Book Review: Insurgent

Insurgent (Divergent #2)
Published By: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Page Count: 525
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher
Audience: Young Adult - Dystopian

I didn’t know if I want to hug Tris or shake her at times, but I really couldn’t put this down from start to finish. 

Insurgent follows off the events at the end of Divergent very closely, and you might want to reread it so you can hit the ground running. I’ll avoid spoilers for either book as best as I can, so all I’ll say is that the main character, Tris (Beatrice) begins Insurgent as a quite damaged young lady with a lot of grief and guilt and this book is hard on her.

At times, she really takes things too far, and she doesn’t value her life very much because of this crippling guilt. In some ways it seemed almost as if she held up the selfless qualities of Abnegation so highly that she slipped into selfishness. That is what was really interesting about Insurgent – each of the factions gets its own examination and their flaws are pointed out. Candor value honesty, but don’t care about the damage it causes, the Amity value friendship but find themselves so paralysed by their beliefs that they are a friend to no one, the Erudite value knowledge and are so ruthless in their pursuit of it that the benefits of that information are lost to many. The Dauntless live free from fear, but too much freedom leads to chaos and recklessness. There are many really great passages that I could quote right now, and I think that those looking for a little more food for thought will enjoy thinking about some of the moral questions raised in Insurgent. It would make for some excellent book club discussions!

For much of the story, I felt like Tris did; everything had turned into a giant mess and there didn’t seem a right way to fix it, or anyone who would really help. I guess I expected as much from Insurgent; for a middle book in a trilogy you need to be prepared for some things to happen that you don’t like. People die, others make decisions that annoy you or act out of their usual character and at times you get frustrated. Happily, I think that there was a purpose to it all and the plot did move forward quite swiftly, setting the last book up as an absolute must-read. The last few pages reveal some very interesting information which will certainly push the next book forwards at the same break-neck speed.

Now, on to Four (Tobias). *sigh* He remains lovely; strong, confident, and a real support to Tris. What really endears him to me is that he doesn’t put up with any of her nonsense. He calls her out on her stupid choices and is there for her when she needs him. They disagree and frustratingly keep secrets from each other but, at the end of the day, they are made to be together and that hasn’t changed really. There are a number of scenes to get you hot under the collar, and keep you satisfied on the romance front. Any more detail about what passes between them would be spoilery, so I’ll have to leave it at that. Do they end the book together or apart? Well, that would be telling. ;)

So what do I think? Is it as good as Divergent? That’s hard to say really because Insurgent is a different animal, but yes, I think so. It isn’t about a girl exploring her options in the world and discovering love; it is about coping with the consequences of your actions, learning from them and appreciating the shades of gray that exist in everyone. It may not be every fan’s exact cup of tea, but it is the book we needed it to be to keep the series going at a rate of knots and set up for an excellent finale. Roth’s writing is well paced, exciting and full of surprises as anyone who has read and adored Divergent will already know. 

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.

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  1. Your review totally has me wanting this book in my hands even more! It sounds like the characters are going to find themselves in some tough situations and Im excited to see how they work through them. I love how you said the flaws of the factions are pointed out. I'm curious to see if theyll move towards a factionless world!

    Do Four and Tris end up staying together? What!?

    1. There are all kinds of interesting thoughts to ponder on this one...

      As for Four and Tris... I couldn't give that game away! ;)

  2. Awesome review Jen!!! And can I just say again how envious I am that you got to read it early!!! Simply cannot wait for this one!!!

  3. This was a great sequel -- it was interesting to learn more about some of the other factions. It was also interesting to see Tris deal with the consequences of what happened in Divergent.

  4. This solidified this series for me. I had a few hangups with Divergent but this answered them. Now I'm dying for book 3!!

  5. I love this series so much. Can't wait for #3 :D

  6. This dystopian is one I loved and I'm not a huge dystopian fan:)

    The characters and romance are wonderful:)

  7. I haven't read insurgent yet but I had a hard time deciding if i liked Divergent or the hunger games better! It was that good.

  8. I loved Divergent, and I know that I will love Insurgent too. Without a doubt. But I think I might just wait for the final book to read it. I can't stand the thought of a cliffhanger for a series that I love so much. But I honestly don't know if I will make it. I have to stare at it on my shelf each day. Makes it hard

  9. Great review. This book lived up to my expectations 100%! As a Chicagoan, I love my city as the back drop and am anticipating the filming!

  10. Awesome review! I adored Divergent but I don't think I loved Insurgent as much. Though I think that the last book will be even better...

  11. While I plan to read Insurgent and actually have it sitting on my TBR shelf right now, I'm not as anxious to read it as everyone else. I enjoyed Divergent, but I wasn't head over heels in love with it like I expected to be, leaving me disappointed. It also was a bit slow for me. One of the biggest complaints I've heard about Insurgent is all the fighting between Tris and Four, which worries me.

  12. Love this! I am waiting for my copy. Patiently. But really, I can't wait any longer! International shipping is so slow.


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