Insurgent (Divergent #2)
Author: Veronica Roth
Released Date: March 1st 2012
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
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.
Honestly, I didn’t enjoy INSURGENT as much as I enjoyed DIVERGENT. It would have been a perfect read, but I had some issues with it. I won’t talk about those issues now; first I’ll talk about what I liked in the book.
INSURGENT is one book filled with surprises and a lot of revelations about the dystopian world and characters the author created. After imagining what some of the other factions might look like and how the people live inside them, I get to experience it myself here. I was transported to the Amity, then the Factionless, then the Candor, and finally to the Erudite. I was also brought back to the Abnegation. Thus it feels like I’ve lived in all of these factions. The author describes each scene so well I could picture everything in my head. The writing is good, the sentences and paragraphs flows so well, and the pace is fast – I kept turning pages after pages even after deciding I would stop, do something else and then continue reading again.
My disappointment, however, were the two main characters, those two people who made me fall in love with the first book, that kick-ass heroine and the mysterious, quiet guy: Tris and Four (He’s referred to Tobias almost throughout the whole book, but I prefer the name Four) I felt like Tris and Four were replaced by completely different people. Yes, I know that characters in a book, especially in a series, ought to go through some changes. But they seemed to develop into characters I wouldn’t care to read about. Four changes from the cool guy he was in the first book to some annoying guy here. He keeps secrets from the girl he loves, he’s always angry with her, he always screams at her, even though he knows all what she has passed through. He just wasn’t the supportive and cool guy I liked in the first book. Also, he was more like a secondary character in this one.
Tris is worse. I was put off by her too much whining. She is quite different from the tough, resilient character I got to know in the first book. Yeah, I know it’s hard to get over the death of your loved ones, and it’s harder to put guilt behind you’ve killed a friend, but at some point you just have to put everything behind you and move on, considering the kind of dangerous society you live in, and considering the fact that a lot of people want you dead. Tris was so full of indecision in this one, and I wondered whether she’d borrowed the traits of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. At some point I felt like screaming at her, “Come on, Tris. Pick up that gun and shoot at your enemies!” I hope she’d have gotten over the guilt trip in the next book, if not I’m never, ever going to forgive her.
Also, I didn’t like Tris' over-recklessness in this one. She keeps putting herself in danger even when she doesn’t need to. Four says it better here: “I love Tris the Divergent, who makes decisions apart from faction loyalty, who isn’t some faction archetype. But the Tris who’s trying as hard as she can to destroy herself … I can’t love her.”
Yes, Tris, I can’t like you when you keep reminding me that you’re just a character in a book. I liked you better in the first book, where you felt so real to me. Concentrate on the external conflict, instead of allowing the conflict inside you to consume you.
Somehow I think the tension between Tris and Four was overdone. She lies so much to him, and Four in turn keeps secrets from her. For much of this book, apart from the exciting action scenes, and the beautiful writing, Tris does nothing more than feel sorry for herself, or get into romantic quarrels with Four.
Despite my disappointment with the main characters, I’d say it’s a good read, and the action kept me going. The book ends in a cliffhanger, leaving me wanting more. But I can do nothing but wait for the third book, which has no title yet. I can only call it DETERGENT in the meantime.
Four Stars **** to INSURGENT.
Check out my review of DIVERGENT here.