Review: Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth
Author: Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent #2
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
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. (From Goodreads)
*Warning: This is the second book in a series. While I really don’t like spoilers, you might find some slight Book 1 spoilers in this review.*
Insurgent was a 2012 release that I, along with countless others, was highly anticipating. I was so excited to get back into the Dystopian Chicago that I found so interesting and exciting in Divergent. And for the most part, I really enjoyed this sequel.
I loved how the book starts right where Divergent left off. It was especially nice for me, because I re-read Divergent right before reading Insurgent. And I also like how we get to see more of the other factions in this book, whereas in Divergent we only really got to see Dauntless and a bit of Abnegation.
I also love how Roth has continued to make all of the characters and the factions much more complex than simply being selfless, or brave, or honest. Each faction still holds one value higher than the others, but the people within each faction show qualities that fall under the other factions as well. And all the characters are multi-faceted, well-rounded individuals that often surprise you. I really love this line on page 368: “Evil depends on where you’re standing.” This is so true – people on both sides of wars think that they themselves are in the right, and that the other side is the evil or wrong one. This series is just really smart – it shows not only the complexities of society but also of individuals.
Another quote I love was from page 377: “Grief is not as heavy as guilt, but it takes more away from you.” This is also kind of similar to one part that I really related to, when Tris arrives at Amity in the beginning: “My eyes search the crowd for a few seconds before I realize what I’m looking for: my parents” (page 19). I love this description, because I lost my grandmother a year ago, and on the weekend of her funeral, we all gathered at my uncle’s house. When I stepped inside his house, we were all greeting each other with hugs and hellos, and I found myself looking for my grandmother, waiting for her to come and give me a hug. It was the first time since she had passed that I really realized she was gone. And although it brings back hard memories for me, I think it’s brilliant that Roth used this in her story.
Roth also thrilled me with plenty of twists and turns and creepy moments that kept me flying through the pages. But that brings me to one of my issues with the book. I didn’t read any reviews before reading Insurgent, but I found out that there was kind of a big deal at the end of the book. But I really didn’t know anything more than that. And I’ll make this completely spoiler free, but if you’re crazy like me you might not even want to read the rest of this paragraph, even though I’ll be as vague as possible. I was super excited for the ending of this book. So much so that I had ideas bouncing around in my head as to how I hoped it would be. I was completely excited to write some kind of “Holy Crap” comment on Twitter after finishing Insurgent. But I was left a bit disappointed. I can’t go into it really, because I definitely don’t want to spoil anyone. But let me just say that the ending reminded me a LOT of another series that I’ve read and really enjoyed. I’m not saying that she ripped off the idea, or that it is even completely similar. And I know that it’s really hard to be completely original with novels. So I’m not saying any of that – I’m just saying that I kind of felt like, “Been there, done that.” So I was disappointed.
And I was also disappointed with a couple of other parts in the novel, and how certain characters reacted to those events. And I really can’t be more specific than that because that would really be spoilery. So if you’ve read Insurgent and you want to talk about it with me, send me a direct message on Twitter or shoot me an email and we can discuss. (You can find my Twitter account and email address on the top of the side bar.) I’d love to talk about it with anyone, so feel free!
My rating of Insurgent by Veronica Roth:
4 stars. I did enjoy most of it but three pretty big events left me disappointed. I’m still looking forward to the next book, because Veronica Roth is an excellent writer, and I still want to see what happens.