Insurgent by Veronica Roth

InsurgentDivergent, 2Veronica RothYA DystopianHarperCollins Children’s BooksMay 1, 2012Hardcover525

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 really loved Divergent, and while I didn’t love this one as much, it excelled in some areas that I think the first book lacked. To start with, the action was a lot better here (because it’s not all about learning to fight and throw knives), and the story’s world was expanded past the two Factions Tris has experienced: Abnegation and Dauntless.

The action was a lot more like The Hunger Games in pace and intensity, though obviously Insurgent is about the fallout of Divergent and the larger civil war brewing in the Factions rather than a reality-TV gladiator show as a power move by the evil government. I liked seeing Tris and Four on more even footing, too, now that he’s no longer her trainer, and they’re both fugitives from Erudite.

Seeing Amity was awesome. Personally, I liked learning about the peaceful faction and learning that they weren’t just hippies (I think had JK Rowling spent more time with a Hufflepuff in addition to Cedric Diggory, people wouldn’t think they were the leftover House as much—even though they clearly aren’t as they have Cedric Diggory and Newt Scamander). I think that our world could take some tips from Amity, even if they are a Faction of a fictional dystopian world.

The reason this gets 4 stars, though, is some of the plot points… the reveal of who Evelyn was, while I know it was supposed to be surprising, wasn’t—at least not to me. Secondly, Marcus and Caleb pissed me off a lot that I spent more time thinking they shouldn’t be there than enjoying the middle of this middle installment of the Divergent trilogy. And lastly, while I originally liked this book better than the first (because I wanted more action than the first gave), the execution of this book, and the lack of excitement about having Factions about characteristics rather than Districts based on location and jobs, loses stars in my esteem.

All in all? A good story, an okay continuation of an interesting trilogy, but I’m not as excited for Book 3as I was for Mockingjay after I read Catching Fire.

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