The weekend is right around the corner. I’m going to try to convince you to hole up and read. Mmm-kay?
Stop right here if you have not read Divergent. Get thee to the local library (or bookstore or find a friend who has an extra copy), clear your schedule, and bury your nose in this book.
Then, lucky you can immediately pick up the sequel, Insurgent, that just came out. I had to wait months for it and even went so far as to try to get an advanced reader copy from the publisher. (I think they laughed at my request.) Reading it truly made my long day of travel last week immensely enjoyable. At one point a guy next to me on the plane asked what I was reading so intensely. Okay? It’s good. I’ll try not to give away any big spoilers too.
Title: Insurgent (sequel to Divergent, number 2 in the trilogy.)
Author: Veronica Roth
Published: May 2012
Number of Pages: 525
Genre: Dystopian/Young Adult (Remember, there are gems in every genre!)
This book picks right up where the first one left off, in a fragmented state of total and utter chaos. After the Erudite launched the simulation attack, making the Dauntless attack Abnegation, Tris, her brother Caleb, fellow Dauntless initiate Peter, Tobias (FOUR!) and his conniving father Marcus are all on the run, seeking shelter at Amity. From there, they try to figure out the best way to stop Erudite, which means different things for different people. Sides must be chosen. Questions need answered. Secrets need uncovered. Tris is at the core of all of this, trying to figure out what is best in the midst of figuring out who she is.
II. Essential Questions:
- Can society function without factions?
- What is Erudite hiding?
- What is Marcus hiding?
- What is a Divergent?
- Who are the Divergent?
- I also worry: Do they drink any water? Do they eat enough? Do they shower enough? Do they sleep enough?
1. Setting: All over the place.
The book is still set in a future dystopian Chicago. However, we’re no longer in the Dauntless training room. I won’t lie, I sort of missed it. It was neat to read more about the other factions, especially Amity and the factionless, but it also left me a bit confused. I kept wishing there was a map in the book because it all became hard for my brain to wrap-around. (And I have a pretty good sense of imagination, seeing as how I wanted to be a cowboy named Steve with a herd of imaginary horses when I was younger.) I kept wondering: Where are they? How did they get there? How far away is one faction from another?
2.Hero/Heroine Personality: Oh Tris. I wanted to give her a hug. Or shake her….
Tris escaped from the EVIL ONE (Jeanine), and went on to rescue Tobias. What a hero, right? But she lost her parents. The world as she knows it is total chaos. Her boyfriend is now a target of the simulation serum. She doesn’t really know what being a Divergent means. She’s grappling with killing her friend. She’s lost her best friend because of it. What sort of impact does this have on a 16-year old? I mean, I’d be a confused shell of myself if all this happened to me. I’d need a lot of therapy. I’d be an immature PILL. And sometimes Tris acts that way. At more than one point, she doesn’t value her life. It’s frustrating, but I had to put myself in her shoes.
3. Love-Potential: Still there, but shaky.
No love triangle, which I’m happy about because there’s enough stuff going on in this book. Almost too much at times. Tris and Tobias have some MAJOR feelings for each other, like trying to figure out that they are completely in love with each other in a warring, factionless society. The first time someone told me they loved me, I was sort of stunned – didn’t know how to verbalize or conceptualize what that meant for me or for us – and I was living in a bucolic summer ranch. But I couldn’t overlook the fact that they have some huge, enormous, glaring communication issues. Like……they don‘t communicate. And Tris is in a really bad place in life. At times, it made it all hard to bear. I’d stop reading and shake my head, thinking to myself, “Did they just do that without telling the other?!” Other times, I just wanted them to lock themselves in an empty train car, release some tension, and forget about the warring factions for a bit.
4. The Extras: Tons!
Brutal fighting (this is rough), Will’s sister Cara shows up, Marcus is a key player (ugh), betrayal, torture, I LOVE YOU’s.
IV. Conclusion: A MUST READ.
Although, it’s not perfect.
I didn’t love it as much as the first one (like usual), but I’m so invested in this story it didn’t matter.
At times, there was a bit too much going on story-wise. I think the pace felt a bit rushed in places; other times, it confused me.
Y’all, the fight scenes were intense. Hard to read some parts. Yet, I liked that Veronica Roth brought in some real-life commentary on war and society, especially around gun-usage and power.
Veronica Roth did an excellent job creating a real, palpable, frustrating, nerve-wracking, and sometimes swoon-worthy portrayal of Tris and Tobias.
So many questions still unanswered. Ahhhh!!!!
I had to reread the last three pages like three times to absorb it. I still don’t know what to think.
V. Future Implications:
Now we have to wait another year for the final installment in this Divergent trilogy. Dammit.
VI. Additional Resources:
Next on my nightstand: Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore (partway through it…SO good….many maps!) and An Uncommon Education by Elizabeth Percer