Monday, May 21, 2012

"Insurgent" by Veronica Roth

Release Date: May 1, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 525

From Goodreads: "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 must admit that I am unsure if I can adequately review this book at this time mainly because I believe that I need A LOT of time to process what occurred in this book/ I need to reread it a few times (similarly to how I felt after I read "Mockingjay" by Suzanne Collins). At this point in time, having only read the book once, I am sad to say that I am quite disappointed by it.

One of my biggest problems with this book is that I found the storyline to be EXTREMELY erratic and choppy- it would cut from one scene to another to another with very little flow. Also, there was just SO MUCH stuff going on and much of it felt repetitive, almost as if the storyline was on loop with the same thing happening again and again (for instance, Four and Tris would have an argument about something, Tris would jump into something with seemingly little thought, she would be then be captured, Four would then rescue her, they would then have their honeymoon phase, they would once again fight about something, Tris would then jump into something with seemingly little thought again, well... You get the picture). Furthermore, I found the first third, if not half, of the book to be extremely SLOW- I didn't become invested/ engaged in the story until about the midway point.

Also, I felt that Four and Tris's relationship was  very forced in this book. At times it felt like there was drama in their relationship simply for the sake of creating drama or that they were together just for the sake of being together, so that they didn't have to be alone in their big bad world or so that they would always have someone to pick them up when they fell (but not in a heartfelt/ romantic way, more like a, "Hey you! Stop pussyfooting around! Get up off of your ass and do something!" sort of pick-me-up). In their relationship Tris and Four lack the most basic building block- Trust. I don't know how their relationship can continue on/ grow if they don't come to trust one another sometime in the near future. 

An additional problem that I had with this book was the ending. Not only did I feel like it completely came out of left field- I mean, there was never ANY indication that that was going to happen, you would think that there would be at least *some* build-up to it- but I also felt that it isn't worthy of "Divergent". Why I feel like it wasn't deserving of "Divergent" is because I believe "Divergent" to be one of the most unique and well-developed YA books of at least the last couple of years and I found the ending to not be unique in the slightest- it has done REPEATEDLY as of late (if "Æon Flux", M. Night Shyamalan's "The Village", Scott Westerfeld's "Uglies" trilogy, and Suzanne Collins "The Hunger Games" trilogy were to have a baby, this book's ending would be the result). 

That being said, I didn't entirely dislike the book. In fact, there were many things about it that I VASTLY enjoyed. I love Veronica's writing style- I love how concise and to-the-point it is. She doesn't dilly dally in her writing, she tells it exactly like it is.With her writing style I personally find that you can't help but be on the edge of your seat the entire time while reading it. 

Furthermore, I loved learning more about the secondary characters such as Zeke and Uriah- in fact, one of the most heartfelt moments in the book in my opinion was their reunion (see pg. 227). I thought that it was also nice to see a less bristly and, dare I say, nice side of Lynn. I also liked learning more about the various factions, both on their own and in their relationship with one another (for instance, in "Divergent" I had never really understood to what extent how reliant on Erudite each of the other factions were).

All in all, while I was obviously a bit disappointed by this book Veronica still remains one of my most favourite authors and I am more than willing to give this book another go. Therefore I will obviously continue on with this series- in fact, with the book ending the way that it did I cannot wait to see what book three has in store for us (side note: I wonder if the third book will be called "Emergent"- make sense, no?). 

Rating: 8/10

Memorable lines from the book: 

"We're all right, you know," he says. "You and me. Okay?" (pg. 48). 

'The serum wears off five hours later, when the sun is just beginning to set. Tobias shuts me in my room for the rest of the day, checking on me every hour. This time when he comes in, I am sitting on the bed, glaring at the wall.'
"Thank God," he says, pressing his forehead to the door. "I was beginning to think it would never wear off and I would have to leave you here to... smell flowers, or whatever you wanted to do while you were on that stuff."
"I'll kill them," I say. "I will kill them" (pg. 67). 

"Okay, okay!" He puts his hands up. "It's just... I'm not very nice either, you know. That's why I like you so-" (pg. 68). 

"But then I met her, and... I felt like maybe I could make something more out of my decision" (pg. 143). 

"We may both be bad, but there's a huge difference between us- I'm not content with being this way" (pg. 349). 

"I broke her" (pg. 375).


  1. Oh Avery. You sadden me, right to my very core. I caaan sorta see where you're coming from, Tris and Four did have quite a turbulent relationship, but I liked it because they were in a bit of a sticky situation and for them to be all lalala would have felt forced to me. In regards to trust..I agree there wasn't much. BUT Four did trust her right at the end, when it really mattered. It definitely did feel slower, but I didn't find it slow, if that makes sense. As for the ending...I was disappointed with it too, I just expected...more. But now I've thought about it I don't know what else could have happened, and it was hinted at, a little, by Marcus, cause thats how I guessed it.

    It's really sad when a book you expect to adore disappoints you a bit, I hope you come to love it more with another re-reading!

    The Cait Files

    1. But now I've thought about it I don't know what else could have happened, and it was hinted at, a little, by Marcus, cause thats how I guessed it

      Yeah, I am hoping that in rereading it I will pick up on all of the little clues!

  2. I can see where you're coming from, it was a big slow in the beginning and Tris and Four's relationship was a bit irritating to me for most of the book. But I still loved it! And how about how IRONIC the ending is?! I saw it coming from the beginning though. Maybe not in 100% detail, but at least the idea.

  3. Hmmmm yes, I can definitely see where you're coming from, as I've already said, but I still really liked it for the most part.

    Also, I'm totally giggling after reading those quotes from the serum part.

    1. I know! I love all of those lines a lot too!

  4. I admit I skimmed since I still need to read the first, but I'm so sad that you didn't enjoy it as much as you wanted. Perhaps it was the expectations? Hm... maybe it's a good thing I haven't read the first yet.... I need the hype to die down a bit so I don't get it in my way.

  5. An interesting review. I think those things would annoy me too.


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