Backlist Bonus: Insurgent

11735983by Veronica Roth
YA Dystopian
3 of 5 stars

After the explosive first book I was beyond excited to read the sequel, but like so many sequels, it was just okay. Despite extensive exploration of Tris’ world and the different factions, the story is a bit of a blur, clearly a transition to the last book more than a necessary installment on its own.

Tris’ initiation day ended in violence between the Erudite, Dauntless, and Abnegation factions. All trust between factions and within Tris’ group of friends is fractured and leaves everyone wondering what will happen now. Tris still isn’t sure what being divergent means, but after suffering unspeakable loss she’s determined to find answers. She and Tobias continue trying to navigate a romantic relationship despite the barriers of coming from the most repressive faction. And the rest of the Dauntless are dealing with the trauma of the actions they committed while under Erudite’s (Jeanine’s) control. Everything in Chicago is splintering and if Tris doesn’t find a way to unite everyone more bloodshed will follow.

Although I enjoyed seeing the other factions’ lifestyles and customs, this felt like a tour to distract us from the actual questions. What is divergence? What’s beyond the fence? What is Jeanine’s true endgame and capabilities? The last few chapters drop the bombshell brewing beneath the surface of the story (where did Chicago’s faction society come from) but this feels like the real event and everything else is just side information. The supporting characters also lack depth despite Tris spending so much time with them. An average “book 2” experience but definitely leaves you wanting to read the last book.

If you’d like to see more reviews or buy a copy for yourself, Insurgent is available on Goodreads and on Barnes & Noble’s website here. Please consider supporting your local bookstore!

Similar reads:

  • Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins – Katniss unintentionally started a rebellion with her unusual win in the Hunger Games. If she doesn’t convince President Snow that her love for Peeta drove her actions, everything she loves will be ripped from her. See my review here.
  • The Infinite by Lori M. Lee – Kai must learn to use her powers over the threads of time and what this means for her destiny. See my review here.
  • Rook by Sharon Cameron – A standalone novel set in the ruins of what was Paris, where familiar tensions between the rich and poor are building to an explosive conclusion. See my review here.

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