04 May 2012

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

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.

Insurgent picks up right where Divergent left off.  It continues much in the way that Divergent did, following Tris as she battles with her disintegrating world.  Just like with Divergent, I enjoyed the world and the symbolism surrounding human nature being forced into five different factions and how the city reacts to those refusing to be molded.  However, the polish wore off in the sequel.  Tris's character was almost unbearable to me--I could barely keep myself from throwing the book across the room at her constant stupidity.  The plot was chaotic.  The romance was irritating.  The goal was lost on me.  Overall, not a promising second installment.

Tris was a total spazz.  She would make a decision one chapter then change her mind in the next.  She would leap to new stages of development within the space of a paragraph instead of a convincing build up.  That was the core problem with her character: lack of conviction.  If her motivations had actually been explained, her Messiah complex might have been believable, but she was useless expect for making trouble.  Always doing something inevitably stupid before thinking it through...and everyone got it -- even random Erudite kids -- except her.

The plot was all over the place.  I couldn't keep track of who was doing what and where the stakes were.  The reasons for one faction to do something were almost never explained very well.  I felt like the whole thing was just a collection of events strung together in some semblance of order.  The ending was a nice save for me since I was barely holding on.  Now, because of the way it ended, I'm compelled enough to figure out what happens in the third book, but if there isn't some kind of character improvement, I won't bother anymore.

What I took for simplistic writing in the first book turned out to be too simple the second time around.  There was way too much telling and not enough description.  I couldn't sympathize with Tris's pain because it was simply put: "It hurt."

The only part I truly enjoyed was the symbolism behind the five factions and how their world is being torn apart by each other, and Tobias.  Though he was a complete spazz right alongside Tris for large sections, he had enough wits about him to be able to put his foot down about their relationship.  Thank God.  I had cheered for their relationship in the first book, but was not a fan by the end of this one.

I was not impressed, overall.  The writing had lost its luster and Tris was just too irritating for the story to be enjoyable.

I am almost afraid of him.  I don't know what to say or do around the erratic part of him, and it is here, bubbling just beneath the surface of what he does, just like the cruel part of me.  We both have war inside of us.  Sometimes it keeps us alive.  Sometimes it threatens to destroy us. (p. 242)
"Whoa there, Tobias," says the man to my left.  "Weren't you raised a Stiff?  I thought the most you people did was...graze hands or something."
"Then how do you explain all the Abnegation children?" Tobias raises his eyebrows.
"They're brought into being by sheer force of will," the woman on the arm of the chair interjects.  "Didn't you know that, Tobias?" (p. 409)
Book Info:

  • pages - hardcover, 525
  • published - May 2012
  • publisher - HarperTeen
  • genre - dystopian
  • received via - Books A Million
  • rating - 3/5
  • series - Divergent
    • Divergent
    • Insurgent
    • Untitled #3 (coming 2013)