I was wary going in to this book. Even though I am not part of the YA community, the degree of backlash was impossible to miss. I heard the author even received death threats. While that is crazy, extreme, and never ok, after finishing the book I understand the disappointment. And a little bit of anger. After all, the first book was really good. Tris and Four were so compelling. I grew to care about them: about their fight, their happiness, their evolution. And all I am left with now, is a hollow feeling and the resounding question, why would any author do this to her fans?
I’m not going to spoil the ending. Just in case, like me, you have managed to avoid spoilers up until this point, I am not going to be the one to ruin it for you. I’ll let Veronica Roth do that for herself. I will say that I am not sorry I took the journey with these characters. I just wish this final installment had gone a different way.
It’s not like the ending was the only issue I had with the book, though. I was a little let down that Insurgent veered so far from the tone and core of Divergent. But here, we literally leave everything behind for an entirely new world altogether. Things get so out of hand in Chicago, our main characters leave and start all over again outside the walls. It’s a completely different society, but almost all the problems are the same. The same disparities, prejudice, rebellion and machinations, only with a slightly different spin to fit the new world. It felt too heavy handed and convenient that so much happening inside the city mirrored what was happening outside.
That wasn’t the worst thing, however. No. Other than the horrible ending, the worst part of this book was the destruction of Tobias. He is almost unrecognizable from the character we got to know in the first two books. Yes, he was flawed before, and he had some issues. But here, he is a hot mess. He has lost his quiet surety, his inner strength and compass. He is basically a whiny idiot for much of the book. This is made even more obvious because the book is told in alternating POVs between him and Tris. I thought that I would like that in the beginning, but I didn’t… primarily because Roth did not give these characters distinct enough voices. Even though each chapter was labeled with who was narrating, sometimes I would forget whose POV we were in. It just didn’t work. Now that the story is over, I understand why Roth did it, but that knowledge really doesn’t help.
It wasn’t all terrible. Tris has improved since the last book. She’s grown some –and I cared about what was happening with her. I cared about her stupid relationship with Tobias. And I can definitely say nothing about the book was predictable. So there’s that.
Bottom line, should you read it? Well, if you read Divergent and you liked it, you will no doubt have to read the rest of the series. The books in the trilogy are too intertwined not to. As in the Hunger Games trilogy, book 1 is great. Book 2 is ok, but has a major cliffhanger. And book 3 makes you want a stiff drink. Take that knowledge and do with it as you will. I can’t imagine how they’ll get away with this ending in the theaters. They’ll be throwing popcorn at the screen and demanding their money back.
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Veronica Roth
Release Date: October 22, 2013
Publisher: Harper Collins