Maggie's Reviews > Insurgent

Insurgent by Veronica Roth
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May 11, 2011

it was amazing
Read on May 01, 2012 — I own a copy , read count: 1

FINALLY the book is out! After months of waiting, I managed to snag this book on the day of its release and thank goodness for that!

**Warning: There will be no spoilers of Insurgent, only of Divergent**

After having not been immersed in the Divergent world since the first book came out last year, I had qualms about diving headfirst into Insurgent without refreshing myself with the basic events that happened prior to the start of this novel. However, having neither the time nor the care for rereading a book with this enticing, new, fresh book lying in front of me, I decided to be a Dauntless and take the risk (small risk, but hey, it's the thought that counts).

My first thought? That rereading Divergent would have been unnecessary in the fact that Insurgent picked up right where Divergent left off and had enough continuity to it that I slowly but surely picked up all the dormant pieces of information that I needed to know for this book. The action picks up right away, and my worries for this book, the middle book of this trilogy, were completely blown away with the events that happen. Oftentimes the second book of a trilogy slows down and loses some, if not a lot, of the pacing of the first book, only for the climax and the denouement to pick up drastically in the finale. Insurgent, however, did not disappoint me in that way.

I loved so many things from this novel, many of which I will point out below:

Tris is a kickass sort of person, and there's no denying that truth. Not only is she Divergent, but she's also a particularly strong type of Divergent, which we had all the clues for in Divergent but were not pronounced clearly until now. She is inherently strong, but she isn't invulnerable; she shows weakness when we expect her to, just like any human and regardless of her Dauntless faction. She's strong, but she's not overly ambitious, unlike Jeanine and other people who will rise up to power and take advantage of the chaos. What sets her apart from others is that she has all the capabilities of a leader, yet she shows enough humbleness and humility to know when to step down. I was feeling iffy about the polarization of characteristics between the different factions, but Tris's multiple affinities make her more well rounded and more admirable for what she chooses to do instead of what she can do with the capabilities she has.

Come on, I didn't read Insurgent for its romance. It's obviously a perk, of course, but the romance between Tobias and Tris isn't the main focus of the novel, not at all. The conspiracies, the conspiracies within the conspiracies, and the struggle between choosing what feels right and what logically is right is oftentimes employed here that makes you want to read further and further to see who's really the good guy. And then somewhere along the way, you realize that the good guy may not be the nicest guy. I think Roth aptly puts this to justice when she writes: "And while he has done cruel, evil things, our society is not divided into “good” and “bad.” Cruelty does not make a person dishonest, the same way bravery does not make a person kind." The multilayers to every action and every character makes you stop and think of the macro events, which is what I believe books should truly be about.

Stemming from what I said earlier about events that occur in this book, I just want to say that Roth really does know how to set her pacing for the trilogy well. Just reading the revelations that each page brings shows the careful thought and planning that was placed into the creation of the Divergent world. People you thought you could trust to be on the "good" side suddenly aren't so clear anymore; everyone falls into some gray, fuzzy area on where their loyalties lie. The aptness of the adage "the road to hell is often paved with good intentions" fits in with this world, and many people think that the end justifies the means of their actions. This strikes out to me not only for the complexity it brings to the series, but also the reality of the situation that no matter how much you're a part of Abnegation, in the end human instincts demand that you take a look at the grand scheme of things and figure out how you're going to survive. It's not necessarily saying that people are inherently bad or good, it's just that everyone takes action for their own survival, and that ultimately pits people against each other, both realistic and true. Who you trust ends up affecting what actions you take, and quoted from Roth: "People, I have discovered, are layers and layers of secrets. You believe you know them, that you understand them, but their motives are always hidden from you, buried in their own hearts. You will never know them, but sometimes you decide to trust them." Roth doesn't hesitate to pull out all the stops with layers upon layers of events that make Tris change her mind about which course of action to take countless times. It's the sort of thing that makes your brain freak with the constant flow of new information while it simultaneously processes what it just learned.

'nuff said. You don't find multifaceted characters easily, and every single one of these characters has something to contribute to the Divergent world as a whole. Remember, it's a society where things were always a specific way when a huge wave of reform is about to strike violently at you. It's a time of strife and war, something that most of us in first world countries can't comprehend on a personal level. (I quote an example from Isabel Allende here: "Once my daughter said to me that feminism was dated, that I should move on. Feminism is dated? Yes, for privileged women like my daughter, but not for most of our sisters in the rest of the world who are still forced into premature marriage, prostitution, forced labor"). In such a setting, chaos is everywhere, and I can't stress how good it was reading about the diversity of people who, at the end of the day, all wanted to just survive.

I would be cautious of reading Insurgent if I were you. The ending was the most terrible, horrible, jaw-dropping cliffhanger that I've read in a while. We don't even have a specific date to look forward for the third book, either! I can't (well, yes I can, but you understand my shock) believe that Roth would put us through such misery of revealing such a huge closely guarded secret, the truth of all truths to Divergent, and then end it right when chaos breaks out. Such a tease, and such a brilliant move. That'll keep us fans holding on for sure.

Would I recommend this book? Heck yes, without a single doubt. It's got action, suspense, adventure, mystery, and romance packed into it, and it was both cleverly and well executed. I couldn't ask for more of a novel, and I sincerely thank Roth for sharing it with us.

The pre-review I had posted that gathered all the likes to this review:
WHO REVIEWED IT ALREADY??? I'm tempted to give death glares to any that did because at this point giving it a rating is just petty hate mail. Judging by the average rating for the first book and the FACT THAT THE SECOND BOOK ISN'T EVEN OUT FOR ARCs YET, there should be no ratings! How can you rate a book based on what you're anticipating it to be???

What it's rated now is by no means true, since we don't even know what the book is about!
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Comments (showing 1-41 of 41) (41 new)

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message 1: by Andrea (new) - added it

Andrea If I had to guess, people like to rank books that aren't out yet by how much they are looking forward to it. Not how they think it will be.

Maggie That's what I'm disagreeing with. It's not fair for those who haven't read any books in the series to look at the rating of a book before it's even come out and judge it based on that - because, well, some people can't tell that it's not a real review (yes, those people exist), and start forming opinions based on these false impressions. I just don't think it's fair to rate a book on what peoples' anticipation of it will be, because that's not what a rating is meant to be.

message 4: by Corie (new) - added it

Corie I agree! that's just wrong.

Erin Wall People in the book world get ARE's (Advanced Reading Editions) some people who review early have already read the book. I've gotten books up to 6 months in advance. Some, however, are just really enthusiastic

Maggie I posted this in June, so it would have been almost a year before the release date. So no, I don't think there would have been ARCs out at that time. When I posted this, the average review was around the 3-4 star range, which I thought completely off based on the fact that the book wasn't even out yet and the fact that the first book had a much higher rating.
And yes, I agree that some people are just overly eager to read new books. While showing people their anticipation of the book is a good thing, affecting people's pre-perceptions of a book based on a rating, which is supposed to reflect the content of the book, is wrong. That was my take on the rating at the time.

message 7: by Ashton (new) - added it

Ashton White really, already reviewed it? LAMESAUCE!!!

message 8: by Courtney (new)

Courtney Probably an agent trying to rig the votes just like they're doing for Kiera Cass's THE SELECTION.

Sejal There is an excerpt I just read.

message 10: by Shannon (new) - added it

Shannon Forsley-vanoostrom I rated it by accident and can't figure out how to unrate it?????

Liesl I also mistakenly rated it and can't undo it either. Sorry!

Charlene Love If you know a publisher, apparently you can read it ahead of time. Wahhhhhh. I think it's a cup of crap if you ask me.

Mrs. Lapacka Advanced reader copies are regularly sent out to book stores and to people who are on the committees who vote for awards...they haven't been edited for final errors, but chances are, there are hundreds of advanced copies out there for this book.

Hannah I rated it... Because I loved the first one and am looking forward to the second one... This doesn't mean I won't change it after reading it..

Linsey I don't understand people who troll other peoples ratings/reviews and slate them for what they've selected.

It's their choice; leave them to it.

People on here rate books unfairly all the time. They rig votes and they push books on readers in the hopes that you'll read something you normally wouldn't.

Show a little respect and let people make up their own minds based on the information available.

We knew it wasn't available. We knew there was nothing to base the rating on, therefore those rating it we're likely pushers.

In the meantime, save your energy. The pushers aren't listening to you and the rest of us are having to watch you waste your breath.

message 16: by Maggie (last edited May 01, 2012 06:43PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Maggie Before any more comments come in thinking that my pre-review addresses all raters out there, I'd like to first point out is that the review I wrote was when Insurgent had, in my opinion, an abysmally low rating when the reaction to the first book says otherwise.

Thanks for your insight, Linsey, but a lot of what you said applies to you as well.

I made the choice of posting this; thanks for leaving me to it.

I don't particularly believe that in this case, the ratings *at the time* were an attempt to push books on readers, since they were low ratings; unless I'm missing something here, people don't normally give books bad ratings in the hopes that others will read something they normally wouldn't.

I'm sorry if I seemed disrespectful, but in all honesty I felt that the book was dealt injustice for the low ratings and felt that I had to voice my *very emotional* opinion on that. However, I also felt that by putting this there for others to see and become more consciously aware of, people can make up their own minds based on the information available.

I'm aware that the book wasn't available. And I already addressed the idea of the pushers, unless you're actually referring to the people who want to discourage others from this book, in which I feel that my voiced out opinion has more relevance to providing another viewpoint on the ratings.

Thanks for your advice, but it didn't take much energy to type up a small, five sentence paragraph. I never had the specific purpose of having anyone listen to me (as I review books sporadically for the pure fun and completely on my whim) and I never expected it to have as many views or even likes as this. I'm sure I could have spared the energy; otherwise it would have just become entropy and end up in the same place either way.

Izzat Zainal I agree with you Maggie! Loving this review. I swear I'll punch anyone's face if they said Insurgent's bad because Four and Tris argues a lot.

Marisa Purcell Wow, awesome review. Much more that I could ever put into words but you described my feelings exactly! Thanks for a great review!!!

Michelle Sharp That was an AMAZING review!!!

message 20: by Alexandra (new) - added it

Alexandra I'm kinda not happy that it was left off like that. Haha
Did the writing seem not as well done in the beginning? It kind of threw me off, I don't remember if that was how Divergent was, but I might have just spoiled myself with authors who wrote their books more eloquently.

Micheline GREAT review! You covered all the bases and brought up EVERYTHING I loved about this book and this series! Now on to the torturous wait till book 3 :)

Firevsice Wow are you like a mind reader or something because even I coudnt have written what I felt about this book better!! I read this book in a day..I actually took a day of from school to read it (in the pretext of studying for an exam of course ;) ) anyways I don't think a book can get more real than this! I can't believe there is no release date for the next book am I going to count down the days till I get to read yet another awesome book!!

Sandy Dennington Great review!! Thanks!!!

Jamie Loved the review. Perfect!

Shawnee Wow. Amazing Review.

Sarah Thanks for the wonderful review!! No spoilers, and cliffhanger heads-up. Much appreciated =)

Diane Great review! I'm in the middle of the book now and enjoying it

Elissa Barbosa agree with your great review

message 29: by Anna (new) - rated it 3 stars

Anna I'M SO CONFUSED! The big secret that was revealed at the there a disease ravaging humanity, or was that a metaphor for the fact that humanity has grown too "cruel"? Because I don't understand how that could have happened?

message 30: by Anna (new) - rated it 3 stars

Anna I'M SO CONFUSED! The big secret that was revealed at the there a disease ravaging humanity, or was that a metaphor for the fact that humanity has grown too "cruel"? Because I don't understand how that could have happened?

message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

i hated the ending it was a bit boring and not different, what did you think of four?

Julianne quoting your review above: I would be cautious of reading Insurgent if I were you. The ending was the most terrible, horrible, jaw-dropping cliffhanger that I've read in a while.

I just wondered if you had read Delirium and
Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver. They're not as good as Divergent/Insurgent, but I thought the ending of Pandemonium was so bad in terms of - oh no! for the characters, and it leaves you with a lot of questions.

Just wondering.

Maggie Julianne wrote: "quoting your review above: I would be cautious of reading Insurgent if I were you. The ending was the most terrible, horrible, jaw-dropping cliffhanger that I've read in a while.

I just wondered ..."

I actually haven't. It's sitting in my shelves, but I never brought myself to read it. Maybe I should? I'm sure other books also have terrible cliffhangers too (in the best way possible) but I wrote this review right after reading it so I'm pretty sure my emotions made me exaggerate a little haha.

Ayesha Awesome review!!


message 36: by Alex (new) - rated it 5 stars

Alex I think this is my favorite book! :)

Tesnim such a good review :)
go ahead Dauntless :P

Ethan Iverson Reading this review I find it thorough, concise, and effective. I concur with everything said but I disagree with the fact that focus of the novel was the conspiracy versus conspiracy and the struggle to choose what is right. It felt like the main focus of the book was an uneven mixture of Tris' and Tobias' relationship problems and getting rid of the tyrannical Jeanine. Throughout the book Tris's main goal appears to prove to others that she is brave. Not only brave, but to seek revenge for her parent's death by solving the Jeanine problem. That seems to be her burning drive of the book. Other than the occasional disturbance of their seemingly irreparable relationship the book keeps the reader engaged and I must concur on everything else stated.

Hannah Wilborn Am I the only one who thought that Tris was being too whiny? Sure things don't go your way and you and your almost boyfriend are having "problems", but what do expect from people living in ruins of what was once a well-organized factioned society. The fluidity felt from Divergent to Insurgent was amazing! Roth did an excellent job with picking up right where things left off. I must say though, the drama element in this book with Tobias and Evelyn was amazing. At times I hated her, and other times, she is the real MVP. Talk about women empowerment!
But anyways, the beginning of the book was amazing, but as the book went on, it became more confusing and dare I say, unnecessary. The plot became a little too thick for my taste. If I had to pick between this book and Divergent, I would definitely go for the former.
I think another problem with this book too is that I was basically comparing everything in Insurgent to it predecessor, which was by far the best book in the trilogy.
Overall, it was good, just good.

message 40: by Peggy (new)

Peggy I just finished the entire trilogy and thought Divergent was great in its outwayd simplicity but underneath complex humans had to decide to change their outlooks to conform. In Insurgent, their world falls apart and everyone seems to just "go along". This was clear when the factionless manage to quietly disarm Dauntless. All that training just gone? I won't go into the third book but it seemed like too much too fast

message 41: by Abi (new) - rated it 5 stars


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