Insurgent – Veronica Roth

Insurgent is the sequel to Divergent, Veronica Roth’s first novel. There are going to be a heck of a lot of spoilers in this post, so if you haven’t read it, you should do that before reading this review!

Insurgent picks up pretty much where Divergent leaves off: Tris has lost both her parents when the Erudite lead an attack on Abnegation. She and Caleb (her brother), along with Tobias, Peter, and Marcus (Tobias’s father and the leader of Abnegation) are escaping the attack on one of the trains that continuously circles the city. As war looms over the city and Tris deals with her guilt over her actions during the attack, secrets large and small will emerge and change their lives forever.

Something I really enjoyed about Insurgent, as small as it might seem, is the fact that we got to see where the Amity live (when the Abnegation hide there for a while). It was also really interesting to see how they operate: since they don’t recognize one leader, everything is decided by committee. They all sit together in a room and begin to discuss a problem: first in small groups, then in larger groups, and finally in four or five huge groups, from which representatives will come together to finally make a decision. Unrealistic, yeah, but it makes sense when you find out that they drug the bread with a Prozac-type chemical that makes everyone happy all the time…so maybe the Amity aren’t truly so amiable after all!

Now, something I did not enjoy (but something that seems integral to the teenage-girl-as-heroine genre) was all the drama between Tris and Tobias. Too many hormones. Some of it I could understand—she feels he’s keeping secrets from her, he feels she’s keeping secrets from him—but it seemed very repetitive.

Speaking of repetition, the word “break” (as in, “I felt as if I might break apart”) must have appeared at least once every page—and there were more than 500 pages in this book. I realize Tris was traumatized from her experiences; anyone would be. But I feel like she was slipping dangerously close to Katniss territory in the way that she seemed unable to function when she needed to most. Yes, she’s human, but I personally would have found it more fun to read about a heroine who kicks ass regardless of her emotional turmoil. But maybe that’s just me?

Nevertheless, I thought it was a pretty masterfully crafted story. Lots of interesting plot twists, some that I was able to call and some that truly surprised me. What I really need to do is sit down with both Divergent and Insurgent and read them SLOWLY back to back so I can really absorb everything. Also, it ended on a HELL of a cliffhanger and there isn’t even a release date for the next book yet!! Tentatively fall 2013 according to Veronica Roth’s blog, but that’s such a long time to wait!! At least it’s not as bad as the Harry Potter waiting angst…but almost!

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One thought on “Insurgent – Veronica Roth

  1. It’s definitely not you, thinking Tris was venturing into annoying Katniss territory! I’ve never actually fully enjoyed Tris, and I found Four a lot more interesting before he became Tobias…and I was conflicted about this second installment. I definitely agree that it’s nice to see how the other factions live, as that’s part of the creative, interesting element of this world Roth created. However, having Tris star in it… She’s just not handled as well as she could be, and I think you put it well when you said there were too many hormones! That, and too little realistic moments of just DEALING with her guilt instead of harping on stupid things… I enjoy this series, but I’m really not a big fan of Tris! Like The Hunger Games, I think the movie will improve on this!

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