Tuesday 1 May 2012

Insurgent Review

“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.”

Flash back to around this time last year when a little known book called Divergent by debut novelist Veronica Roth burst onto the scene.   I remember being one of the first book bloggers in the UK to read it and subsequently, fall in love with it.  Divergent quickly became one of my all time favourite books and Veronica Roth was firmly planted on my radar.   Fast forward to 2012 and the sequel entitled Insurgent by NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLING AUTHOR Veronica Roth is about to hit bookstores.  Insurgent is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated books of the year and I am here to tell you that it does not disappoint.  In fact, it might even top Divergent.  Yep, you heard that right.

Now, since it had been over a year since I last read Divergent, I decided to re-read the book in order to remember the major plot lines and I’m glad I did.  For those of you who don’t have the time or inclination to re-read it, here’s the run down on what happened.  It goes without saying that if you have not read Divergent, stop right here as there are major spoilers ahead.  You have been warned.

In Divergent, we meet 16 year old Beatrice who is about to take part in the choosing ceremony to decide which faction she will belong to for the rest of her life.  There are five in total – Abnegation (which she was born into), Erudite, Amity, Dauntless and Candor.   She takes an aptitude test in the form of a simulation but her test results were inconclusive and she was deemed a divergent.  This is hushed up as it’s a dangerous title to behold and Beatrice is forced to choose between Abnegation, Dauntless and Erudite – factions that she has an aptitude for.  Beatrice chooses dauntless and her 16 year old brother Caleb chooses Erudite which comes as a surprise to her.  Beatrice reinvents herself as “Tris” and takes to being dauntless like a duck to water.  She is teased by other initiates for her size and lack of strength but she catches on quick and outsmarts her peers which pisses off Peter (a fellow initiate) to no end and he has it in for her.  He tries to hurt her and one of her friends/peers, Al joins in.  Later, he commits suicide as Tris could not forgive him and he is unable to live with the guilt of what he has done.

Tris excels in simulations which puts her in the spotlight and Four (her trainer) suspects she might be divergent and warns her to act more normal.  Four and Tris grow closer and romance slowly blossoms.   He lets Tris into his fear landscape and she finds out how he got his name.  She also finds out his REAL name and where he came from.   Four or Tobias is also divergent and he is the son of Marcus, a prominent council member from Abnegation who abused him when he was a child.

It becomes apparent that the Erudite faction want to overthrow the government (Abnegation) and trick the Dauntless into helping through simulation serum/implants, only the divergents are unaffected.  Tris and Four try to help but Tris’s parents are killed and she is forced to kill her friend and fellow initiate Will.  The final scene sees Four, Tris, Marcus and Caleb escape on a train, headed towards Amity where they hope to find refuge. 

RIGHT *takes a deep breath*, Insurgent literally picks up where Divergent leaves off and that’s why it is important that you remember everything that has happened because there is no recap in the book.  Times are tough and they’re about to get a lot tougher for our heroine and those that follow her.  There’s a lot of death and destruction in Insurgent (as you might gather, given the circumstances therefore I don’t consider this a spoiler) and the stakes are off the charts and I’m not just talking about death.  Death is not the worst thing for Tris, she is Dauntless after all ;) 

In Insurgent, Tris has to face up to her inner demons and yes whilst she is a BAMF from Dauntless AND a divergent, she’s also human and that side of her is more prominent than ever.   There were times when I was screaming at her and times when I cried uncontrollably wept for her.  I did admire how Tris stayed true to herself throughout the book however, no matter what was thrown at her or how much her actions cost her.
I’m sure you will be pleased to know that there is no love triangle and this is something that Veronica has commented on before.  Whilst I have nothing against love triangles, it just wouldn’t feel right to have that in the story but there’s still believable conflict between Tris and Tobias that makes their relationship feel very real.   

Insurgent is an exceptional sequel full of power struggles, suffering, lies, betrayal, deception, secrets and heartbreak – it’s all there.   It’s much more emotional than the first book and you may feel hung out to dry once you’ve finished reading but you know what? It’s totally worth it.  I don’t know about you but I think Veronica should name the next book URGENT because I need to read it like NOW!

Insurgent is published on 1st May, 2012.  Thank you to Harper Collins for providing me with an ARC. To find out more about Veronica Roth and her books, please click here to visit her website.


  1. I SCREAMED TOO! Hahahaha, I was like, fistpumping the whole time Tris showed her Dauntless and made things super-exciting! Fab review, as always ;)

  2. LOL at Urgent. Great name ;) Personally I think Resurgent fits well :P Awesome review, I loved how true to herself Tris was, even tho at times I was arghhh what are you dooooiiingg!!??! I was v. pleased at the lack of LT too

    The Cait Files

    1. Oh, I like resurgent. Should we start taking bets on what the title will be? ;) Glad to see you had a similar reaction to me, thank you for commenting!


    Praise the fooking lord for no bloody love triangle! I love how high the stakes are this time around; NOBODY IS SAFE. I looooved that we got straight back into the action as well, so bloody exciting.

    But I wanted them to bang so bad. Alas.

    1. I LOVE YOU CARLY! LOL...and I totally agree ;)

  4. I was pumped that there was no love triangle as well whilst they can be great when they're done well they are SO over used in YA. Glad to see you loved this book too and lols at Urgent too true my friend, too true ;)

    1. We're going to have to wait a whole year for the next book *sobs* so year, it *IS* urgent! Thanks for commenting ;)

  5. Great review. I loved this book. I loved seeing Tris and Four's relationship grow but that it wasn't all plain sailing. xx

  6. Me too Susan. Thanks for commenting :)