Well hello there! Welcome back!
Today, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on Veronica Roth’s Insurgent, the sequel to the awesome Divergent (you can read my review here). I read Divergent this past fall and have been anxiously awaiting the sequel ever since (like pretty much everyone else!). It was one of my most anticipated books of 2012 for sure!
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.
Let me say, that sequels can, unfortunately, sometimes be disappointing. However, its rare that I’m completely turned off by the series because of a lack luster sequel. If I love the story and characters enough I’ll usually stick around until the end of the series. Long story short, I was hoping for the best and was not disappointed.
One of the things I loved about Divergent was that the story was so fast paced and exciting the whole way through I didn’t want to put it down. It was the same thing with Insurgent- it’s so action packed with…action!! From the get-go, the story is moving and it doesn’t slow down at all. Actually, Roth does almost no re-capping of the story, and this book runs from the start so quickly that I thought I had missed something. If you need a refresher on the main plot points in the first book before jumping into the second, check out Roth’s recap here.
Speaking of traveling to the other faction headquarters, I really loved how Roth expands Tris’ world and lets us see more and learn more about each faction. I enjoyed the descriptions of each faction headquarters because you could really see the values of each group displayed in their day-to-day life and culture. For example I love the way in which the Amity faction embraces nature and its’ beauty, and how that is emphasized in their use of natural wood in their architecture, whereas the academic Erudite’s headquarters is known for its sterile design. I think getting to learn more about the different factions, was one of my favorite parts about Insurgent.
What about Tris? Well, I actually felt mild annoyance toward her at times, although I love her dearly as one of my favorite YA heroines. Maybe that was intended, but I couldn’t help but be frustrated by her sometimes irrational behavior and that fact that she wouldn’t share her thoughts and feelings with Four. In Tris’ defense the immense guilt she feels for actions she took at the end of the first book, so this does explain her irrational behavior and her hesitance to talk to Four. Throughout the entirety of the story, Tris is struggling to accept the consequences of her actions and to move beyond the guilt and pain. Because of Tris’ actions and behavior, though, there is some tension between Tris and Four, especially towards the end (which I won’t spoil, don’t worry!).
I listened to the Insurgent audiobook, thanks to the wonderful people at Harper Audio (Harper Collins THANK YOU!) and I really, really enjoyed it. The narrator, Emma Galvin who also read Divergent, did a fabulous job again. She is consistent with voices from start to finish, which is super important to me! This audiobook counts toward my 2012 YA Audiobook Challenge. I think that makes number thirteen. Which actually means I’ll be aiming for the challenge’s Head Bang’n level in which I have to listen to 36+ audiobooks, and review at least 24 of them. I got this.
Overall, dystopian fans and those who loved the first book will find Insurgent a riveting sequel. Like Divergent, Insurgent is intended for the older teen readers. Also, there is some violence, so if you’re squeamish, this series might not be your cup of tea. But you should really give it a try because I think you’ll be impressed with Roth’s creativity and this series’ (and it’s heroine’s) awesomeness!