Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Review: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

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Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent, #2
Release date: May 1st, 2012
by HarperTeen

Goodreads / Purchase

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.

There is no denying that this was one of the most anticipated titles of the year. I, like many others, quickly became enthralled inside Veronica Roth’s dystopian world where factions decide our values, and fitting in is of the upmost importance. This sequel, although still exciting, is a much somber book centering on Tris’ grief and self discovery, rather than on the plot itself.

“Grief is not as heavy as guilt, but it takes more away from you.” 
-Quoted from finished copy of Insurgent.

Divergent’s ending undoubtedly left most of us inside a bubble of emotion. Every war has casualties – this one is no different. In Insurgent, we see the aftermath of this grief. Tris struggles with regret, guilt, and depression; she is quite different from the tough, resilient character we got to know. I understand completely why these changes in her personality occurred. I really do. Her life has been blown to smithereens. It still didn’t stop me from eventually getting annoyed by her constant self pity. The moodiness and bitchiness seemed to go on endlessly. Consequently, Four gets fed up with her self-destructive attitude and becomes kind of a jerk. On one hand, I value Tris’ moments of clarity that stem from her reflections of her own character. She comes to truly honorable decisions, proving her Divergent state further. But it doesn’t erase the fact that this is a very long book filled with a lot of angst. Let’s just say I will be happy to (hopefully) get the old Tris back again in the third book.

With Tris’ PTSD, and Four’s frustrations, we get a very confusing, emotional romance. Their connection was built in Divergent and now they’re struggling. I applaud at how the relationship is handled in a situation where there’s so much interference. Their extreme circumstances forces them to work through endless disagreements and unimaginable obstacles. What we get is a very distressing, perilous relationship, but genuinely realistic. Where most people would have given up, these two stubborn beings keep fighting for each other, picking up the other’s broken pieces. It’s believable and touching, however it’s not easygoing on our emotions.

You’re going to have to keep your head in gear during this story. There is a lot of back and forth between the faction compounds; if you don’t read it in one sitting it’s easy to lose track of where they are, or what their intentions are in any particular moment. I wasn’t confused more than I wanted to get to the point; the shuffling around can make the plot feel like it’s dragging at times. What we learned about these factions in the first book gets a bit more complicated in this one when everyone seems to band together to fight the war. Factions are divided among themselves, and now we have the factionless who we learn aren’t the dismal, society degrading derelicts they’ve been portrayed as. This is only one tidbit of the expanding world building that we attain in this sequel. We get a better glimpse inside the factions at a more personal level. We also broaden our knowledge of the past which makes us understand how we resulted in this post apocalyptic state. In turn, this awakens us to the world beyond the fence. Although most of this information is only dispersed at the very end – promising an extremely intriguing third installment.

A solid addition to the series, Insurgent dishes out enough world development to give a good momentum to the story, in addition to great character and relationship building. The characters especially go through drastic changes which may get different reactions from some, but in the end I found it important for Tris to have searched out who she is, besides being a natural progression to where we were left off in Divergent.

4 Hot Espressos

The Divergent series so far:

Want to refresh your memory on Divergent?

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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40 Responses to “Review: Insurgent by Veronica Roth”

  1. Rebecca (Kindle Fever)

    Great review, Giselle! I can definitely see how it could turn confusing even without reading it, since it’s a lot to keep track off, but I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I am SUPER excited to pick it up and I will have to soooooooon. It’s definitely positive seeing so many positive reviews! Sequels can be tricky. o:

  2. Nicole

    Great review! I actually really liked this book and how the characters were significantly further developed, but I can see why some people might not enjoy it as much, since DIVERGENT did have much more action and adventure and was overall a more lighthearted read.

  3. Nicola

    Awesome review! It’ll be interesting to see how the ”feel” of this book differs to Divergent. I’m crossing my fingers I’ll get to read it this week! Though I’ll probably re-read Divergent. The re-cap is handy but it’s not giving me the ”OMG need the next book” feeling that I remember having!

  4. Silverlight

    Great review! Self pity and angst shouldn’t overwhelm a book, for me it drags the readers down, and becomes boring. Pick up the pieces and move on, already.

  5. Amy

    Great review chick! I couldn’t help but be annoyed at Tris and Four too. I completely understand though. I loved their relationship, and like you said, it’s very emotional and touching. I think this book sets up for book three great!

  6. Book Passion for Life

    Awesome review, Giselle! I adored this book and I cannot wait to see what Roth does next. I have to say I loved the relationship between Tris & Four this time around. I think their problems made it all the more real for me and I enjoyed it! Donna xoxo

  7. Jac

    I liked seeing the factions at a more personal level. I agree that there were parts where I felt it wasn’t as good as I’d hoped, but in the end getting to know all this information felt important.

    -Jac @ For Love and Books

  8. Katie @ BlookGirl

    Great review, Giselle. Insurgent was definitely one of MY most anticipated reads for 2012, and I can’t wait to finally get to it in my TBR pile.

    That Divergent refresher is going to be a “MUST” for me, because it’s been so long since I read Divergent. Heck, maybe I’ll re-read it anyway 🙂

  9. Suzanne @ Paranormal Book Fan

    I haven’t read your review. I just finished Divergent the other day and I’m waiting for Insurgent from TBD but I wanted to see how many espressos you gave it. 4 is very good, but you gave Divergent 5 hmmm

    By the way, the link for your Divergent review goes to the Insurgent GR page, just to let you know 🙂

  10. Giselle

    Thanks ladies!

    @Suzanne: Thanks I fixed the link! And my review is spoiler free if you want to get an idea of why I didn’t like it quite as much as the first. It’s still very good, though.

  11. April

    I waited forever to pick up divergent. I’ll probably wait a while before getting to this one too.

    I love that you say their relationship feels real. I get so annoyed when you have all this turmoil and war, and the two love birds just want to do kissy face and nothing else.

    I really am looking foward to this one.. even the angst. I’m thinking I’ll save this one for a PMS week.

    Great review! 🙂

  12. Nereyda1003

    I don’t know why but this series doesn’t really interest me, even though everyone else raves about it. I want to give it a chance but I have way too many books I want to take off my TBR pile before I do. Great review!

  13. Kris (Imaginary Reads)

    I agree. There’s a lot of tension between Tris and Four in this book, but it’s something they probably needed to go through. The action was good, and the plot has been set for book three. Can’t wait to read it!

  14. Candace

    Yeah the angst got me a little but since shes fighting her way out of it and the old Tris is emerging it didn’t bother me too much. Cant wait for the third book!

  15. Mary @ BookSwarm

    I love that their relationship goes through such turmoil–there’s so much going on around them and between them, how can it not? The characters are beautifully developed and the story was fantastic. One of the best middle books I’ve ever read!

  16. Shellie

    I still have to get to this one…le sigh I’m so behind. Thanks for the heads up on reading it in one sitting. I’ll have to do that so I don’t get all discombobulated while reading…and yes I may have made that word up but ssssshhh don’t tell anyone.

  17. Mel - Thedailyprophecy.

    I still haven’t read Divergent, haha. There is something about popular books that’s holding me back to read it soon.. You would expect that it would make someone even more excited about a book, but for me, it’s more a turn off :p But the books sound great and I sure will read it 🙂 Nice review, like always!

  18. A Canadian Girl

    Oo, my copy is still waiting to be read. Now I just need to get into the proper mindset for an angsty Tris. I’m looking forward to getting to know some of the members in the other factions and find out the secrets of the factionless.

  19. Rachel Harris

    Great review! I have to be one of the only people who have yet to read the first book–there are just so many books in my TBR pile and it grows daily–but I have to say that your review makes me want to shoot the entire series to the top of the mountain. Thanks! <3

  20. Lexie

    Great review! I’ve been hearing similar things from many reviewers. While I definitely understand how those events would scar a person, after a while, angst just starts to get really grating. But the rest of it sounds pretty awesome, and it IS a middle book. Here’s hoping Badass Tris will return for the final installment. 😀

  21. Mimi Valentine

    Oh, Four. I love him so much!! One of my favourite things was how real Tris and Four’s relationship too — Veronica Roth knows how to pull your gut out and she did that so many times in this book! By the end, I kind of wanted to cry because of how good it was! Nothing was perfect and I kind of loved that about this book :’)

    An amazing review to an amazing book by an amazing girl, Giselle! <3 Now after we've all read this one… does that make the final book the most anticipated of 2013?? x)

  22. Ron C. Nieto

    I think I really need to get to this series, no matter how much I usually keep away from distopian… Ah well. I’ll have to find room, since it seems quite clear that it’s a great book!

    Thanks for sharing, Giselle! 🙂

  23. The Literary Darling

    I have yet to get my hands on this one…I thoroughly enjoyed the first in this series, but because of all the hype I think I am afraid I am going to be let down! Usually the second book is my least favorite in a series. I guess I just need to read it for my self and see! Great review 🙂

  24. Camille Picott

    I liked Divergent, but have seen mixed reviews of this. I’m not sure I will like the relationship tension, though if Tris and Four fight for their love, then maybe it’s okay. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!

  25. Elodie

    Glad you enjoyed this one Giselle 🙂 !! I actually finished reading it last night and really liked it though I didn’t enjoy it as much as Divergent …

  26. Book Sake

    Hmmm I don’t read too many books in one setting so I hope that I will still enjoy it and be able to keep everything in line. I can’t wait to read it.

    – Jessica @ Book Sake

  27. ShreShre

    I love your review. I had most of the same feelings reading this book. It was all so mind-boggling trying to concentrate on so many issues being presented at once. I guess that’s the art of successful book-writing. ;D