My Rating: 4/5
Author: Veronica Roth
Genre: Young Adult/Dystopian
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.
My Short Summary: [Spoilers from the first book, Divergent, in this review]
Insurgent begins right where the first book leaves off. Tris, Tobias, Peter, Caleb, and Marcus escape to the Amity area where they regroup and decide what to do. It is hinted near the beginning of the novel that certain Abnegation leaders had learned something important and was about to share this with all the factions. But, Jeanine wanted to stop it before it became public, thus resulting in the attack from the last book. One person, Marcus, knows the information but is unwilling to share it. In the meantime, Tris is suffering from PSTD, which can be understood. Her parents died, she killed her friend because he was stuck in a simulation, and a war is breaking out between the factions. In this book, her adversaries are more emotional than physical. She has to pull it to together so she can learn who to trust and what is important in this upcoming war. She also has to decide how she wants to be a part of the war.
Narration: First person – Tris (aka Beatrice)
Character Development: Tris takes on a more emotional side in this novel. She struggles with how her parents died and what exactly their words really meant before they died. She also has a hard time over the death of Will. This is quite understandable and makes for a more realistic character. Reading about a character going through PTSD from the events of a first book can sometimes be…annoying for me. [Please note that I am talking about fictional characters with PTSD and not real people. This opinion would not be the case in real life. I’m hard on my fictional characters *wink*] It’s like it goes against the character’s initial characteristics that I have become accustomed to in the prior story. I like that the author makes the character realistic and no one should be fine with what happened to Tris. However, while reading, I like to see characters overcome these struggles after a short amount of time, so I can get back to the main events of the story. The PTSD in this book lasted too long for me to completely enjoy it.
Turbulence brews between Tris and Tobias. It seems that trust has slowly disappeared, and they are acting slightly different from the first book. Even though I would have liked more explanations on why Tobias thought the things he did (besides “being in love”), it also showed that relationships are also strained in dire circumstances. Because the story is written in first person, we understand Tris’s side better.
Plot Development/Flow: For me, the story is a little slow to start but picks up as it goes. I like how we get to see the other factions better in this book – their beliefs, customs, etc. I think this helped put things together overall for the war and why certain people joined certain sides. We learn that there are more people who are Divergent; and by the end, why this is important. The “secret” is also revealed by the end of the book, so no worries about a cliffhanger with that information. To be honest, I did see the secret coming just because I saw a movie with a similar set up. (I can’t say which movie because it would be a spoiler for this book and the movie.) I thought about it briefly in the first book, but it becomes more apparent in this one. Despite this, the book ends with room for the last book – what are they going to do with the information they learned?
Standalone or Part of a Series: Book two of three