Laurel's Reviews > Insurgent

Insurgent by Veronica Roth
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's review
Sep 19, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: that-cover-unf, ya, dystopian, wish-it-were-better, structure-whats-that, um-what, awkward-protag-voice, boyfriend-girlfriend-angst, ive-been-expecting-you, meh, smells-like-teen-angst, who-let-you-be-heroine
Recommended to Laurel by: MYSELF
Recommended for: People who loathe structure

*Whoops spoilers deal with it*

Divergent was not the greatest book, but I was more glued to it than Hunger Games. Far more glued because Hunger Games is fairly poor and while Divergent doesn’t have much structure control or a grip on plot, there was something about it that made me want more. I’ve yet to figure out what it was.

What I can figure out is that whatever drew me into Divergent is completely gone from Insurgent.

I was actually excited about this book and its lovely cover all pretty and tugging at my artsy fartsy heartstrings. Divergent drove me back into my manuscript writing, and I was hoping this one would follow in its footsteps. And I totally want to get back into my manuscript, but because of the reason I read The Host and Halo and Hush, Hush: to challenge them. And here I am, manuscript writing and challenging Insurgent’s writing and plot and structure.

The fact that I get the feeling that I can do better than this book is kind of hurtful, but it’s an honest feeling. I honestly think that my structure flows better than the structure of this book. Whether I tell it correctly is another beast entirely.

But let’s get on with Insurgent shall we?

This second installment of the trilogy tells us the events of Tris Prior directly after the destruction of Abnegation, her parents’ deaths, Will’s murder, and of course, her love for Tobias, who we all once knew as Four. Oh there’s something about being Divergent, too, but pfft who cares?

Let the Breakdown Commence

The Writing.
I was being told many a things in such a bizarre way. How do I put this.

Do you ever read a terrible fanfiction where the Mary Sue-esque main protag says something like, “I didn’t like Soso’s response to my question, but I forgave him because I’m so forgiving”? This was what I was reading. It wasn’t as terrible as terrible fanfiction, but it was often enough that I noticed it and got annoyed by it.

I’m too lazy to sift through the 525 pages of this brick to find proper examples, but Tris was constantly telling me how she wasn’t feeling. Like, she’d be upset about Tobias (because that’s like…70% of this book) but she’d say it like, “I’m not selfish, I just want bah bah blah blah blah. I’m not angry, but I wish adskfgjnas;k”
How about you show me Tris’ selflessness, Roth, show me her not-anger. This was constantly happening all over the place ever.

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This is not how you character. This is not how you structure. This is not how you noun in place of a verb.
That’s my only real beef with the writing. I have more to say on zee characters.

Beatrice “Tris” “What’s my Personality” Prior

Who is Tris Prior? Who is this girl? I feel like I need a good sit down and explanation on her character, because this girl was up, down, and sideways all throughout this book. This is exactly how she was in Divergent too. She wanted to be selfless, then she wanted to be brave! It wasn’t too bad there.

Then she went into Insurgent with a realistic grieving sense due to Will (which I very much liked and wish it was more prevalent) and then it was GONE and then it was BACK and then Tobias got all angsty and then SHE got all angsty and depressed, then brave then WILL then brave then SAVE THE ERUDITE then s;ldgjnadlkfjhnfhkljnt h!!!!

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Goddamn can you follow one piece of your arc at a TIME please?! Wherever that arc is?! I’m sure there’s some arc present but because so much shit was going on this entire book I didn’t know what the hell to follow. I’m sorry Tris, but you’re bothering me.

Tobias “Four” “Not Four, Fourteen” Eaton

Toby Boy is quite the unusual character. He angsts about his parents, and wants to protect Tris and gets angry and all that, but at the same time it fits into his character. I don’t see it fitting whatever Tris has got going on, but it follows Toby pretty well. I actually felt for this kid.

But at the same time, I wanted a break from his relationship with Tris. After nearly every scene, then was a strange sort of wrap up with Toby and Tris in the bedroom like discussing what to do next. I just found it a little weird and repetitive.

Peter “I Picked a Pack of Pickled Mothafuckas” Badass

I don’t care what you say. Peter was my shining knight in this book. He was like…the audience. Whatever he said, it was what I was thinking. Peter has lost his antagonizing touch though. It makes me sad, but I did like the things that motivated him and work him to be a good character.

What I didn’t like about the characters in this book is that they are so nameless. Well…they have names, but they are so useless. Roth doesn’t bother to build Christina further, build Uriah, Lynn, Marlene, Zeke. I know them and what they do, but they aren’t as fleshed as I think they should be. There’s this whole cast and it just isn’t going well in terms of developments.


How about that structure. Oh, more simulations! OH MORE SIMULATIONS! More serums! More more more of the SAME THING. Jeanine just keeps working on her serums, and Dauntless keeps being assholes, and Erudite is still the ‘evil’.

I also feel that the plot was trying way too hard to be fast-paced and action-packed. There was SO MUCH STUFF, and it’s all falling flat for me because I need that breather. Then when the action started getting back into the Divergent swing of things, I was like, “YES YES COME BACK TO ME!”

Then Tris fights Dark Link Tris and I just don’t want anymore. It just…cuts for me. Dunno why again, but I lost all interest. WHY. I DON’T LIKE IT. And that ending just left me bumbling around for more answers. Not the best ending, though I still found it pretty great in terms of some reveals.

Also, Divergence and the whole world-building explanations in this book don’t really work with me. I still need to figure out how to properly digest what Roth is trying to say. Before Jeanine’s brain explanation, I only got a deus ex machina feeling from Divergence. Divergent people were magically immune to serums and every simulation thingy.

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But when Jeanine demands to know Tris’ secret, which I…don’t think we know because I don’t think it ever really comes up in Tris’ thoughts, Tris just says, “I'LL NEVER TELL YOU, SCUM, WAHH *generic cliché spit to the face*”. But what is the secret thing? How IS Tris aware during the simulations? GGGGGARRRRRRHHHH
I just…no. I can’t deal.

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Insurgent left me very confused, very flustered, and not exactly wanting to read the next book. There were a few moments I enjoyed (view spoiler)! I will to finish the series, but I’m not happy with the fact that I got vague answers and more questions.

Maybe I should just stop reading trilogies because I’ve yet to be satisfied with the ones I’ve read.
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Reading Progress

September 19, 2011 – Shelved
October 10, 2011 – Shelved as: that-cover-unf
October 10, 2011 – Shelved as: ya
May 12, 2012 – Started Reading
May 12, 2012 –
page 1
0.19% "Ahh screw it, I'll reread later. Bring me the heat, Roth!"
May 12, 2012 –
page 4
0.76% "Um, maybe you're not crying because your parents were poorly developed?"
May 12, 2012 – Shelved as: dystopian
May 12, 2012 –
page 9
1.71% "I like how Tris has this haunting sense about Will. It's realistic."
May 12, 2012 –
page 17
3.24% "Point to Caleb for being a protective brother. LOVE it."
May 12, 2012 –
page 30
5.71% "Point to Tobias for staying on topic and not diving into a smooch fest."
May 12, 2012 –
page 51
9.71% "Seriously Tobias. I really think you are moving waaaay too quickly. Stoppit."
May 12, 2012 –
page 59
11.24% "Oh Peter, you're an awesome yet evil little shit."
May 12, 2012 –
page 101
19.24% "Jeez, Toby and his family issues are really annoying."
May 12, 2012 –
page 122
23.24% "Derp derp, you two should've seen that one coming."
May 12, 2012 –
page 171
32.57% "The more info I get about the Divergent, the more it feels like a whopping plate of deus ex machina.\n Image and video hosting by TinyPic"
May 12, 2012 –
page 180
34.29% "Jesus, does anything affect the Divergent?! ANYTHING?!"
May 12, 2012 –
page 210
40.0% "Tris...Tris, dear, be quiet."
May 12, 2012 –
page 234
44.57% "I can't figure out if I like this book or not.\n Image and video hosting by TinyPic"
May 13, 2012 –
page 264
50.29% "Anyone who's looking for more world-building answers in this book: turn away now."
May 13, 2012 –
page 292
May 19, 2012 –
page 298
May 19, 2012 –
page 307
58.48% "Every time I see my boyfriend, I'm not reminiscing what his eyes do for me. I'm just looking at him as a person. THIS Tris/Tobias RELATIONSHIP NEEDS TO BE LESS PROMINENT."
May 19, 2012 –
page 320
60.95% "Tris, tell me why Toby even bothers to look at you. You are so dumb."
May 21, 2012 –
page 340
64.76% "Peter in this book is like my voice in this novel. He is feeling what I'm feeling: unnecessary angst of a stupid relationship."
May 21, 2012 –
page 362
68.95% "Tobias wins all the things. He's getting some points back."
May 21, 2012 –
page 375
71.43% "First scene I've enjoyed this whole book."
May 21, 2012 –
page 390
74.29% "The fuck!! This just all poofed outta nowhere?! WHERE IS THIS STUFF THE FIRST 70% OF THE BOOK??"
May 21, 2012 –
page 400
May 22, 2012 –
page 416
79.24% "Wait what."
May 22, 2012 –
page 433
82.48% "Christina, why aren't you leading this book. You're a better character."
May 23, 2012 –
page 466
May 23, 2012 –
page 491
93.52% "Oh look it's a replication of the Dark Link boss battle from the Water Temple. Image and video hosting by TinyPic"
May 23, 2012 –
page 525
100.0% "Wait what the fuck. WHAT THE...I DON'T GET THIS. s;kBGSAKLJDG"
May 23, 2012 – Shelved as: wish-it-were-better
May 23, 2012 – Shelved as: structure-whats-that
May 23, 2012 – Shelved as: um-what
May 23, 2012 – Shelved as: awkward-protag-voice
May 23, 2012 – Shelved as: boyfriend-girlfriend-angst
May 23, 2012 – Shelved as: ive-been-expecting-you
May 23, 2012 – Shelved as: meh
May 23, 2012 – Shelved as: smells-like-teen-angst
May 23, 2012 – Finished Reading
June 19, 2012 – Shelved as: who-let-you-be-heroine

Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Na Dine Bookaddict i feel with u. But I probably won't have time for a reread....

Na Dine Bookaddict i haven't finished so far but i see what you are complaining about. and i miss the kind of "something" which glued me to the pages at divergent ....

Laurel Nadine wrote: "i haven't finished so far but i see what you are complaining about. and i miss the kind of "something" which glued me to the pages at divergent ...."

Mhmm, I still don't know what it really was, but it's just not evident in Insurgent.

message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Aw, poop. I was really looking forward to this one, but now I appreciate the vivisection. I'm still gonna talk the kids into checking "Divergent" at the library, though.

Laurel Adele wrote: "Aw, poop. I was really looking forward to this one, but now I appreciate the vivisection. I'm still gonna talk the kids into checking "Divergent" at the library, though."

I still recommend this because there may be some readers who absolutely adore this installment. As you can see, I found it to be a downgrade from the first, but who knows?

message 6: by [deleted user] (last edited May 25, 2012 07:57PM) (new)

No worries, I am going to read it and probably like it just fine. I just really loved how "Divergent" seemed different in a way that it just elbowed all of the other books out of the crowd and gave them the finger, and this one sounds like it... does not do that.

Steph Sinclair This review is so awesome. Where to start?!

Oh there’s something about being Divergent, too, but pfft who cares?

This is the book in one sentence. LOL. Barely any answers. The only answers you get are during the cliffhanger at the end and that almost doesn't count.

Peter “I Picked a Pack of Pickled Mothafuckas” Badass

*snort* Bahahahahhahahaha!! That is brilliance.

Tris just says, “I'LL NEVER TELL YOU, SCUM, WAHH *generic cliché spit to the face*”.

I actually laughed at that part because it reminded me of the part in Shrek when Lord Farquaad is interrogating the Gingerbread Man and the little dude spits in his face saying, "EAT ME!"


It's still funny!

Laurel Stephanie wrote: "This review is so awesome. Where to start?!

Oh there’s something about being Divergent, too, but pfft who cares?

This is the book in one sentence. LOL. Barely any answers. The only answers you g..."

Thank you, Stephanie!! And YES! I don't think having a dump of almost-answers at the end counts for anything in this either. ;D

OH MY GOSH. See, everyone I know hates on Shrek for lasting so long, but they forget that the first two movies were so brilliant! I think that interrogation was my favorite scene cause Tris finally decides to care about her own life. She's just throwing her body every which way the beginning of the book!

Carson Jane Agree with you 80%

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