Author: Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent #2
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release date: May 1, 2012
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 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.
Way to read things in a timely manner, Ame. Friends, I have had a copy of Veronica Roth‘s second book in the Divergent series, INSURGENT, sitting on my nightstand since it came out. Right on top of a copy of BITTERBLUE (remember how you haven’t seen THAT book around these parts yet, either? Yeah). There’s a backlog of books, guys. But I finally decided a few weeks ago that I was going to actually READ the books I purchased, and I started with INSURGENT. It was a wise choice. There were no signs of second book mediocrity here. Not to me. I thought it was well-paced, dramatic, fraught, sad, and intense. My thoughts are a little all over the place, but trust me: INSURGENT is not. It’s a tightly packed, quick-moving ball of awesome.
Right away, the first thing I noticed about INSURGENT was how my opinion of Tris was different. I found her to be a little more likable in this book, which is interesting given what I’ve read so far of other people’s general opinions of her this time around: that she was too broody and whiny and always throwing herself a pity party. (Again. That’s super generally speaking.) I don’t know. To me, those things make her seem like she actually feels emotions instead of fights them off in her never-ending quest to be a kind of chilly, detached Dauntless. I thought it humanized her, which was the thing that, for me, was missing from her in DIVERGENT. And trust me, there’s lots of FEELS going on here, even though Tris is, and always will be, essentially the same: a person who struggles with her emotions.
And I don’t know about you guys, but I BREEZED through INSURGENT, as much as one can breeze through a nearly 500-page book. But I did. I read it in one day, and I can’t even think of the last time I did this recently. I thought the pacing moved at a great clip, even when the characters appeared to be doing nothing at all. Like the beginning, in Amity. (My people, y’all!) I was so caught up in the emotional things going on, and the trauma of the aftermath of the end of DIVERGENT, that it passed easily for me. I never felt any urge to put INSURGENT down. It had my attention from the very beginning.
And Four. I mean, honestly. I keep waiting for him to do something that won’t make me feel one of the following things: tingly, swoony, heartbroken, empathetic, or fiercely protective. Did I miss something, guys? Is he screwing up big time and I’m not seeing it? Because I pretty much love him and his flaws because I can always sense that he feels lots of things. I guess it was not very sporting of him to keep secrets from Tris in INSURGENT. That would have pissed me off too. But mostly I found him to be a really flattering combination of intense, dangerous, secretive, and melty. Big fan of this combo, and a HUGE fan of the way his qualities bring out all the feelings in Tris. I really do love them together, even if she sometimes isn’t appealing to me. And I can never say enough how much I ADORE the fact that there is no triangle in this series. It’s just Tris and Four, working out their shizz together. So much more drama this way.
I know I mentioned the pace earlier and I wanted to touch on it just one more time because I thought the end of INSURGENT was both paced perfectly and super action-packed. Erudite is CREEPY guys, and their leader is a BAMF, except that’s NOT a compliment this time. She’s evil, and the way she is using her nasty brains to manipulate this society is NO GOOD. The betrayals and danger that are the result of Erudite went pretty far, friends, and there were definitely things that made me a little heartsick. (Don’t worry. There was heartwarming, too. Inasmuch as this series can be heartwarming, anyway.)
I wasn’t incredibly surprised by the ending—both the final battle and the big reveal—but not being blown off my seat by the conclusions of books rarely makes me think less of the story as a whole anymore. I think the more you read, the more you encounter all manner of devices and tropes and twists, to the point where having an inkling about the way things will turn out isn’t incredibly difficult. In fact, I’d place greater praise on something that DID surprise me than I would place negative opinions on something that was less so. If that makes any sense. But anyway, INSURGENT. The ending was kind of what I thought it would be, but it was still AWESOME, and still made me incredibly excited for book 3. INCREDIBLY EXCITED. Veronica Roth is pretty much the bomb.