April 12, 2013

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Sometimes I feel like I am collecting the lessons each faction has to teach me, and storing them in my mind like a guidebook for moving through the world. There is always something to learn, always something that is important to understand.
-from Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Please note, this review does contain spoilers of Divergent, the first book in this series. If you haven't read Divergent, I recommend you read that before you read this review! :)
The second installment in Veronica Roth's Divergent series, Insurgent picks up right where the first book left off. In dystopian Chicago, after stopping a simulated attack by the Erudite faction, Katniss-esque heroine, Tris, along with her surviving mixed faction pack of friends and family, must find a way to stop Jeanine, the evil leader of the Erudite, in order to protect their world from further destruction. Throughout her journey to resolve the conflict of warring factions, Tris must deal with her grief and guilt, learn who she can and cannot trust, balance a new relationship and decide if discovering and understanding the truth behind the attacks are more important than stopping them.
I really appreciated that this sequel began in the same breath Divergent left off; this left nothing for me to imagine between books. There is a lot of action in this novel so there is little time for the reader to be bored or uninterested. However, with this action comes a lot of moving all over the place and a lot of emotional back-and-forth. I took away one star because of the choppiness I experienced as Tris & Co. zoom from faction to faction and I tried to keep straight who was good, who was bad, who had what abilities and how Tris felt about everyone (not that her feelings are ever kept secret from the reader). All that said, I truly did enjoy this book! Many readers probably would not find anything wrong with this, perhaps I just like some predictability of where a book is headed.
One realization I had that helped me better appreciate the chaos of this book was zeroing in on a theme; while Divergent is a book that examines Tris' understanding of herself, Insurgent enlightens Tris to understanding her world and how she fits into it. Both realizations are not as black and white as Tris is raised to see the world. People are not one-sided so as to fit into one faction, and Insurgent illustrates Tris' journey understanding and relating to all of the factions to which these people belong, good, bad and everything in between. I find that reading with the perspective of this theme made all of the moving around more forgivable.
One of my favorite parts of this series has been the glints of religious (leaning toward Christian) commentary found in little spots. I majored in English and Religious Studies in college with a focus on Religion in Literature to join both majors, so any time I find what looks like an author's commentary on any Abrahamic religion, I become quite delighted! When Tris described the Erudite as making "no judgments about what people believed, but designed things for them within the confines of those beliefs" I became especially interested in the factions as shades of belief relating to each other. If I was still in college I might want to develop a paper on this, so if you're in college and/or interested in such explications in fiction about religion, you should definitely read this series!
Bottom Line: If you read Divergent, I probably don't even have to tell you to read this because you probably already have! If you haven't read either, start at the beginning as quickly as possible! Or do what I wish I would have done and wait until October to start so the release of the third book doesn't feel SO FAR AWAY!! 4/5 Stars (okay, 4.5 out of 5...)
Are you a big fan of the Divergent series? What are you doing to remain patient as you wait for the third book to come out? What are your thoughts on the movie casting?


1 comment:

  1. I'm not a fan of this book but i think this one is ok. i've read both Divergent and Insurgent. is there the 3rd book coming up?? i didn't know about that.lately i'm really into crime fiction novels. last months i read 6 books. all bourne's series and this month a read 2 of David Baldacci's books. they all are page-turner.


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