by Veronica Roth
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Num Pages: 525
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 grow. 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"b besteselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian "Divergent" series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich will hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.
Truth be told, I read this book way back when it came out in May. It was one of my most anticipated releases of 2012. I found myself counting down the days until May 1, the days when finally my dear Insurgent would finally be mine. So when it arrived in my mailbox on the first day of May, I couldn't wait to read it. I immediately started reading it after I finished Bitterblue, which also came out that same day (wow, that was a really, really good day). And to be honest, there were moments when I wanted to cry because it was just nothing like its amazingly awesome first book, Divergent. I lacked everything that I liked in Divergent--excitement, curiosity, and wanting more of Tris and Four's romance. Instead, it was kind of bland, and that was what disappointed me so much about it. When I finished it, I seriously was considering giving it 1 or 2 stars. Instead, I decided that it wasn't that bad, and my expectations were way too high, so I gave it 3 stars. I now realize that this was a bad move on my part. Yes, Divergent set the bar extremely high, but to be honest, if I hadn't loved Divergent with all my heart, I don't think that I would've hated this book as much as I did.
Let me back up. I didn't hate this book when I first read it. I actually really liked it. There were moments when I laughed, moments when I really cried. It was a rollercoaster ride, Insurgent was. I know that's a disgustingly cliche thing to say, but it really WAS like a rollercoaster ride. Anyone wonder why people use cliches? Usually, because they tell the truth. So a couple days ago, I was feeling bored. I felt like I had nothing to read, and my TBR pile just wasn't interesting me at the moment. All the books looked dull, and I was in the mood for some excitement. I realized that I hadn't reread Divergent yet, so I was something like, "Yes! I'll reread Divergent. That'll be perfect. It will have action, suspence, romance, everything I want right now." So I eagerly picked up Divergent and was done within hours. So, as the first time I read it, I went into a sort of shock after I finished it, and realized, "Wow, I need the next book!" just like I had the first time I read it (except that the first time I read it, it was not available to me). But then I came to the realization that Insurgent, too, was lying on my bookshelf, next to the big gap where Divergent used to lie. I thought to myself, "Ok, maybe I should give Insurgent another chance." I wasn't expecting much. So I reread Insurgent, too, and you know what?
It wasn't bad at all. It was almost as good as the first. I had this epiphany, realizing that my former 12-year-old self was stubborn and expected way too much of Insurgent. Back then, I think I pretty much had no idea what I was talking about. Sometimes I'd criticize a book, just for the sake of being critical. I know better now. I know that there is good in each and every book, and I must seek it out to be a good reader and a good reviewer, as I have said before many times. But now that I've just finished rereading Insurgent, I think my views have been greatly changed on it. I find this happens pretty often when I read a book and think it's more "meh", but then I reread it and think it's wonderful. This is what happened with Insurgent. So even though I've already written tons, I think this is where my review really starts.
The characters. One of my favorite parts of the book. I love Tris. I've decided that she's one of my favorite girl characters of all time. She's so amazingly kick-ass and even when people mistake her for just a "little girl", she tells them that she's not. But she doesn't actually tell them: she shows them. I think Tris's character was really developed through the entire series. In the beginning of the first book, she was a quiet Abnegation girl who longed to be selfless but didn't quite have it in her. At the end of the second book, she is a wild soul, thirsty for love and sacrifice. She had some very bad moments in Insurgent where I wanted to pound her skull, just like Tobias. I found myself siding with Tobias every time him and Tris got in arguments, but then I realized that all of Tris's problems came back to one thing: She is too brave for her own good. Too smart. To selfless. Therefore, she is a mix of Dauntless, Erudite, and Abnegation. I find this so beautiful. Her character is really thought out, not just thrown on the page. Veronica Roth did a spectacular job with her character, and sometimes she was so real she seemed to jump out of the pages (again, another disgusting cliche, but people only use cliches because they're true, as I said before). So now that I've pretty much dissected Tris's character (ughh, that sounds weird...sorry), I think I'll move to Tobias, because he is easily my favorite character in this book, hands down the most amazing book boyfriend in the history of book boyfriends. And if you know me, you'll know that that's a really, really big statement for me to make. But I am standing by my statement, because even though it is brave, it is true. Tobias is everything a guy should be. He's smart, caring, brave, and not completely full of himself like all the other guys. He is sexy, but not in the Edward Cullen type of way. He is real. He isn't a sparkly vampire or a beautiful angel. He's just a guy (a guy with very few fears), and while sometimes relationships in YA books freak me out, Tobias and Tris's relationship seemed so natural and real. Not all couples are perfect, even these two. They went through their ups and downs throughout the book, but they loved each other all the way through. And yes, I have stopped calling him Four. While I prefer the name Four, I am warming up to the name Tobias because I have discovered that when you say it out loud, it actually sounds kind of cute. Anyway, that's Tris and Four. And then there were the minor characters, like Susan, Uriah, Lynn, etc. Uriah was as awesome as he was in the first book, although I never would've guessed that he was Divergent, too. Every time Roth mentioned Susan I felt calm. She was peaceful, kind, and selfless, and I loved her for that. Lynn was so kick-ass. I loved how she was so beautiful, but at the same time, she didn't care about being pretty, she just wanted to show that she wasn't just a little girl who couldn't do anything. So, she shaved her head in the first book. I admired her for that; while I would never do that, it made me smile. I loved Lynn, even though she was a bitch half the time (for lack of a better word; I don't feel she's actually a bitch, she just acted like one).
I guess I've written a lot about the characters, I think I'll work through the plot now. When I first read the book, the plot infuriated me. I had a hard time following it, and even when I could, it wasn't interesting to me. Sometimes their locations mixed me up, and who's on whose side and whatever. But I understand it now. I think what happened the first time I read it, was, I was so eager to finish the book that I didn't really think about what was actually happening in the book. I just wanted to have read it, which was soooooo stupid on my part. I worked through Insurgent slowly, even though I finished it in 24 hours, and was able to understand everything going on. That was refreshing. I always read books too fast in order to finish them and say I've read them, and I also tend to not understand anything going on the book since I'm reading too fast. ANYWAY, I think the plot was absolutely amazing. Veronica really showed me that she's a genius.
This book deserves a solid 4 stars. I was considering giving it 5 stars, but I don't want to change my opinion completely, because I do still think that the first book was better and interested me more. I think now I can appreciate this book, because I really did love it. :)