Monday, June 9, 2014


by Veronica Roth
published: Katherine Tegen Books, 2012
pages: 525

Tris finds herself drowning in war and conspiracy that leaves her dealing with guilt, grief, loyalty, and forgivenss.  While Tobias and Tris must figure out who to trust, Tris also struggles with her divergence and what that truly means.  It's time to make choices that won't be easily undone and trusting her instincts might just be the reason Tris has something to lose.  She is determined to stop Jeanine, the head of Erudite, from causing even more damage.  However, she must wrestle with the idea that Jeanine might not be the worst of what's to come.

I want so badly to love this series because I loved the first book.  I loved the characters and the interesting concepts that were introduced.  I love the way the first book made me think and the way the characters were separated into groups based on how they thought.  All of that builds for a good book series, but sadly this book just made me mad.  Don't get me wrong there were definitely redeeming factors about it, but I felt like I spent 75% of my time and effort angry at Tris and Four.  It felt like most of the effort of this book went to developing their relationship rather than revealing important information about the world in which they live.

There were important and interesting facts that should have been introduced earlier in the book, that would have kept me engaged and interested.  I would have loved to hear more about this supposedly soldier-guarded black gates before the last 15 pages.  Mentioning them earlier in the series would have given me more reason to be intrigued by this world.  Instead, I found myself wondering about halfway through this book, what about the rest of the world.  Is Chicago the only place left, are they isolated for a reason?  I would have loved some indication that maybe Tris had thoughts like these too.  (I imagine she can think complexly about the world to wonder things like this at some point in her 16 years of existence.)

The pace of the book was excellent, so even though I was not pleased with how much information was being withheld, it didn't take away from the overall pace of the story.  In fact, the ending compelled me to dive into the next book.  If Veronica Roth were only good at one thing (she's not she's very good at several things), it would be cliff hangers.  She's hooked me enough to finish the series whether or not I think its imbalanced with actual conflict and romantic annoyances.  I will be reading in anticipation of what lies outside Tris' small world and what the big picture looks like.  Veronica Roth has a very interesting concept, I just hope the execution will match the potential.

3/5 Stars


"In this addictive sequel to the acclaimed Divergent, a bleak post-apocalyptic Chicago collapses into all-out civil war.  Another spectacular cliffhanger.  Anyone who read the first book was dying for this one months ago; they'll hardly be able to wait for the concluding volume."
     --Kirkus Reviews

"Insurgent explores several critical themes, including the importance of family and crippling power of grief at its loss.  A very good read."
     --School Library Journal

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