Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Insurgent - Veronica Roth

Insurgent is the second book in the Divergent trilogy.  Don't  read this review if you haven't read the first book.  Read this instead.

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 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.  (Summary from book - Image from

My Review:  Insurgent is the much anticipated, heart-stopping sequel to Divergent, a popular YA dystopian novel by Veronica Roth.  I loved Divergent (see my rave review) and snapped up Insurgent the day it was released.  I'd heard rumors that the author chose not to "recap" (drop little hints into the first few chapters to remind the reader of what happened in the previous novel) so before I opened Insurgent I read this so that I could refresh my memory.  If it's been a while since you've read Divergent, I highly recommend you do the same.

Since I am supposed to be "resting" for the latter part of my pregnancy, I took advantage of my supine state and read Insurgent in less than a day -- if you don't count the time spent sleeping, wrangling a two-year-old, fighting reflux, the restroom.  It was fabulous!   

In Insurgent, Tris and her friends are wanted rebels, on the run from the Erudite faction and Dauntless traitors.  Over the course of the novel, they spend time in several different factions and Tris comes to better understand the characteristics and customs of the faction members, while at the same time developing the facets of her own Divergence.  As the factions descend into open rebellion, people who wouldn't ordinarily interact are thrown together in unexpected ways with astonishing results.  I was particularly interested in the idiosyncrasies of each group, their beliefs, strengths, and weaknesses, and how characters from different factions interacted.

Tris and Tobias are remarkably strong characters -- stubborn, supportive, independent, and self-sacrificing -- in spite of their separate internal struggles.  In Insurgent, their romantic relationship felt like it had evolved past infatuation and into something deeper. Don't worry, while that part of their relationship was forced to the back burner because of the gravity of their situation, there were still some rather steamy moments amidst all the chaos.

Insurgent is full of surprises, including (but not limited to) a traitor, an ally, a devastating choice, and an ending that I did not see coming.  While Roth does leave readers with some resolution, the final pages of this book form a delicious cliffhanger that left me with more questions than answers.  I loved it! I assure you, come hell or high water, I will be reading the next book.  Just try to stop me.

My Rating: 5 Stars

For the sensitive reader:  There was violence in this novel, and it was often shocking, but I felt it was necessary to the story and so it really didn't bother me.  I have no idea if there was any profanity in this book. I don't remember any and I was too lost in the story for it to even register.  I'd like to think I would have noticed the Big Ones though.  Tris's romantic relationship does become more intimate (think making out in overly large t-shirt, but I never did get the sense that they took their relationship to the next level.  You know, that level.  I suppose they could have, but it was never explicit (or explicit).

Sum it up:  Fans of Divergent probably won't need to be told to pick up this book.  If you haven't read either novel yet (what are you doing reading this review...don't you LISTEN?!), and you're not bothered by anything in my sensitive reader section, I suggest you buy them together.  You can thank me later.

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