Maja (The Nocturnal Library)'s Reviews > Insurgent

Insurgent by Veronica Roth
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Middle book syndrome, thy name is Insurgent, and you’ve never been this painful before. I realize this is not a popular opinion. For every negative review out there, Insurgent has fifteen positive ones, which I guess makes me the odd one out, not for the first time.

But seriously, wow. If you’re ever struck by a sudden desire to read a book about nothing at all and don’t know what to choose, look no further – Veronica Roth will satisfy your curiosity. I was one of those people who neither loved nor hated Divergent: I thought it was fun but full of holes worldbuilding-wise, I thought the characters were interesting, but needed more work, and I thought the action scenes were reasonably well-written, but certainly not mind-blowing.
None of those things apply to Insurgent. I only mention them to clarify that I didn’t expect much to begin with. But after the first few chapters of Insurgent, I realized that even those weak expectations wouldn’t be met. It is one of the emptiest books I’ve ever read: you go searching for plot and come up empty; you try finding some character development – empty. Good action scenes… well, some, but without an actual plot to keep me engaged, they felt empty nonetheless.
I usually enjoy writing plot summaries, but this time, I spent 10 minutes staring at the blinking cursor, having absolutely no idea how to put this lack of anything meaningful into words. I just keep going back to Tris instead. And since I already mentioned character development, I’d like to know what on earth happened to her? I wrote this plenty of times in my reviews: if I don’t like the main character, I simply can’t like the book! (Unless, of course, the whole point of the book is that I dislike its protagonist, which most definitely isn’t the case here.) I might have enjoyed Insurgent at least a little bit if not for Tris’s constant whining. This entire book is one big pity-party, a series of unnecessary, meaningless sacrifices. People kept turning to her to analyze the situation, but she was the least logical among them. At least with the real Dauntless you know where you stand… they shoots first, ask questions later… if at all. Tris whines first, makes idiotic decisions, lies to the only person who actually cares about her, whines some more, shoots when she has no other way out, then whines because she was forced to shoot. Rinse and repeat. Her guilt over killing Will was fine up to a point, but when she became self-destructive over it, I started thinking that she should have done everyone a favor and let Will shoot her instead! That was the only other option: kill him or die, but instead of accepting this, she was determined to destroy herself (and Tobias) because of it.

The narrator, Emma Galvin, saved the book for me. She truly did an outstanding job. Sometimes a narrator just grates on me for no apparent reason, but the exact opposite happened with Emma: she is so good that I’d be perfectly happy listening to her read grocery lists all day long. She is what kept me going around the middle, when I would have given up otherwise.

There is no hope for me and this series. I wanted to be excited about the third book, but I doubt I’ll even read it. Everyone has their list of dealbreakers, those things they just can’t get over in books, and whining and self-pity are at the very top of mine. (You can read this lovely post about dealbreakers at The Readventurer.)

When book three comes out, I promise I will be excited with and for my friends. I swear I will. I just doubt I’ll read it myself.

Also posted at The Nocturnal Library
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Reading Progress

05/26/2012
4.0% "Whoever this narrator is, I'm about to ask her to marry me. Best audio in a very long time." 6 comments
05/29/2012
12.0% "At this rate, it should take me no more than a year to finish this audio. *sigh*"
06/03/2012
36.0% "I wish Tris would make one right choice. Just one. It would sure make a nice change."

Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

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Mimi Valentine Awww, is it not going good? :(


Maja (The Nocturnal Library) No, it's going fine, but it's audio and I haven't had much time for it. Reading is easier. And yet, the narrator is so good that I don't regret getting the audio for a second.


Mimi Valentine Oh, thank goodness! *wipes forehead* x) Because I really, really love this series! <3 I think reading is easier too because I can read so much faster than I talk -- surprising, right??? LOL! -- but I'm glad the narrator is good! I'm really picky with that kind of stuff haha :')


Jesus Saldivia If this one seems long to you, don't check out the "A great and terrible beauty" audio. I use it to fall asleep now.


HєllyBєlly Thank you Maja for a great review. I have been on the fence with this one for a while, it is currently on my "to-read-or-not-to-read" shelf. However, I think - after reading your opinion, it will be re-shelved to "giving- a-pass". I am sorry to say this, as I was looking forward to it enormously after reading Diverget. But, can't stand whiners either!


Maja (The Nocturnal Library) I really don't know what to tell you, most people seem to have enjoyed it, maybe you would too. But she does whine a whole lot, and she completely lost my sympathy at one point.


Aa'Ishah I'm sorry you didn't like this! I finished reading and reviewed it just yesterday. I guess that makes me one of the fifteen. ;) Brilliant, honest review, Maja. :)


Heidi (Yup. Still here.) Jesus wrote: "If this one seems long to you, don't check out the "A great and terrible beauty" audio. I use it to fall asleep now."

Ahhh yes! That audiobook was quite the snoozefest.


message 9: by Johny (new)

Johny Fredd Well that was unexpected. I guess I'll give it a try


Linda So I can put on my dnf shelf and move on? I've been reading this for 3 weeks and I'm nowhere near the end.


message 11: by Grace (new) - added it

Grace Did you listen to the one read by Emma Galvin? I couldn't even listen to this past the first chapter, her voice was so dramatic and annoying.


Pirzha-Loves-Reading I agree 100%!! I thought I was not normal for hating this book since everyone loves it! But you are so RIGHT!!!!


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