Alexa's Reviews > Insurgent

Insurgent by Veronica Roth
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's review
Oct 08, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: ya, dystopia, series, series-completed

Um. Hm.

This wasn't as good as I was hoping for, and its a little hard to put my finger on why. I was just not nearly as into it as I was with Divergent.

As promised, the setting was fleshed out a lot more and we learned about what it means to be Divergent down to a technical level. However, instead of making the world-building feel more solid it actually kind of did the opposite. I found myself getting really frustrated with the societal structure, particularly as they were going to war. It seemed really strange that the faction of the brave that should be breeding soldiers had no idea how to actually fight a war. Sparta this is not.

Which kind of built a problem with Tris and where she fit in the world. See, the way I see it, Tris is a soldier. She's willing to do what it takes to get the job done. The whole self-sacrifice thing didn't really seem that weird to me, I don't know, maybe its because I'm secretly in love with Dean Winchester and that kind of character is fascinating to me, but I really could not figure what everyone's problem was. And by everyone I mean Tobias (So if Tris is Dean, does that make Tobias Sam? Because that kind of makes me giggle). Because apparently wanting to actually get shit done is not conducive to being in a relationship.

I liked the characterization most of the time, and other times it kind of made me twitch. Tris had me from the beginning, she will always have me I don't care what anyone says, even though her PTSD gave me pause. Not really Roth's fault to be honest, I'm just still reeling from the disaster that was Mockingjay and wasn't really up for another heroine rendered useless. She wasn't useless though, just impatient with herself and weighed down with guilt. She doesn't totally get over it, but she gets passed it (literally, actually). Tobias felt much less like a sipher for teenage girls to project their desires on and more like a real person. However, this had the unintended effect of making me wonder what the hell he and Tris were doing together. Which is unfortunate because there was a lot of kissing and canoodling in this book, not to mention that all the side characters seemed intent on pairing off and then getting killed off or betraying someone and I know they're teenagers and everything but can we...can we just not? I didn't pick this up so I could read a dystopian version of The OC (aaaaand I just made it totally obvious how old I am). And everyone was so snarky and clever, there was a definite Grey's Anatomy vibe that happened every once in a while and it was weird. (view spoiler)

My favorite moments were the ones that got really involved in the factions. Amity's peaceful garden atmosphere, and their murmurs of debate as they make decisions. The interrogation scene at Candor was excellent and rather moving. Caleb did fun stuff, Johanna was a really cool character (view spoiler). Peter was kind of lame though. I'm a bit done with this "I don't want to owe anyone anything" trope, its very shounen.

The ending, the last hundred to fifty pages or so, that was good stuff. It had tension, action, people starting behaving in a way that actually made sense and there was that great frustration that you get when the main character is so close yet so far. The big reveal at the end was cool. Not huge, it was actually pretty vague. (view spoiler) But overall, the plotting was slightly more sophisticated than Divergent, and Tris was smarter. There were good things. I guess I just wish the whole thing was a lot tighter. And with less kissing.

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Reading Progress

October 8, 2011 – Shelved
December 15, 2011 – Shelved as: ya
July 14, 2012 – Started Reading
July 14, 2012 –
page 116
22.1% "I'm thinking it's a bad sign when the prose style reminds of the grammatically ridiculous engineer speak I have to proofread at my 9 to 5"
July 14, 2012 –
page 144
27.43% ""Thank you for your honesty." Can you be grateful for honesty if it's always expected? Curious. Nonetheless, it's a moving gesture and well done scene. Roth has a flair for ceremony."
July 15, 2012 –
page 211
40.19% ""But If you want to be just like them, hurling yourself into ridiculous situations for no reason and retaliating against your enemies without any regard for what's ethical, go right ahead. I thought you were better than that, but maybe I was wrong." Maybe I've been watching too much Supernatural, but this seems like an odd thing to say."
July 16, 2012 –
page 299
56.95% ""We live in a dangerous world, and I am not so attached to life that I will do anything to survive." It's frustrating that everyone, including Tobias, thinks Tris has gone batshit when she's the only one thinking with this kind of clarity."
July 17, 2012 –
page 369
70.29% "Caleb, your recent developments are making that Peter/Caleb fic I wrote much more viable, though its sadly now OOC. I guess that just means I'll have to write more ;)"
July 18, 2012 –
page 475
90.48% "Maybe if Christina and Uriah paired off their respective kisses of death will cancel eachother out? Either that they'll go out together in an extravagant, explosive fashion."
July 19, 2012 – Shelved as: dystopia
July 19, 2012 – Finished Reading
January 30, 2013 – Shelved as: series
January 16, 2014 – Shelved as: series-completed

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