Friday, March 29, 2013

Book Review: Insurgent

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Release Date: May 1, 2012
Pages: 525
Genre: Dystopian
Series: Yes!
Divergent (2011)
Insurgent (2012)
Untitled (2013)
Source and Format: Library; Hardcover

Summary (From Goodreads)
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.

Thoughts on Insurgent
It's probably a good thing I waited so long after reading Insurgent to write this review, because I think my initial review would have consisted of one word: WOW.

Insurgent picked up right where Divergent left off, and did not stop for 525 exhilarating pages. If you thought Divergent was full of action, Insurgent kind of makes it seem like a Sunday afternoon nap. And I don't mean that to discredit the awesomeness of Divergent in any way, I just mean Insurgent really steps up the game when it comes to action. Like Kristi said, "What didn't happen in this book?!"

On top of all the action, Tris is dealing with several internal struggles. She's coming to terms with choices made in the first book, and she's also trying to figure out where she fits in this newly turned upside down world. These struggles cause some friction in a few relationships (including her relationship with Four...sad face!), and they also cause her to make even more ridiculous decisions that made me want to shake her a few times! But thankfully her self-conflict didn't make her any less of a tough chick. If anything, it made her even more determined to kick everybody's butt. I wouldn't want to be on homegirl's bad side!

I was also pleasantly surprised at the number of religious references in both Divergent and Insurgent. Subtle as they are, I am impressed an author actually acknowledged God in a dystopian book. Most dystopians do not even mention God, or if they do reference religion, it is some sort of perverted version of it. I like how Roth holds on to the notion of religion in this post-apocalyptic society, despite the personal struggles Tris has with it (like in the quote I shared yesterday). I think it adds an interesting element, and I'm interested to see how it plays out in the third installment.

And I can't write a review about this book without mentioning the ending. OMG THE ENDING. Let's just say that book three is going to be all kinds of amazing. Basically, if you're living under a rock and haven't picked up this series yet, put it on your to-do list for this weekend (or at least before October 22 when the third book comes out!). You can come back and thank me later. ;)

P.S. The Divergent movie is set to release in March 2014! Have you seen all the casting news coming out for it lately? Kate Winslet is slated to play Jeanine (perfection!), and Theo James landed the role of Four. For all you Downton fans, Theo is the guy who died in Mary Crawley's bed. Yep, that guy!

Memorable Quotes
"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."

"I am his, and he is mine, and it has been that way all along."

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