Insurgent is one of the hottest and most anticipated releases to come out this year. After her first novel, Divergent, debuted last year, Veronica Roth is continuing Tris’ journey to find justice and truth in Insurgent. Because it was so anticipated, that meant the hype around it was insane. A few people who got early copies sang its praises. I try really, really hard not to let hype affect my expectations. But with something like this, it’s hard. Also, I very much enjoyed Divergent and was super curious to see where Roth would take us next. And I have to say right off that Insurgent is…. AWESOME. It completely surpassed my expectations. Not only is it a fast and exciting story, but Tris’ character development is so fascinating, real and satisfying.
If you haven’t read Divergent, well… maybe you should go read my review of it here first. For those who have read it, Insurgent starts exactly where Divergent ends. Tris, Four and company are on the run from the Erudite and Dauntless toward the peaceful Amity. Once there, they regroup and try to come up with a plan to stop the Erudite from mind-controlling the entire population. It doesn’t help that Erudite and Dauntless are actively searching for Tris, Four and any other Divergents. All the while, Tris is trying deal with the fact that she killed a friend, and also trying to balance her relationship with Four and seeking the truth.
The beginning of Insurgent starts a little slow. We learn about the Amity faction, and everything seems to be on a standstill until Tris and company go back into the city. In Divergent, we were discovering this new world with Tris. Now we’re discovering more about Tris herself and her Divergent-ness. While the story is full of action and twists, the most fascinating part is Tris. She’s dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, which causes her to make some very reckless decisions. Roth brings the reader into her struggles. It’s easy to say that she’s being difficult or annoying, but you can’t forget that she’s a sixteen year old girl that has just lost both her parents and was forced to a kill a friend. How can you expect someone like that to make completely sound decisions after that? Roth handles Tris’ PTSD well and very much according to her character. I thought Tris was okay in Divergent, but I LOVE her in Insurgent. There’s one scene toward the end where I stood up and totally fist-pumped in agreement with her. I can’t say I had done that for a character in a long while.
As for Four/Tobias and the other characters, we definitely get to meet a ton of new ones and get to learn a little more about some old ones. Four/Tobias/whatever, now he is annoying. I get that he loves Tris, but he’s over-protective and, at times, condescending. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Four and still do. Everyone has their annoying moments; that’s just part of being human. I love that Roth made these characters feel authentic. Sometimes the action, plot, setting can swallow characters up, and Roth doesn’t let that happen.
As a Chicagoan, the setting and descriptions are totally big plus for me. Candor headquarters are in the Merchandise Mart, and Erudite is along Michigan Ave. These places are very real to me, and I kind of want to do a little Divergent/Insurgent tour sometime soon.
The plot is fast and a thrill to read. Lots of things happen in this book, and I’m still trying to wrap my head around all of it. It also builds up very well to the BIG secret. In my opinion, a little too well. Halfway through, I had an idea of what the big secret would be. I was right about it, so I couldn’t help but feel slightly underwhelmed by the end. And I’m not exactly sure what to expect from the third book because in my mind, it would be very hard to top Insurgent. Yet, I’m still seriously bumming that I have to wait another year to find out how Tris’ adventure ends.
Rating: 4.9/5 stars (I know sooooo close to 5, but had to knock .10 for the ending.)
- Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (May 1, 2012)
- Length: 544 pages, Hardcover
- Series: Book 2 of 3
- Source: Kindle e-book
- Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia, Thriller
- Completed: May 2012