Insurgent (Divergent, #2) by Veronica Roth
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on May 1, 2012
Genres: young adult science fiction, dystopian, post-apocalyptic, romance
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Disclaimer: I wrote this review a loooong time ago, so know that my reviews have definitely become more thorough and more mature. Sorry in advance. (Also I’m challenging myself to use every picture in this review from Frasier. Because I can, and I love that show to bits.)
Let’s start with the positives:
- I loved the way Four and Tris interacted with each other. Personally, I think they are very well matched, even if their relationship in this book was pumped with more angst (but I’m in the minority when I say I didn’t think it was an overload of angst). Their relationship remains one of my favorite aspects of this series, because, while it’s so intense, it’s also very real, and it really resonates with me. Fourtris will always be one of my OTPs.
- Speaking of which, I enjoyed how Roth focused more on the toll this “war” is taking on Tris’s relationships. This book offers a more introspective outlook on war, trauma, and loss, and what it can do to people, and Roth depicts Tris’s grief very well here, in my opinion. Though processing grief and trauma is something humans do all the time, this process is rarely seen in YA fantasy/sci-fi/futuristic literature (at least, out of what I’ve read), and it’s very refreshing to see a character face such hard circumstances and struggle to cope with the aftermath of those circumstances. It’s very human, and I liked seeing the emotionality of it all, the raw vulnerability. (There are a lot of emotions in this book [a lot], so, if that’s something you find annoying in your YA dystopians, tread lightly here.) Seeing Tris struggle with her guilt and her loss and her sense of duty really impacted my view of her as a character, giving her scars and forcing her to try and heal from them. In my mind, the flaws shown here made her a lot more human, and that was cool to see.
- I like how we see Four and Tris are try to find healing in each other here. It seems very realistic to me, and not too extreme. I find it nice that they are able to rely on each other without becoming codependent.
(PLEASE, NO. THE HALO MEMORIES ARE COMING BACK, AND THEY’RE NOT PRETTY.)
- Roth can write. I mean it. Her books have this addicting quality that makes you stay up until one or two in the morning just to finish them. You just get so caught up in the story, and it just…it just makes you…
On to the mehs:
- Once again, I’m disconnected from the characters. It’s frustrating, too, because Tris isn’t my favorite, and yet I’m stuck in her head throughout the whole book. (This is just a matter of personal opinion, though. Tris’s character has bothered me since Divergent, but there’s a [probable] chance you’ll like her more than I did.) She has her melodramatic moments, but most of them are related to processing the loss of her family and some of her friends, so I’ll give her a pass. And, while her grief made her a more tangible character, I still didn’t connect with her as much as I wanted to (and, believe me, I really wanted to). I felt she was more of a lens and a mouthpiece than a person.
- Okay, okay, I’ll admit it: the only character I didn’t have issues with was Four/Tobias. I loved seeing him confronting his past and growing more as a character. He’s so interesting and so vivid, and I love reading about him. (Not ashamed to admit it. But I will admit that I was so used to him being called “Four” that, when Tris started referring to him as “Tobias,” I had trouble picturing him. That really frustrated me.)
- There were SO. MANY. NEW. CHARACTERS. And that’s not always a problem, if you know how to manage them appropriately. (I swear, there were, like, 15 side characters. Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I think that’s a pretty correct estimation.) Unfortunately, there were so many side characters that I became confused; more than once, I mistook Shauna for Marlene or Lynn, or Lynn for Christina. And it was frustrating, since it meant I had to reread whole scenes over again just because I didn’t understand them.
- Though there was a plot, things seemed slow during the middle of the book. We get a lot of character development, and things are happening, but the general pace of the book slowed down to the point where it felt like the plot was almost meandering. This book could definitely have gotten where it was going a little faster.
- Also, that major plot twist on the last two (or so) pages?
I called it about forty percent into the book. Yeah, that’s not good, since I usually don’t make predictions, and, if I do, they aren’t right most of the time.
But, despite these things, I still really enjoyed Insurgent overall (as I’ve said in previous reviews, a total guilty-pleasure read). It has action and punch and pain, after that bang of an ending, I’m looking forward to seeing where Allegiant takes us next.