Series: Divergent trilogy
Author: Veronica Roth
Goodreads Link: Goodreads Description
Warning: The following review contains spoilers. If you have not yet read Insurgent and do not want anything to be spoiled for you, I suggest you turn back now. This has been your warning.
Unnofficial Warning: I'm not a professional book reviewer so I leak pure bias into my reviews and talk about how I feel about specific characters and not just a generalised feel of this book. So if that bothers you... skip this one. :)
Wow. This book is one that I have been waiting to read every since I finished the first in the series, Divergent. There's this thing that can sometimes happen when you anticipate to read a book, and then you actually read it and are let down. That thing is called disappointment because you have been so worked out and the excitement has built up that in the end, the book could never have possible lived up to the expectations you built for it. In the case of Insurgent, this does not apply. This book series is one of my favourites out of the many I've read in the past while, and that has not changed with this book.
I'm going to start off by talking about the ending. That seems like a good place to start, no? Anyone who says that the ending was no surprise to them and that they saw it coming it a liar or is Veronica Roth herself. Because that ending was a total brick wall. The kind you slam into when your eyes are closed tight and so you don't see it coming even if you were expecting some type of cliffhanger. Specifically I am talking about how we learned about Edith Prior and what was outside of New Chicago. Of course we all knew something was out there. But Edith Prior? No no no. That was total unexpected and I applaud Veronica Roth for that. Amazing. Ingenius.
And now let's skip back to the beginning! One of the things I noticed a lot of people complaining about after reading Divergent was how Tris did not seem to mourn the loss of everyone that died at the end of the first book. I don't understand how they came to this conclusion because the book ended with Tris, Four, Marcus, Peter, and Caleb on the train to Amity. There was no time to show mourning because the book ended there. So I'd like to know how those people feel now, for I'm sure they are eating their words considering Insurgent opened with Tris thinking about Will and regretting what happened, and a vast majority of what happened in the book to Tris was affected by her PTSD. She couldn't even touch a gun as a repercussion of what happened in Divergent! And again I just want to applaud Veronica Roth for this, because as great as bad ass heroines are in a book, I love realistic bad ass heroines even more. And PTSD and guilt and regret are all realistic things for Tris to feel. Tris is not my favourite character of this series (and main characters are usually my favourite, so this it out of the norm for me), but I was able to appreciate her more because of this. She is real. Tris is real.
I had heard talk about a betrayal in Insurgent in a part of one review I read somewhere online, and I was all prepared for it. Or at least I thought I was. I kept it in mind while I read the book, but when the betrayal actually happened, I was floored. I stopped reading for a good five minutes and must have said 'no no no no no' more times than I probably should have. I won't say who it was because I don't want to spoil everything that happened in the book, but I loved that character. And now I don't know how to feel about them. I feel betrayed. And for the third time so far, I applaud Veronica Roth. It hurts thinking about that character now because... well I mean they had my trust. They had everyone's trust. I did NOT see that coming. Honestly I thought it was just Peter and well... who wouldn't expect that? Oh, the plot twists. Veronica Roth, you are currently the queen of plot twists and I love you for that. I hate you, because how am I supposed to feel about this character now? But I love you.
I'll stop here with the love now to point out something that bothered me, and I know others have mentioned this in review of Divergent, but I'm going to say it again anyways. The action is great, the character dynamics are fantastic, but the one thing this book lacks is setting description. There was more of it in Insurgent than there was in Divergent, because I can picture a few of the places better now, but the biggest bother for me was the lack of Candor description. The Amity description sufficed, but considering they were also in the Candor faction for a while, it's a bit disappointing that I still have no idea what most of it looks like. Just that there are Candor symbols everywhere. But that's just the interior of one building. While it does not take away from the plot, I do wish there had been more description. Tris does notice how rooms are decorated and there was description there, but what I really wanted was to be able to picture the specific factions better, especially since I have no idea what Chicago looks like. However, the book still gets a 5/5 from me, because this is a minor thing.
In regards to Tris and Four's relationship, I'm glad it was not perfect in this book. I felt they both had changed, and Four having trouble dealing with his own issues while Tris dealt with hers... Well I'm just glad that they weren't all lovey dovey and there were moments where I seriously feared for their relationship. That's real. As I've mentioned before, I like realistic happenings when it comes to characters. When everything is perfect between them, that makes no sense to me. So I applaud for a fourth time, Veronica Roth.
Overall, I'm sure it's obvious that I loved this book. It was certainly a page turner, which I'm glad for because I read it all in one sitting. I've read other books all in one sitting before and have regretted it, not because they weren't page turners, but because so much happened at once and it was difficult to follow along with. And while a lot happened at once in Insurgent, it all flowed well and made sense and none of it felt fake or rushed. This book made me love characters that I didn't notice before, it made me hate characters I loved, and it made me love characters even more than I did before. Amazing. Well done. Brilliant. I bow to you, Queen Roth. And now to wait painfully for a year for the third book. *breathes*
This book, you guys. This BOOK. Read it.
Also, I've noticed that my reviews are turning more into 'how I feel about this book' posts, but that's fine with me, so it will probably continue. I'm not good at straight-forward reviews.