Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Book Review: Insurgent

What's this? A book review?! *Gasp!*

I know, I suck at the writing of book reviews. I promise, *promise* that I read more than I review.

I am a huge fan of Veronica Roth's DIVERGENT. It is the first in an eponymous three-book series that chronicles the changing life of Beatrice "Tris" Prior. In a dystopian Chicago set in the undetermined future, we find 16 year-old Beatrice as a member of the faction Abnegation. In this future, everyone chooses a faction in their 16th year to belong to for the rest of their lives. The premise is that our broken world was caused by human frailties, but not everyone agreed which faults were to blame, thus society was split into five factions: Abnegation (the selfless); Amity (the peaceful); Candor (the honest); Dauntless (the brave); Erudite (the intelligent). Each faction believes their way of life is the best method for humanity to move forward and there's more than a touch of animosity between the five factions. The city exists within a fence to keep whatever exists outside of it out.

Insurgent begins almost exactly where Divergent ended. It took me a while to remember everything that had happened at the end of Divergent, but eventually I caught up.

Here's a recap:

In Divergent, Tris decides to leave her family and the Abnegation faction behind in favor of Dauntless. Each person is given an aptitude test to tell them which faction they have an affinity for, but it is ultimately a personal decision where they go. Tris' test came back as having an aptitude for three factions, she is divergent. To be labeled divergent is dangerous, and the person who administered her test helps her cover up her results. She goes through the Dauntless initiation, a dangerous process that leaves more than one initiate dead or exiled as one of the "factionless". The first novel ends with a coup by some of the faction leaders to gain control over the rest.

In the second installment, Tris has managed to escape capture and mental enslavement (thanks to her divergent nature) with her boyfriend, brother, and an enemy. The skirmish to stop the coup cost Tris more than she bargained for and forced her to take the life of a friend to save her own. Dealing with the fallout causes her to distance herself from the swoony Four and creates a rift between the two that spans the book.

I loved, loved Divergent, but I was less enamored with Insurgent. I still enjoyed the story, but I was a bit frustrated with the characters at times. I did remind myself more than once that this is a YA series with young, inexperienced characters. That aside, I loved the twist that Roth works in (and hints at several times). All in all, I was pleased with the read and can't wait for the as yet untitled conclusion. I suggested it be called Detergent, but I'm not sure Roth would agree.

Educate yourself on the topic in this post:

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