May 10, 2012

Book Review: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Insurgent by Veronica Roth
(Divergent, #2)
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Harper Teen; 525 pages

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.

Insurgent is the second book in the Divergent trilogy (Warning there will be spoilers for Divergent in this review). Now I never give books 5 stars. In fact the highest rating I've ever given a book was a 4.5, which ironically I gave to Divergent. Divergent was in my opinion the best book of 2011. And Insurgent may possibly be the best book of 2012.

Insurgent begins with Tris dealing with the events at the end of Divergent. In fact a major focus on the book is Tris coping with both of her parents sacrificing their lives for her, and her killing her friend Will to save her own life. As a reader you are introduced to a lot of Tris' struggles in Insurgent. Since these events, she is no longer able to hold a gun. She also struggles with a lot internally. I personally think these struggles made her human, and made her stronger. I've always thought that Tris was a good role model for teens, and a very strong lead for the series. It gives a positive message that yes, you can be strong and have weaknesses as well.

Tris's developing relationship with Four is something I was excited to read more of. A lot of female heroines get sucked into their relationships with their significant others, and lose a part of themselves. But I feel that Four does the opposite for her, he gives her a push in the right direction. And as much as Tris cares for Four, you see in Insurgent that Tris will always do what she believes is best for herself and those around her. I think that's what makes Tris and Four so perfect for one another. I admit I was a little worried that there would be a lot of lovey dovey scenes between Tris and Four. And yes I do like lovey dovey scenes, but for some reason I felt that too many would take away from the story. I feel like there was just enough. And Tris and Four are definitely in my top 3 of my favorite YA couples.

I hate to compare this to the Harry Potter books because they are 2 entirely different series, but one of the things that always bothered me about the Harry Potter series is that you never saw enough of the other houses in the books. The primary focus was always on Gryffindor. But in Insurgent you get to see the other factions. You get to see how they work, and the different traits and personalities. It gives the reader a chance to decide what faction they would be a part of if they lived in this world.

With the introduction of the other factions, there are a few new characters that are introduced in Insurgent. Plus lot of back story is included about existing characters that we previously have learned little about before. Lots of good character development as well. This actually took me for surprise. I wasn't expecting to learn more about some of the secondary characters introduced in Divergent. But I definitely think it was a wise choice by the author. Because when certain events occur in the book it makes it more emotional for the reader, because you know the characters.

And there are definitely some heartwrenching moments, but there is humor as well. There were definitely parts in Insurgent that made me giggle. I love the balance in story. There are parts that are really serious in one scene and in the next someone will tell a joke. It shows the talent of the author. The writing is definitely my favorite aspect of these books. I just think that they are written so well. I just become so absorbed in them that I can't put them down.

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