Insurgent by Veronica Roth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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.
I waited for awhile to write this review - partly because I wasn't sure what I felt about the book and partly because I was worried I wouldn't have too much to say.
So I'll start off by saying what first comes to mind about INSURGENT - and it's simple: Not nearly enough Four.
I don't know why this bothered me so much, as I know it's not the focus of the story line. But considering I flew through DIVERGENT in one day, then re-read it again because I couldn't get enough of Tris and Four, it was almost a let-down when I got to INSURGENT. There just wasn't enough interaction between the two of them - and when there were scenes, they spent most of it arguing. And while I think it's sacrilegious to skip pages in a book just to get to the good stuff, I will admit, I had a strong desire to do so!
I'll also admit, I was a tad confused by characters I hadn't read about in a year and found myself asking, "Which one was Will again?" and "What's the name of her friend in Dauntless?". I completely understand why Ms. Roth didn't embed a recap of DIVERGENT and it's characters into the first chapter or two, especially after reading her post on her blog - I'd highly recommend heading on over to Veronica's website to read the recap, if only for a little refresher.
Okay, I know I'm not being very nice to INSURGENT, so here's a little good news: I thought the ending added a great twist I didn't see coming - but I am a sucker for cliffhanger endings, too. And yes, the story line stayed pretty true to course: these are tough times for the Factions, and it's only getting worse. And this is where the book kept me turning the pages, anticipating the action that was about to unfold.
And don't get me wrong - I think Veronica Roth is amazing at story building! Least I forget how quickly I read the first book, then immediately re-read it again. It's that kind of writing I aspire to and in which I hold Ms. Roth and DIVERGENT up on that pedestal as one of my favorite reads.
Net / net: while I didn't get nearly enough of Four, there isn't a doubt I'll read book #3 (currently dubbed DETERGENT!) when it comes out next year. And maybe, just maybe, Ms. Roth is setting us up with the lack of Four-ness in book #2, by what she's about to bring in the third installment. Fingers crossed this is the case.
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