Review: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

insurgentReviewed by Jen

I’ll say this for the Divergent series: no one can call it predictable.  While we spent the first book becoming firmly ensconced in this other world of factions and their dogma, this second installment serves as the transition into its annihilation.  All this, through the eyes of main character Tris.  And just as we saw the sects begin to deconstruct, so too, in many ways, did our heroine.

The story begins in the immediate aftermath of the devastating simulation forced on the Dauntless.  Tris is struggling with what she had to do to survive it.  She is mourning the deaths of her parents.  And she is working with Tobias and Caleb to find safety and answers among members of another faction.  It seems like the actions of the Erudite would meet with obvious and immediate condemnation from the other factions, but it’s not so simple.  So Tris and her small band of comrades are constantly in search of dependable allies and a way to stop the Erudite plan to subjugate the other sects.

Tris must endure one assault after another, both physically and emotionally. She’s unraveling, and it’s affecting her relationship with Tobias.  It gets harder and harder for her to know what is right and what loyalty means.  She must face betrayal and horrible choices.  And so much loss.

Not all fans of Divergent will love its sequel.  While the characters carry through, the differences from book to book are stark.  This is no longer a story about Tris’s evolution from a child to an adult; no longer about her figuring out who she is and coming into her own amidst life and death circumstance.  Instead, it’s a story heavily weighted in political machinations and The Bigger Picture.  It’s not uplifting or triumphant.  It’s… difficult.

All this is not to say that I thought it was a bad book. I didn’t.  What I am saying is that it’s not Divergent– Part 2.  It’s a broader story and it’s clearly leading up to something that’s unlikely to bear virtually any resemblance to where we started.

I think the story does a good job at reminding us how young Tris is.  She is a 16 year-old who is experiencing a breakdown in the very foundations of her life.  She is losing almost everyone who has ever mattered to her.  And she is in love for the first time, with a young man fighting almost as many demons as she is.  It’s easy to forget Tobias is barely older than Tris.  So they both make mistakes prompted by their immaturity and inexperience, even if their hearts are in the right place.  It was frustrating at time, but I understood it.

It all ends with a pretty substantial cliffhanger.  I am anxious about where the last book will take us, but there is no way I won’t be reading to find out.

Click to purchase: Amazon

by Veronica Roth
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Harper Collins


  1. For those of us who’ve read “Insurgent” that might not come as too much of a shocker
    because. Fans who have followed Triis through the first two books of the Divergent series will no doubt see
    her story throughh to the end. Great sweaters and scarves in popular movies
    should add fuel to the knitting fire.

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