Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth Review

4.5/5 Stars
Details of Book
Hardcover, 525 pages
Published by Katherin Tegen Books,
an imprint of HarperCollins
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository |

Synopsis: 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.

Overall, all the high points of this book make it easy to overlook the parts I didn't enjoy. It was action packed, exciting, and very sweet. Tobias and Tris' relationship is the strongest relationship I have read in a long time. It's not overdone, it's not too simplistic. In other novels, the couple would be torn apart in war that is taking place in this novel, but despite the lies, hardships, Tobias and Tris' relationship seems to get stronger. It's inspiring.

Strengths:

1) Tobias and Tris' relationship, obviously. They are not a mushy couple, but they have real feelings for each that are not depicted in overly romantic gestures, because it's not needed for them. That's because their relationship is genuine and doesn't need all that corniness.

2) There is no love triangle. I was actually afraid that there might be one because it's common amongst popular fiction to throw in a love triangle. To me, love triangles make the relationships in novels weaker. I know that it's possible to love more than one person, but I know that when you fall in love, that's it. Just because there is someone else you have feelings for, if you're not leaning toward the first that you originally fall in love with, your feelings and relationship are weak.

3) Although it was difficult to read, I liked how when everything seemed to be going well for the characters something bad would happen to them that changed everything. To me, in the middle of a war, this is realism. Happy moments in times like this would be short lived and constantly interrupted by something happening. Not that I want bad things to happen--I was especially upset about Marlene's death but it made sense to me as to why that kept happening.

4) I said this about Divergent, but it deems repeating. I love how strong Tris is, especially in the scene were she is put through the simulation with the fake Tobias. I loved how frustrated Jeanine is that she can't figure Tris out. That was awesome.

5) *SPOILER ALERT* I thought Peter was absolutely fascinating in this novel. It was so avant garde and amazing how Roth was able maintain Peter's asshole personality while helping out Tris and Tobias.    His character really caught me off guard, and threw me for a loop. I didn't see it coming whatsoever. I love how even though he helped, he wasn't redeemed. I hate it when the antagonist's are redeemed at the end of a novel, and suddenly everyone should just forget ever horrible thing he/she did, and feel bad for them.

Weaknesses:

1) Descriptions:  One of the main lines that bothered me in the book is when Tobias is described as smelling as sweat, fresh air, and mint. I can picture fresh air and mint, but not with sweat mixed in. To me, all I see in that image is a guy who hasn't showered in forever who is trying to cover up with a strong deodorant. Which takes away from the fresh air descriptions.

I felt that there was not enough descriptions of the settings and places. In the first book, I got the impression that the factions were not so close together, but in this book it was clear that they were actually pretty close to one another. I know that this is based out of Chicago, and maybe it's because I've never been that I can't picture it but to me it's a little confusing.

Also I felt that the author wanted to avoid writing many descriptions. For example, in describing the Erudite building besides the library, it's just a series of hallways that look all the same. It's similar in the description of Candor, aside from the Dauntless room and the conference room where Tris and Tobias are injected with the truth serum, it's described as a maze that the Dauntless put markers in the hallways to find their way around.

2) I didn't like all the lying between Tobias and Tris. It made sense for the plot, and gave them the distance that was needed to help the plot move forward but it just didn't sit right with me. They both had their reasons, but I just wished that there was less of it.

A couple of my favorite quotes:

"Then he crosses the room in two long strides and touches his lips to mine. Their gentle pressures erases the past few months, and I am the girl who sat on the rocks next to the chasm, with river spray on her ankles, and kissed him for the first time. I am the girl who grabbed his hand in the hallway just because I wanted to" (331).

“I know that I am birdlike, made narrow and small as if for taking flight, built straight-waisted and fragile. But when he touches me like he can't bear to take his hand away, I don't wish I was any different.”

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