those people who were pretty ‘meh’ about the whole thing.

    I too, was frustrated with Four. (Tobias still sounds weird to me). I just wanted him to get over it and move on. Then there were the climactic scenes which were just super confusing and I couldn’t follow. It didn’t have that same drive as Divergent and I really felt like the ending was pretty much exactly what I expected. I don’t know if I missed something that everyone else saw but I really wasn’t that shocked…

    • Jennifer Bielman

      I agree about the ending. It was exactly what I expected but I was still thrilled when it came. I tend to guess the plots and ending of books very easily so I have learned to not let that spoil the book for me.

  2. Sarah (saz101)

    YES YES YES YES YES YES YESSSSS! WONDERFUL review, Jen! Agree with you all round, and the chmistry. THE CHEMISTRY! How it can be SOOOO hot with so little actually happening? AMAZING.

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