Review: Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth

Title:  Insurgent
Author:  Veronica Roth
Series:  Divergent #2
Publisher:  Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins
Publication Date:  May 1, 2012
Pages:  525
Format/Source:  Hardback/Purchased

Age Group/Genre:  Young Adult/Science Fiction, Dystopian

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.  

Find it:  Goodreads │ Amazon │ HarperCollins
Disclaimer:  I purchased this book myself.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.


  1. LHughes

    May 22, 2012 at 10:08 am

    I definitely felt the same letdown you did. The ending just didn't do it for me. It was trying to be a big cliffhanger, but was kind of something we all knew all along.

    I love the quotes you pulled as favorites! I do think Roth has a great sense of emotions and how characters deal with different situations.

    I still liked the book too, and want to read more of the series. But I was disappointed with this book a little bit because I saw its potential to be more.

    My review is here, and I talk a bit more why I didn't like the ending.

    Great review!

    Lauren @ Hughes Reviews

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      May 22, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      I figured we had similar thoughts on it, since I saw that you rated it with 3 stars. I'm off to check out your review finally! ;)

  2. Kimberly @ On the Wings of Books

    May 22, 2012 at 10:52 am

    Nice review, but you did not answer my questions. Not that I really expected you to because you can't really answer my questions without spoilers ;)

    I am emailing you right now!

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      May 22, 2012 at 8:17 pm

      Lol! And I'm about to email you back! ;)

  3. Bittner

    May 22, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Great review Andrea! I'm glad to see that even though you did have some issues with the book you still rated it pretty high. One day I'll read this series…one day.

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      May 22, 2012 at 8:18 pm

      No worries! I know you'll read it eventually!

  4. Gwen Cole

    May 22, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    I'm currently halfway through this! :D

  5. Jen Ryland/YA Romantics

    May 23, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Ahhhh — so hard to write non-spoilery reviews for series books. But you did a great job!
    I agree, I was kind of surprised by the twist in the end, which was not what I expected.

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      May 24, 2012 at 3:18 am

      Thanks! ;)

      Well, I actually kind of saw the ending coming – I joked in my notes that it could possibly end up being like the plot twist in another series I've read, but I didn't really expect it to be. So when it was really similar to that plot twist, I was pretty disappointed. But I'm interested to see where she takes it from here…

  6. Bengal Reads

    May 23, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    I so cannot wait to read this! I have been so busy with reading other things but I will get to this as soon as I can… sad to hear that it was a little disappointing to you :( though. I will have to read to find out if I feel the same :) Great review I loved the quotes and how you talked about how you related to the part where you related to Tris when she walked in and was looking for her parents and realized they were gone…. I really understand my grandmother also just died a couple of weeks ago and everytime I go to her house I still look for her… anyways Thanks for sharing the great review and sorry I haven't been around lately!

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      May 24, 2012 at 3:19 am

      I thought you might have a similar reaction to that description of her looking for her parents, since I knew you just lost your grandmother. It was hard for me to read that part, but I think it was really a nice touch.

      And no worries! I've been getting so behind lately myself! ;)

  7. Mackenzie @ Oh, For the Love of Books!

    May 24, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    AHHHHH! I'M SO EXCITED!!! XD I just re-read Divergent not to long ago and bought Insurgent, I just haven't had time to dedicate to those 500+ pages. What I really loved about Divergent was the complexity of it and the psychology behind it. Nothing was black or white. I'm really excited for this book and even though I know some were a little disappointed, I'm not sure anything will take away my love for this series. I'd love to talk about it after I get around to reading it :) Great review!

    All the best ♥
    Mackenzie @ Oh, For the Love of Books!

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      May 24, 2012 at 9:30 pm

      I totally agree with you about how nothing was black and white. So much complexity with all the characters and the factions! I'll be interested to read your review! ;)

  8. Briana

    May 25, 2012 at 2:57 am

    I just read Insurgent yesterday/today! I really liked it, but not as much as Divergent. To say as little as possible, in case someone reads this comment who hasn't read the book, I thought a lot of people were angry for a long time-and it was actually putting me in a bad mood.

    I did like how a lot of the characters were complex except for the one part where everyone was like, "You think, Tris! We're not Erudite. We're all stupid!" I was completely confused, since everyone seemed to have a variety of personality traits in the rest of the book. In fact, that seemed to be a major theme.

    The big deal ending was pretty much what I was expecting, though. In the general scheme, obviously, not all the details.

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      May 25, 2012 at 9:09 pm

      I agree with your comment about people being angry for too long. Get over it already! ;)

      And you're so right about that one part where they all wanted Tris to think like the Erudite. That really did seem to contradict the fact that they're all very complex, regardless what faction they're in. I guess she was trying to show how the Divergent are still more complex than the others? I don't know…

      Yeah, I kind of thought the ending was going to happen that way, but I was hoping it wouldn't, simply because I've read that plot twist in another book. But we'll see what happens!

  9. fakesteph

    June 18, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    I FINALLY drafted my review and could come back to read yours. I know exactly what you mean… the end was very.. really? I'm going to reserve judgement until book three. If book three is epic, then I can get down with the end of book two, but it makes me nervous more than anything, because I'm not sure where this is going.

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      July 1, 2012 at 9:08 pm

      I totally agree. I think it's quite possible that book 3 could be epic (after all, I think Divergent was pretty fantastic, and Insurgent, although I had issues, was pretty great as well), so the ending of Insurgent might be redeemed. I guess we'll see! ;)

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