Monday, May 7, 2012

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Title:  Insurgent
Author:  Veronica Roth
Series:  2nd book in the Divergent series
Publisher:  HarperTeen
Publication Date:  May 1, 2012
Source:  purchased

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.
New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.

Insurgent was probably one of THE most highly anticipated novels of 2012, especially for me. I list its precursor among my top five reads of 2011, and I read 130 books last year, so that’s saying a lot. However, I have noticed that my taste has changed a bit over the course of a year, and I don’t find myself immediately loving every book I pick up. That’s either due to the fact that I’m reading everything as if I’m going to write a full review of it and therefore deconstructing the story as I read, or it’s due to the fact that I’m relying more on recommendations from Goodreads friends and blogger buddies. And let me tell you, we do not always agree. I’m afraid we won’t agree whole-heartedly on Insurgent either.

Divergent grabbed me from the very first chapter, and I stayed up through the wee hours of the night to finish reading it. Insurgent was released on my birthday this year, and so my bestest blogging buddy Michele over at A Belle’s Tales suggested we stay up and do an all-night read-a-thon since Divergent was what brought us together in the first place. (Okay, it was really our love of Four, but don’t tell our husbands!) With Insurgent, I never really felt like I was fully back in that factioned world. The pull from the story wasn’t nearly as strong as it was with Divergent. Whereas I was Tris in Divergent, I felt like an outsider in Insurgent, watching from the sidelines as Tris made one poor decision after another.

I loved Insurgent. I did. It’s full of non-stop action. And Tris. And FOUR. I just felt disconnected from the story in a way that I didn’t with Divergent, and even though I’d been waiting a year for this sequel, it still felt like I was waiting…or rather like something was missing. If I had to put my finger on just why that is, my best guess is that it’s because the characters themselves did not feel connected. In the first book, there was a sense of camaraderie as the initiates trained together and even when they competed against one another. They were united in a common goal, at least. In this second installment, though, there is no one left. Not really.

Still, that missing piece, that loss, really set the tone of the novel, and even though I felt apart from it, the novel’s underlying theme paralleled my own feelings about the story. Be prepared. There is no light-heartedness or carefree and fun attitude in this book like there was at times in Divergent. Instead, the book serves as more of a cautionary tale revolving around loss and picking up the pieces and of human nature in general.

Another thing that bothered me? The dialogue. It seemed quite a bit immature and inappropriate at times considering the dire circumstances and dangerous situations the characters found themselves in. Or maybe Tris and Four just seemed more mature in Divergent? I love sarcasm and snark as much as the next girl, but it is not a good color on Four. You be the judge:

“Got that gun?” Peter says to Tobias.
“No,” says Tobias, “I figured I would shoot bullets out of my nostrils, so I left it upstairs.”
Regardless, I still want to say a big thank you to Veronica Roth for not giving me a chapter or two simply summarizing the events of Divergent. And thank you for throwing me right back onto that train and continuing the story from there. (Note: If you do need a refresher, though, the author has put together just such a post, but beware that it will be spoilery if you haven’t read the first book yet.)

In summation: Do I think Insurgent was better than the first book? No. Did Insurgent at least live up to my expectations? Almost…probably. Could there have been more Four? Definitely. (BTW, did you read the Free Four short from his POV? Yummy.) Am I still excited for book three? YES, especially after that ending!

Rating:  Photobucket

Book-A-Likes:  Legend by Marie Lu, the Matched series by Ally Condie

1 comment:

  1. Ok blogger is finally going to let me leave a comment, I hope. I am writing y review this morning and I felt the same as you. I liked it but I wasn't as riveted. I really hated seeing the indecision with Tris and the trouble with their relationship and finally that she kept changing back and forth to Tobias and then Four. It was strong but not quite as exciting. Still, looking forward to book 3!


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