Title: Insurgent (Divergent #2)
Author: Veronica Roth
On the Shelves: Young Adult> Dystopian
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 (Goodreads 2014)
I read this when it originally came out in 2012, and I gave it four stars. Upon re-reading, however, it has fallen from grace and sits at a lowly two stars. So what exactly happened? Last time I read it, it had been months since I read Divergent, and while I remembered the plot, it was not fresh in my memory, which could explain at least one extra star- because I didn’t see how clearly the characters drastically changed for the worse throughout the two books. This time around, since I read Divergent immediately before insurgent I could see it all too clearly.
Gone is the Tris from Divergent, who is selfish, brave and proud. In her place, we have Tris- whiny, selfish and for the majority of the book: suicidal. Divergent!Tris would have gone through this book, yes wanting to take action and help those around her, but she also would’ve been her “erudite aptitude” smart and considered all options all the time, going for the plans which didn’t constantly try to get herself killed. What really annoyed me is that a lot of her decisions not only put herself in danger but everyone she was working with- which is not something I believe Tris would have originally done. The constant theme of Tris thinking about suicide really grated on my nerves, because it seemed so out of character for her, in the way that she originally wanted to protect the people she cared about and to do that, she’d have to stay alive. Instead she spends most of “Insurgent” going “WOE IS ME.” and not actually focussing on the bigger issues.
And speaking of the bigger issues: Tris and Four- WTF. I mean they are both quite responsible, serious personalities- so why, when the world is collapsing around them and they should be focussing on the bigger issues which they’ve become involved with, are they constantly at odds with each other over almost nothing? Little tiny issues which do not warrant big blow out arguments? And they are both constantly surprised when one is withholding information from the other- like it really matters in the long run. When did Tobias become such a irrational pillock? When did Tris, for that matter?! Another point which annoyed me here is Tobias for very narky at Tris for not trusting his mother, because at some point- apparently- he “decided to forgive her”…wait, what? You’ve spent the last few chapters being very frosty whenever your mum is mentioned and you’ve given NO indication that you have “forgiven” her, so what right do you have to be pissy at Tris for not instantly trusting her?
The continuity in this book was just all over the place. My most annoyed moment came when Tris returned to Erudite- because for someone who is meant to be “erudite smart”- (to the point where the other rebels keep pointing this fact out redundantly, expecting her to come up with some cunning plan to save the day- annoying) and wants to protect those she loves, she just hands herself in, which means that everybody else who is “divergent” will be in the shit- THANKS TO TRIS. Yeah, well done mate. So much for protecting the people you care about.
I can’t even talk about world building in this book because aside from learning a teeny bit more about the lesser popular factions of Candor and Amity- there is none. Literally.
I just- ugh. I have a lot of frustrations about this book, especially when Divergent started off quite strong. I’m dreading the Insurgent movie because I just know it is going to be painful to watch. I actually doubt I’ll be going to see it when it comes out. I’m leaving reading Allegiant until the end of the month because my mind just can’t take any more of Beatrice Prior at the moment.