“Insurgent (Divergent #2)” by Veronica Roth
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Science Fiction, Dystopia
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
Here’s the thing. I love a strong heroine. Girls are capable of great things. I just hate when they become so sacrificing to be that heroine. You really don’t have to do this all on your own. It’s totally okay to ask for help. It doesn’t make you weak. Tris is way too reckless in this book. Worse than that she was unrealistically reckless. I can kind of understand her wanting to try to save everything. Unfortunately when she starts being stupid about it (walking in to armed areas without a weapon) do I start having hard time really understanding (and liking) her.
What is up with the world building? I don’t know why I didn’t question it more in Divergent but I really had a hard time getting past the factions in this book. Can people really be reduced to 1 of 5 fairly common traits (bravery, intelligence, honesty, selflessness, peacefulness)? Even if that were somehow possible wouldn’t more people Divergent? When you start really looking at the world things start to fall apart. Yes, you learn more about that at the very end of the book but I still don’t think it excuses almost two whole books of questionable world building.
Insurgent certainly is different than Divergent. This book explores more of the politics of the world. Normally I am a huge fan of books that explore the politics of these broken worlds. I just couldn’t fully get behind Insurgent‘s politics though. I think my biggest problem was I didn’t remember much from Divergent. Obviously this is problematic. Things did get a bit smoother when I found a cheat sheet for Divergent on Veronica Roth’s blog. Despite all that, I was still thrown off by the really busy storyline. A busy storyline does make for an action packed read but you can’t take it all in.
I didn’t like that Insurgent turned out to be a very typical second book: very busy and doesn’t move the story along much until the very end. Insurgent wasn’t a bad book but I wasn’t too interested in reading it. It was only the last few chapters did everything start falling into place and I started to really enjoy the book. Because of the ending I’ll actually pick up the next book.
The bottom line? Enjoyable enough second book.