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INSURGENT by Veronica Roth

Published May 1, 2012 by HarperTeen

Pages: 525

Series: Divergent, #2

Genre: Dystopian

You can read my review of the first book, Divergent, here!

Blurb: 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.

Favorite quote: “People, I have discovered, are layers and layers of secrets. You believe you know them, that you understand them, but their motives are always hidden from you, buried in their own hearts. You will never know them, but sometimes you decide to trust them.”

Insurgent is one of those books that got so much hype that it couldn’t possibly live up to expectations.

That being said, it’s still an amazing book.

It picks up right where Divergent left off, so you’d better review the first book first. Tris arrives at the Amity compound, where she and the others regroup and plan their next move.

We see more of Amity and Candor, of their headquarters and their personalities. Johanna, the representative of Amity, is a character I’d love to meet in person. Jack, the leader of Candor, I’d like to run over with a train. You’ll understand why once you read the book. (Though if I’m ready to run him over with a train, maybe I should rethink Amity as my chosen faction, hmm?)

There’s a good amount of character growth. Tris was this kickass awesomeness in Divergent, but she’s been so traumatized that she’s got to relearn how to be strong. We see this in the fact that she can’t pick up a gun without thinking of Will. The memory haunts her everyday thoughts. Every word on the page contributes to the overall feeling of shock…pain…trauma…guilt. But the book doesn’t turn into a totally gloom-and-doom, either, which is something I really appreciated.

What about the love story? Four is still quite into Tris and she’s still quite into him. There’s no stupid love triangle. YAY!

One of the best things about this series is the way society is set up and the subtle messages about humanity. Abnegation is all about being selfless and giving to others- so they were the ones in government (supposedly the only ones selfless enough to govern properly). Amity focuses on kindness and happiness – so they produce the food and sing and play banjos. Erudite is about being smart, so they make all the technology that the society needs. Candor is about honesty…and I’m not sure what they actually contribute. Dauntless is about having a death wish bravery, so they’re the security force. Divergent people have aptitude for more than one faction. So supposedly Tris is brave, smart, and selfless. What would a Divergent person to do this society that’s so focused on categorizing people?

When you’ve finished reading, think about that. This is the power of Roth’s writing. You’re either going to love this book or hate it. You’re going to be frustrated at Tris. You’re going to scratch your head and you’re going to want to just shake some freaking sense into her. You’re going to gasp at The Big Betrayal. You’re going to want to throw the damn book across the room.

But I still love this book, and I’ll recommend it to any dystopian fan.

Oh, yeah, a word of warning: the ending will blow your mind.

Rating: 5 stars

Other reviews of Insurgent by Veronica Roth:

Cuddlebuggery has a very different opinion.

Barb has a good review at The Reading Cafe.

Reading Under the Willow Tree has provided a well-written review.