Book Name: Insurgent
Author: Veronica Roth
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
My Rating: 2 out of 5
Format: Hard-cover checked out from the local library
Goodreads’ Words: 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.
My Words: I had liked Divergent; the basis of the story was good, the writing was good and even the characters were good. And yet I was in two minds about continuing with the series. I got Insurgent only because I can’t leave a series incompletely read. It keeps itching at the back of my mind if I don’t read all the books in a series even if I don’t like it. Weird? I know but that’s how it is.
For me, Insurgent felt like a video game wherein the player has to go through a series of levels and in each level you have to fend off all the bad things that come your way. You get some powers too and you lose them. Only here, there is only one level and it doesn’t seem to end! Your pathway is filled with a whole lot of twists and turns and you have to fight old villians,new villians, new & advanced serums, deceptive friends & family, sometimes your friends and your own demons, and the list continues…Somehow my feelings after reading this book are similar to what I felt after watching the recent Hunger Games movie – empty! The feeling you get when there is a lot of chaos but nothing has touched you, and you have no emotion for the chaos.
For few parts, the book was interesting. Roth took us to the other factions’ compounds, and we got a glimpse of what their daily life is like. There were moments of raw beauty and power, like when Tris witnesses an Amity religious service, or when Tris and Tobias are interrogated by Candor, or when Tris is tested for new serums. But it lacked a lot of logic even for the Erudite. There is also a great sense of unease and unknown as in the destination of the story. As the book progresses, there are events that complicate and confuse me more. Insurgent has lots of loopholes and if you think about these, they just frustrate you further.
I had loved Tris’and Four’s characters in Divergent. They were flawed yet perfect. But I can’t say the same thing for them in Insurgent. I realize murder and war and the works have quite an impact on people’s personalities, and I can understand Tris’s anguish and depression, but letting it influence everything she does, to the point where she’s making rash and careless and selfish decisions and pushing everyone who cares about her away – that just doesn’t sit right with me. And Four has more mood swings than a girl – especially for someone who was so stoic, not in actual feelings but in display of feelings, in the first book. He was so mysterious and secretive in Divergent. But now it feels less like he has interesting secrets to hide and more like he’s just not that deep of a character.
As for the plot, it’s still kind of hazy to me. I get that the story is trying to move somewhere, where the true meaning of Divergent and the fall and eventual rise of the dystopian world comes about. But the events that keep happening do not assure me of this at all. The old villian is ‘dealt with'(which was rather unbelievable really after all the evil and power that was associated with this old villian! ) and in place we have another new villian that we have to get accustomed to and understand the motives of. And the cliffhanger was not really a cliffhanger for me, it was more of a puzzle. Because I did not understand it at all. It was just thrown at the end of the book with no premise earlier and no explanations whatsoever. There should have been a few clues thrown in, in order to fully understand the meaning of the cliffhanger that brings into picture the world outside the fence.
With that said, I still think that Veronica Roth has an active imagination and can very well write. Maybe she didn’t have to use all of her imaginations in one series. I will of course read Allegiant, but it is 2 out of 5 from me for this one.