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With the first film about to hit British Cinemas, I have been tearing through this series so I am fully prepared to see the film at the end of the month. The first book, Divergent, was enjoyable, but I didn''t connect with it as well as I''d hoped. I decided to carry on reading the series however, in the hope that something would click and I could become as obsessed with the series as everyone else. Fortunately, that goal was achieved with Insurgent, the second book in this trilogy of YA gold. Insurgent picks up exactly where Divergent left off, without any recapping of what happened previously. In my opinion, this was the right decision, and I agree with Veronica Roth that explaining what happened in book 1 would really bog down the narrative and sound unnatural in Tris'' voice. So, if you are unsure of what exactly happened in book 1, I recommend that you either re-read it, or perhaps just read the plot-synopsis on Wikipedia. What makes this book, and the series in general, so special in my opinion, is that the book is just as good, if not superior to the original, which is rare in literature, especially so in such a demanding genre. It is also a complex story, which is another redeeming factor for me personally. It gives you something to contemplate while you''re sat in the car, or even in the Dr''s Waiting Room. Insurgent brings what we loved from Divergent in even bigger quantities: Tris & Four''s relationship is solidified, we learn the real meaning of what it is to be a Divergent, and perhaps the biggest reveal in the book: the truth that Janine is fighting to keep secret. All in all, I enjoyed the sequel much more than the original, and I am now not only very excited to read the final instalment, but also to see the films. The series truly deserves to be one of the best in the genre.
*May contain minor spoilers*
I've been waiting for this book ever since I finished reading Divergent last year, and I am so, SO thankful to the lovely Rosi at HarperCollins UK for providing me with a finished copy to read before its release! I am quite frankly struggling to make sense of my thoughts after finishing! Obvs my most anticipated sequel of the year, and it TOTALLY brought it. You think you've figured out something majorly important, but you haven't at all because the truth is actually WAY more twisted. A situation could be one thing one second, and then be completely different the next.
Insurgent picks up right where Divergent left off (Tris, Four, Caleb, Marcus and Peter having escaped from the attacks and are now on their way to Amity) and we just get thrown into this action-packed world of utter madness. I can't say that it isn't emotional. *wipes tear*. I LOVED that we got more insight into the other factions. In Divergent, we see learn stuff about Abnegation because that's Tris's original faction, and then she transfers to Dauntless and we get to see what it's like for those kick-ass people there, but the other factions who we don't no much about. But yay, we get to see what goes on in Candor (truth serums OMG) and Amity (no leader? WHAT IS THIS CRAZINESS?) and also Erudite and why they are evil and want to kill people. Lol. And the factionless! Some *very* interesting things going on there...
I thought I loved Tris in Divergent, but she was just wow in Insurgent. This girl! Ugh, just major girl crush. Her selflessness AND bravery in the novel was breathtaking. A born survivor, that one is. And people say that girls in YA are weak. Ahhhhhhhhh at Tris and Four! SO. MUCH. ANGST. And swooning. There is *always* swooning. I would've liked to see the two of them together a little bit more, seeing as most of the time they were together they were crazy-annoyed at each other, but I won't push it because I thought the direction that Roth took in their relationship was super awesome. It was like, powerful and meaningful to the point where I had to question if this was actually real or not. It MORE than seemed like it was. Other characters like Uriah (<3), Christina and Lynn were pretty badass, too.
Also: I noticed that there wasn't really any recapping of Divergent, and it's likely that you'll forget who various people are. I'd suggest rereading Divergent beforehand, like I did, then you're good to go.
THAT ENDING THO. No idea what to say. Sorry. Read the book. Pull the same face as me. Cry/scream to your heart's content. Veronica Roth is EVIL! And such a graceful writer. The whole book was way more amazing than I could possibly have imagined it to be. May possibly be one of my favourite sequels in the history of EVER. Even right before I started reading I was a bit nervous because SURELY it couldn't top Divergent, BUT, I think it did. The tension in this book couldn't fit on all the scales in the world, guys. Exhilarating and mind-blowing and intense and addictive, I think that you NEED this book in your life.
p.s. yeah, I don't call this a review either. bahahahaha ;)
"The collide in an embrace that looks almost painful to me, slapping each other's backs and laughing with their fists clasped between them."
About the book
Insurgent is the second book in the Divergent series by Veronica Roth. It was published on 1st May by Harper Collins and the book is 288 pages long.
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.
What I thought
When I read the first book in this series, Divergent, I wasn't the biggest fan of dystopian books. I didn't even really want to read it to be honest but with so much hyper, I didn't want to be missing out on anything amazing. Divergent made me change my mind about dystopian books and I didn't think that the sequel could be anywhere as good. I was wrong.
Veronica Roth's writing is both complex and clever and she carries this on in Insurgent. Unless you have read Divergent, you have no chance in hell of being able to follow what is going on in this book. It had been so long since I read Divergent that I had actually forgotten what was happening and it took me a little while to get caught back up with the world and characters that Roth has created. Insurgent puts focus on not only Tris this time but the whole Society in which she lives. This Society is in pieces after the events in Divergent and the different factions; Dauntless, Erudite, Abnegation, Amity and Candor, must decide where they stand. I loved how although each faction was separate, some were forced to work together otherwise they weren't going to get anywhere.
As the factions are focussed on more than they were in Divergent, we get to find out a whole lot more about them. Each is run in completely different ways and each one stands for different things and ideas. The range of characters and interactions between the factions was one of the best things about this book for me and it made it a lot more interesting overall. What was fascinating to read about was the internal politics of each faction and how this could and would clash with any of the other factions. Each part of this world that Roth has created is extremely detailed but not hard to follow.
What I love the most about Roth's writing is how she says exactly what she wants to and she isn't afraid to add in some very gritty and hard hitting scenes. Things are far from easy for the characters in Insurgent, especially Tris and Roth never shies away from this. Tris goes through so much in this book and is filled with guilt from previous events. After being forced to kill one of her own friends, Tris has no idea how to cope with the guilt of keeping this secret from everyone. I hated to see Tris so torn and I hated to see her put herself under such intense pressure. She is always quite broken after the events in Divergent, not being able to function properly anymore and this puts strain on her relationship with Four (Tobias). He doesn't understand why she isn't ok and she can't explain it to him without having to give away all of her secrets.
The relationship between Tris and Tobias was fantastic. Even though they still clearly love each other and want the best for themselves and their faction, both characters have a hard time being completely honest. The strain and tension in their relationship was so wonderfully written and believable at all times. While I wanted to favour Tris and her decisions, I could see where Tobias was coming from also and it was hard for me to pick sides. I didn't want to have to. I just wanted them both to be on the same side and neither of them to be forced into making such hard decisions. Both characters grew on their own and together in different ways but I don't think this was always for the best. Both Tris and Tobias have secrets throughout this book and although it would have changed the plot, I did want them to trust each other more.
Due to the nature of the plot, some of the scenes were quite hard to read. In terms of violence and action, Insurgent has a hell of a lot of it. People who like The Hunger Games because of how brutal it was will probably like this series just as much. Although it could have been too much, I think that each terrible event was more than justified and fit the story extremely well. All the way through the book I was hoping and praying that nothing bad would happen to my favourite characters but with Roth, you never really know what will happen. There are twists and turns all over the place due to so many characters being deceiving and secretive and I was on the edge of my seat the whole time I was reading.
I really didn't think that Insurgent could be better than Divergent but it was in so many ways. I can't wait for the next book now.