Thursday, July 11, 2013

REVIEW: "Insurgent" by Veronica Roth

Insurgent (Divergent, #2)
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
For Ages 13+
Young Adult -- Dystopian
Harper Collins -- May 1, 2012
Hardcover, 525 pages
Purchased from Amazon

Tortured Hero, Tormented Heroine, War

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.

I wake with his name in my mouth.

Warning!  This review will contain spoilers for the first installment in the series, Divergent.

Veronica Roth's debut, Divergent, was one of my favorite reads of 2011.  So I was really anticipating reading its sequel, but then life got in the way and I did not get to read it until last week on vacation.  But, I am really glad that I waited because now I only have a few months of anticipation before the conclusion is published in October.

Insurgent takes place almost immediately after the conclusion of its prequel and just throws the readers back into Tris's complicated world.  The head of Erudite (knowledge) tried to use a special serum in order to control the members of Tris's adopted faction, Dauntless (bravery), and make them attack Abnegation (selflessness).  While Tris, Four, and others were able to stop the massacre, they were not able to save the majority of Abnegation including Tris's mother and father. Now, this group of rogue Dauntless are on the run and trying to figure out their next move against Erudite.

Like Divergent, this book is full of action and suspense from the very beginning.  Tris and Four are in a very dangerous position which is evident throughout the story.  The author does a fabulous job of creating a tone of danger in even the most mundane of scenes.  The first book had moments of humor to balance out the darker aspects, but this element is few and far between in Insurgent.  I really appreciated the way that Veronica Roth developed the storyline of this book and kept the twists and turns coming almost the entire time.

Another thing that I enjoy about this series is the character development especially with Tris and Four.  The evolution of Tris's personality really stands out among other YA heroines.  She is not always the most sympathetic or likable character, but I think that's what makes her realistic.  The troubles she is forced to endure would effect almost anybody especially with the death of her parents and the fact that she killed a friend while he was under control of the serum.  Readers get to see Tris go through a variety of emotions in this book and I am excited to see where her character goes next.

In Divergent, I fell in love with Four, the Dauntless prodigy who trained and fell for Tris.  At the end of the book, readers get to know a bit more about Four's mysterious past which really sets things up for this installment.  This book allows even more of his secrets to be revealed and readers get to see his reaction to seeing his father again.  But, I did not think his character went through the type of evolution that Tris's did which makes sense she is the protagonist.  He is still a very central part of the overall series though I wish we could have spent a bit more time with him.

The world that Veronica Roth has built continues to become more complex and impressive.  The factions are having to take a hard look at themselves in order to either protect the status quo from rebels or figuring out how to prevent a tragedy such as the one with Abnegation.  Like I mentioned before, the plot of this book is complicated and shows how detailed this version of Chicago is.  There will not be a simple fix for these people especially with the big reveal at the end which changes almost everything we thought we knew about this world.

Overall, I thought this was a strong sequel that did a decent job acting as a middle book.  I did lower the rating a bit because I found myself a little confused at the beginning with the way the book just jumps back into the story without background.  So I would recommend that potential readers do a quick re-read of Divergent in order to really appreciate what is going on at the beginning.  A very entertaining read that has me anxious for the release of the trilogy's conclusion,  Allegiant.

4 STARS -- Really enjoyable book that is just this close to being wonderful.  May or may not re-read.

It reminds me why I chose Dauntless in the first place: not because they are perfect, but because they are alive. Because they are free.

1. Divergent
2. Insurgent
3. Allegiant (Coming October 2013)


  1. Great to hear that Insurgent lives up to the awesomeness of Divergent! I have it sitting on my bookshelf (I have a lot of unread books on it, lol) and I hope to read it next month. So excited! Thanks for the review.

  2. LOVE the Divergent series! I actually think I liked Insurgent as much if not more than Divergent, which is surprising for a sequel. Not for sure though. Glad to hear you liked it! :)


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