Sarah (saz101)'s Reviews > Insurgent

Insurgent by Veronica Roth
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's review
Dec 16, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012-releases, dystopia, young-adult

4.5 stars
Easily the most hotly anticipated sequel—perhaps release, period—of 2012, Insurgent is, and will be, many different things to many readers. As action packed as its thrilling predecessor, Insurgent doesn’t settle for simply living up to Divergent. It ups the ante, ups the tension, increases the peril, the dangers and the odds. Ladies and gentlemen, don’t get settled. Be Dauntless: you’re in for one hell of a ride.

The Story:
Picking up immediately where Divergent left off, we join Tris, Four, Caleb, Marcus and Peter as they flee the Erudite attack on Abnegation, and the horrors that followed. As they head to the safety of the Amity compound, their world is now at war. With faction fighting faction, no-one is safe, and no-one can be trusted. More than just lives are at stake, and loyalties, truths, and even love will be tested as Tris fights… who? Erudite? The system? Not even she seems entirely sure who the enemy is. Something is very, very wrong with her world, and as shocking secrets reveal themselves, Tris and Four’s relationship is put to the test, along with all those with everyone they care for. This is Insurgent. And you are about to learn the truth.

In Divergent, Tris Prior established herself one of the most remarkable heroines in young adult literature. Brave, intelligent, and selfless, she has earned her place amongst the likes of Rose Hathaway and Katniss Everdeen, but like Rose and Katniss, she is imperfect, and not always likable.

Drowning in guilt and sorrow, bravery blurs with recklessness as Tris struggles with the aftermath of Divergent, of her actions and her losses. It’s difficult watching her struggle with the oppressive weight of responsibility thrust on her shoulders, but it’s a weight she largely takes upon herself. The crushing burden of the fate of her entire civilization, hanging on by a tenuous thread. There's a sense, at times, of hopelessness, and of real and ever present danger in Insurgent. In Divergent, at least until a certain point, the danger felt personal to Tris. Here it’s larger, broader, there’s far more at stake, and it’s bigger than just one person’s future.

Four, or should we say ‘Tobias’, previously bastion of wisdom, voice of reason, cracks a little in Insurgent. As a certain shocking secret about Four’s past comes to light, this, coupled with Tris’ recklessness, serves to drive a wedge between the couple, and the calm, 'don't mess with me' facade he previously wore slips. We see a fragile, brittle side of him. In Divergent, it was easy to forget Four was human, despite his vulnerabilities. There's an air of authority to him, the feeling that he can handle any situation. But Four is fallible, and we're reminded in Insurgent that not only is Four barely an adult; he's a broken, hurting one at that.

Secrets & Pain & The Science of Sexy:
It is the weight of the secrets and pain Tris and Tobias keep from each other from which Insurgent draws a great deal of its tension, and may also frustrate some readers.  But the chemistry between Four and Tris is as present as ever, and when the two are together—and not fighting—it crackles with electricity and smoulders with heat. It’s easy to forget, in the longing for romance, that real relationships have real struggles, and at a time in a new relationship when Tris and Four should be getting to know and trust each other fully they’re instead trying to, well, save the world. It's an immense burden on the couple, and fractures form.

Honesty—The Best Policy?
Where in Divergent we grew to know Abnegation, then Dauntless factions, Insurgent introduces Candor for the first time, and then the factionless. Thematically, our introduction to Candor comes at the right time. Insurgent is an uncovering of secrets, the discovery of lies. It has a pervasive feeling of discomfit, the kind felt when facing uncomfortable truths. And Insurgent abounds with uncomfortable, devastating truths.

While Divergent examined human nature, and the sequel indeed continues to do so, Insurgent looks at truth and trust. Once again we're drawn into a world defined by absolutes, but coloured by shades of grey, and the truth is a very grey thing indeed. Some secrets are hidden for a reason. Some for greed; others power, if it is not, in fact, the same thing. But what Insurgent shows is that they never come free. That for the revelation of essential truths, for knowledge—and perhaps the Erudite have yet to learn this—there is a cost. The question is what its seekers will pay. And people pay very, very dearly in Insurgent.

The Verdict:
In this astounding sequel, Roth shows once again why she caused such waves with Divergent. Nothing is sacred and nothing is sure. The world she has crafted is shifting, evolving along with the minds of its divergent populace, reaching an indelible fulcrum. If Divergent was a game changer for its genre, and market, presenting a level of world building and characterization readers long for and for which writers strive, Insurgent is a game changer unto itself. This is a book from which there is no coming back.

A book to appeal to the divergence in all of us, Insurgent is leading up to one hell of an explosive conclusion. Thrilling action, impossible stakes, deepening intrigue and, of course, smouldering romance, Insurgent is as gripping and utterly addictive as its epic predecessor.
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Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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Sonia AAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!! I am DYING to read your review already :D

Sarah (saz101) I AM DYING TO HAVE THE TIME TO FINISH THE BOOK ALREADY! UGH! It kills me, but I'm half way through, and I don't think I'm going to have reading time again till week end :'(

I am REALLY liking it. It is GOOOOOOD.

Sonia !!!!!!

I remember reading Divergent and sleep just went out the window. YOU CAN DO IT, SARAH.

Sarah (saz101) I knooooow! But then I have to be nice and spend time with my poor husband, and work, toooo! *sobs*

Sarah (saz101) SO GOOD!!!!!!!! EEEEEEEEE!


Amber J. it's like your told us everything, but didn't really reveal anything - awesome review :)

Sarah (saz101) Hehehe! Thank you, Amber! Oh my goodness... that's a seriously enormous compliment! EE! THANK YOU! *hugs*

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