Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Insurgent is the second book in the Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth. It is a 496 page YA sci-fi/fantasy romance. Well, it is classified as a romance, but I think I would actually call it a non-romance. Not lacking romance, but having non-romance. This may sound silly, but it will be explained in the review. The review will have some spoilers for the first book, so if you haven’t read it yet, you may want to either wait to read this or just accept that you would have found out the information eventually, anyway.

Insurgent is a direct continuation of Divergent, starting where the previous book leaves off. Tris and Tobias are together and are getting out of Dauntless after the simulation attack. The first stop on their journey is the Amity compound. The Amity value peace above everything else, so in this war-time, they are pressed into some sort of action towards the Erudite/Dauntless/Abnegation conflict. Our heroes visit other places as well, but I won’t give away the entire plot. While Tris and Tobias are trying to solve the faction problems, they also face a rift between them as their secrets start growing and never really stop.

The book jumped back into the action quickly and effectively. After about 75-100 pages, however, things started going downhill for me. I enjoyed learning more about both Tris’s and Tobias’s families, and more characters in other factions, but the inner thoughts of Tris made me quite angry. Although it is through her that I learn about Tobias–and don’t get me wrong, I love his character–it is also through her that I have to listen to constant complaints that he’s keeping secrets, when the book begins with her keeping a huge secret from him. Instead of being open about it, she literally complains for 300 pages about this.

The action in this part is still good, and I still cared about the plot and really wanted to know what was going on with the factionless (those people who did not make it through initiation into a faction) and the Erudite. However, Roth didn’t see fit to give me the information I wanted, but instead made me read through Tris’s inane thoughts for multiple chapters. This is where the non-romance comes in. Rather than furthering their relationship and having the characters become more emotionally mature, they seem to backtrack into childish secret keeping and what seemed to me a version of the “who can keep silent longer” game. This felt extremely non-romantic to me, and didn’t make me desire their union but some sort of resolution that would just get Tris to mentally shut up about Tobias.

The final 20% of the book redeemed it for me; reading the end was a thrill. It felt like Roth remembered that she had to keep people interested for a third novel, so she kicked the action into gear and started doing things about the Erudite attackers and Dauntless traitors. It brought up something bigger than the factions, and a possibility that truly made me want to read the final novel in the trilogy. It is really ONLY this fact that I recommend this novel. The final chapters are good enough for me to forgive the middle of the book. So if you enjoyed the first book, or want to find out what’s going on in a dystopian sense of this world, I do recommend at least reading the first and final 100 pages of Insurgent. Other than that, I would say you’re not missing much and you should just wait for the movie (which I am actually a little excited for).


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. pandaduh
    Sep 18, 2013 @ 18:23:11

    Fantastic review! I’ve read the first one and have decided I’ll just stick to the movies.


    • hannahrose42
      Sep 18, 2013 @ 21:06:54

      Since the writing is pretty simple, the books haven’t been taking me long to read. I will probably borrow the third book just to see what happens in the end. I think the movies will be an improvement, since there will be a lot less inner monologue (I hope!).


  2. Trackback: Allegiant by Veronica Roth | Realm of Reviews

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