Thursday, December 26, 2013

Review: Insurgent by Veronica Roth


Title: Insurgent
Series: Divergent Series 
Book #: Two    
Author: Veronica Roth 
Release Date: May 1, 2012 
Publisher: HarperCollins 
Source: Bought 


My Rating: fullfullhalfBlankBlank

One choice can transform you, or destroy you.

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. (taken from goodreads.com)
I read Divergent a few years ago and never really got into it. While I thought it was an entertaining story, I pretty much forgot to follow up on Tris and her friends in the sequel. Then, after realizing how popular this series had become, I decided it was worth a second shot. I reread Divergent in preparation and then finally tackled Insurgent, which had been sitting on my shelf for months. 

What I Disliked: 

1. Can I just start by talking about Tris? I have very mixed feelings about her character. In Divergent, Tris comes across as a well-developed and deep character. She constantly struggles between acting fearlessly and acting selflessly. However, she becomes more reckless and hardened in Insurgent. Yeah, I get that she's witnessed some disturbing things and has been forced to mature quickly, but I just couldn't help but feel that she lost a part of her character. Her once quiet, observing personality has become exaggeratedly outspoken and rash. It felt forced, and I missed our old, more mature heroine. 

2. The plot moved a little too slowly for me. After the attack on Abnegation, the Dauntless basically just wait around for the Erudite to make a move. Sure, there are other things going on, but I wanted more from the story. Maybe I was just too busy being annoyed with Tris to enjoy the plot development. 

3. The relationship between Tris and Four has changed dramatically. I missed their once passionate romance. Instead, Four is constantly annoyed with Tris' reckless behavior (I can't blame him) and Tris is too busy with her own problems to dote on her boyfriend. 

4. To be honest, I still don't understand the world of the factions. How can a person just be one thing? Humans are much, much too complex to be filed away into a group of people defined by ONE trait. I mean it makes sense that a trait can be stronger in one person than it is in another, but people in Tris' world find it strange when a person is both brave and honest or selfless and intelligent. That doesn't make much sense to me. 

What I Liked: 

1. I cannot help but be intrigued by the fearless world of the Dauntless. Even if I don't understand the concept of factions, I admire what the Dauntless encourage. From their black outfits and striking tattoos to their harsh lifestyle, the faction instantly gained my attention. Even when I was annoyed with certain characters *ahem Tris*, the idea of being in a group of fearless and intimidating people kept my interest from straying too far. 

2. We get to know the minor characters pretty well. I enjoyed finding out more about old characters like Christina, as well as new ones. 

3. The Factionless involvement in the plot was interesting. I only wish I'd gotten to see more of their world. Maybe Allegiant (Divergent #3) will provide some more insight into their lifestyle. 

Overall, I enjoyed a few aspects of Insurgent, but I really struggled to get through it. There were several times I considered just abandoning the series all together. I haven't decided if I will get around to picking up Allegiant yet... Maybe someday. What did you guys think of Insurgent? I'm pretty sure most of Roth's fans enjoyed this sequel, so I might be alone in my disappointment.