Release Date: May 1, 2012
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. (courtesy of Goodreads.)
A fortunate consequence of my reluctance to read Divergent was that Insurgent was already out by the time I picked up Divergent. I tore through Divergent in two days and was able to read Insurgent immediately. I almost wish I'd waited until Allegiant is released in October 2013.
Insurgent is just as much of a page turner as Divergent, although in a different way. It is chock full of action and heart-stopping romance. I was pleased that it does not fall into most of the second book stereotypes.
The bright lines of the factioned world we first learned about in Divergent started to blur by the end of the book. In Insurgent, gray is the predominant color. Nothing and no-one are pure good or bad. We see the insides of each of the factions in Insurgent. I love getting the details about each faction's lifestyle. None of the factions - even peace-loving Amity - are as simple as they seem.
We see the evidence of Tris's Divergent status in Insurgent. During most of Divergent, Tris predominantly acted as a Dauntless, since that was the faction she was trying to join. When she interacts with other factions, we see how she is both similar and different to almost all of the groups. We also see how she handles the trauma of the events in Divergent in both good ways and bad ways. I liked getting to know Tris better and she felt like a more three dimensional character in Insurgent.
Stereotypically, the love interest disappears in a second book. I was very happy that Tris and Tobias were physically together throughout Insurgent. You could argue, though, that Insurgent still falls into the stereotype, because circumstances caused the characters' interests to diverge. There were a lot of secrets.
Insurgent has even more action than Divergent. The plot leaps ahead a thousand miles with each new battle. It never feels like the characters are fighting merely to hold the reader's attention.The book has a complexity that few YA dystopian novels achieve. It reminded me a little of the third book in the Hunger Games series where the bad people don't seem quite as bad and the good people aren't quite as good - things change once you understand people's motivations.
Arguably, Insurgent is a better book than Divergent. There is more action, more character development, a more advanced plot. But I just wasn't feeling it. Don't get me wrong...I really liked it. But that indefinable *love* wasn't there. It's hard to put my criticism into words, although one thing I can definitely say is that the ending confused me. I recognized that it was a big cliffhanger, but I didn't quite get it. Guess I'll just have to read the next one. I suppose overall, it didn't have the magic of discovery or the wonders of new love that Divergent had. Regardless, I will be gobbling up Allegiant as soon as it is released.
Rating: 4 / 5
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