by Veronica Roth
Divergent trilogy; book II
ABOUT TIME I read this, eh?
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 Expectations: extraordinarily high, and while I expressed my distaste for the pre-publication internet buzz creation thing, I still expected to love this book like pretty much everyone else.
Delivery: gah, a crushing disappointment. The worst type.
Put-down-ability: Roth still has the ability to keep me engaged, 2/10
I really expected to like this. I really really did!
Insurgent. Very much hyped about, but it failed to live up to my expectations for numerous reasons—which I’ll touch on before singing it some praises that it also deserves.
The plot was messy. Too messy, in my mind. Not in the complex, over-layered way but more in the choppy, jumpy way in which scenes are all over the place and there is far too much movement for me to want to care about. I swear the book consisted of Tris going to different places and doing something, then going somewhere else, and on and on and on, almost tediously. It’s understandable that you want to keep the plot moving, but I personally felt it was excessive and unnecessary.
In addition, I wasn’t a fan of some of the writing. Roth takes the liberty to make the environment more realistic, but she doles out way too much detail at times to a point where I’m like “is this supposed to make sense?” A vague example is of a bridge in which she describes the entire structure in a way that I just found really hard to picture in my head and also kind of unnecessary. It overcomplicated a scene that could have been so much simpler. In addition, I was caught off guard with some inconsistencies (one second she doesn’t have a gun, the next, she’s pulling out her gun and shooting a lock. What?)
I want to add that while descriptions weren’t to my taste, I admired the way the story kept its flow and kept me flipping the pages. Dialogue was smooth and I enjoyed the immediate-ness of the first person present POV.
Unfortunately, I do feel Insurgent fell to the second-book syndrome; there was a lot of info-dumping and almost like what feels like its gathering ammunition and recon information for a grand finale (despite having multiple action scenes). I liked how Roth did explain her world a bit better (something I had a problem with in book one). There was some character development, though I was kind of frustrated by how flat some of the secondary characters were. I questioned Tris’s motives constantly and I was thoroughly unimpressed by Four (sorry!)—it wasn’t that he was a bad character, I just didn't like him as much. Like with Divergent, I didn’t really care enough about this characters in Insurgent, it’s probably just me though.
Rating in HP Terms: Acceptable
Recommended for: I think most people who enjoyed Divergent will really like its sequel.
Acknowledgements: great stuff, 4.5/5
7.9/10 – because I was disappointed. It was a generally enjoyable read and I was kept interested throughout, but I thought the plot was overcomplicated and sometimes the descriptions in the writing would put me off as well. I never really connected with the characters and while I appreciated the character growth and development they undoubtedly underwent, I just.. well, didn’t really care. Insurgent makes for a fast, high-flying read which I did like, however, I feel it is ultimately a forgettable one.
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