Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Insurgent: review

Title: Insurgent (Divergent #2)
Author: Veronica Roth
Genres: dystopian, action, adventure
Summary: I'm not going to include one. Sorry, but it's for your own good. :) Now read on!

(Warning, this review obviously contains many spoilers for Divergent. But really, if you haven't read that by now, you should. It's brilliant.)

Where to start, where to start...let's start at the beginning, a very good place to start.

Before I forget, backing up a little, here is the link to the recap of Divergent that Veronica Roth wrote, in order not to gunk up the beginning of Insurgent. THANK YOU SO MUCH VERONICA ROTH. That move alone made me even more sure that Insurgent would be just as good as the first. I had just reread Divergent a few days before she posted that, to get my own recap. But that's just because I have way too much time on my hands. I highly recommend you do one of those two options though, because from the first sentence onward, she just dives into the story headfirst and you need to remember who is who.

Insurgent starts only a few hours after Divergent ends, so it's incredibly easy to just pick up where you were left hanging, with Tris and co. on the train heading to Amity. And by the second line, I figured out what the tagline means! And the back of the book too. (That always just makes me smile a little.)

One choice can destroy you

(on the back)

A choice
becomes a sacrifice
a sacrifice 
becomes a loss
a loss 
becomes a burden
a burden
becomes a battle
one choice 
can destroy you

Yes! It can! And it would destroy me too.

It seems so obvious now. But I'll let you quickly figure that one out if you haven't already.

Okay, sorry. Too excited and keep getting sidetracked. I didn't read the summary of Insurgent, (okay maybe just a quick skim/glance but it really doesn't give much away) which is a great way to read it. I HIGHLY recommend just picking it up, and starting it. It's better that way. That's also how I read Divergent. The first time I had actually picked up a book without knowing what the heck it is about first.

The characters:

Four. Ah, yes. As much as I love him, his physical descriptions still make me shake my head sometimes. It's like he is written to intentionally not be normally attractive. You'll notice the numerous descriptions of his "hooked nose" and "sticking-out ears"...and I kind of admire her for making him like that--breaking that particular stereotype from the ya guys so common at the moment. So I'm not complaining at all, just pointing out. And you learn lots more about his background; realizing alongside Tris, just how little you know him.

Tris. My opinions about her kept changing drastically (up and down and up and down) throughout Insurgent, from Divergent. I still LOVE how she is totally kick-ass and brave and selfless and everything. But, she makes many decisions that, when I put myself in her place, I find I disagree completely with her reasoning. Like deciding whom to trust, or where to go. Where before I related to her more, when she had to prove herself to survive the Dauntless initiation etc, now I'm not sure I feel that close to her as much. She is supposed to be like that though, I think, and that makes you as the reader believe she is very real, making real decisions, not just the ones you want her to make. I have to say though, by the end, I leaned back toward relating to her more. Just a rough spot in the middle. Her Abnegation side emerges way more than I expected in the second half too, which made it quite interesting. More on that in a bit.

Four and Tris's relationship. I am impressed how it's progressing. At times it's harsh, realistic, not always kind, and that's the way it should be. Not going to say much more than that, just that there is no love triangle. You have no idea how entirely happy that makes me feel. Seriously. You can start cheering with me now.

Supporting characters. Are very well fleshed out in this sequel. Whereas I thought I knew half of them, like Peter, Christina, Caleb, and even more minor ones that grow into bigger roles, I learned so much more about how they think, and most importantly, where their loyalties lie. Because that's a main problem in Insurgent. You think you know people...

Other good stuff:

Faction dynamics. It's fascinating the way the factions ally with each other. Something that changes every dozen pages or so. I guess it's hard to explain, but when you imagine Amity and Erudite together it's a reassuring thought, because it's like peaceful exploration of knowledge in the world. On the other hand, Dauntless and Erudite together kind of makes you want to go hide. Combining violent tendencies and  greedy power-hungry techies? Not good.

And so what happens when a faction like Dauntless splits in two, and you suddenly have the Dauntless traitors, and the loyal Dauntless, old friends siding with your enemies and changing every day? Throw in some alarming number of Divergent and the forgotten-about factionless? Then you have Insurgent. Lot's of problems arise!

Also, one of my hopes that Insurgent fulfilled was that I got to see the headquarters for Candor and Amity! Well, I guess you will too, when you read it. They are both really awesome, and described wonderfully. Candor's bluntness scared me stiff, and I felt right at home in Amity's beautiful sanctuary. (Even though I'm still Dauntless at heart.)

A HUGE part of Insurgent is Tris's guilt for killing Will. It has hit her incredibly hard and I totally understand. Because when that happened in Divergent, I practically yelled What the hell! NO! STUPID TRIS! Still, I understand the situation and such, but it was a big blow for me as well as her. And with that, and her parents both recently dead in order to save her, she can't forgive herself...that leads to some death-wish/semi-suicidal activity on her part. Four isn't a big fan of that, seeing he is in love with her and everything. There is a line between being brave and selflessness, and acting stupid and reckless. Tris crosses that line a couple of times.

There is a part in the middle of Insurgent, maybe 60 percent through or so, that surprised me. It wasn't something that Tris's does, so to say, but what happens to her.

Insurgent is a lot darker than Divergent.

Lots of people die.

I actually cried a few times, completely catching me off guard. I think I let myself become too emerged into the story, but some really terrible things happen to Tris and her friends. Mainly Tris. So my stomach clenched constantly and my eyes burned now and then. I'm not coming up with a good word to describing it, and that has been bugging me all day, so I'll just say despairing for now. It's a nice sized chunk of the book, and you'll know when you hit it, and you'll know when it's over So, I guess that was just a kind of warning? Still very enjoyable, just hard. And I didn't expect it to be like that.

On a lighter note, by the endish, leading up to the climax, life looks a little bit brighter to Tris. And that may not make much sense, but really, that's a good thing. It's still plenty suspenseful and exciting! Just not despairing. I was able to breath a little easier.

I promise I'm almost done.

Actually, I'll stop now because that ended up WAY longer than I meant it to be. And even though I guessed something similar in the way it ends...I am SUPER SUPER PSYCHED FOR THE LAST BOOK. You know why?

It has an awful cliffhanger. Your breath will stop.

Happy reading! You will NOT be disappointed.

1 comment:

  1. SOOO EXCITED!!! I think I can imagine what the tagliney thingy is. The second time my brain actually followed. Bad things happen to Tris...hmmm. Like family dying? Injuries? Hm.

    SO. EXCITED. But I really do want to reread Divergent first. I may just wait till my birthday to read this.