Monday, 20 August 2012

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

About the book 
Insurgent is the second book in the Divergent series by Veronica Roth. It was published on 1st May by Harper Collins and the book is 288 pages long. 

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. 

What I thought 
When I read the first book in this series, Divergent, I wasn't the biggest fan of dystopian books. I didn't even really want to read it to be honest but with so much hyper, I didn't want to be missing out on anything amazing. Divergent made me change my mind about dystopian books and I didn't think that the sequel could be anywhere as good. I was wrong. 

Veronica Roth's writing is both complex and clever and she carries this on in Insurgent. Unless you have read Divergent, you have no chance in hell of being able to follow what is going on in this book. It had been so long since I read Divergent that I had actually forgotten what was happening and it took me a little while to get caught back up with the world and characters that Roth has created. Insurgent puts focus on not only Tris this time but the whole Society in which she lives. This Society is in pieces after the events in Divergent and the different factions; Dauntless, Erudite, Abnegation, Amity and Candor, must decide where they stand. I loved how although each faction was separate, some were forced to work together otherwise they weren't going to get anywhere. 

As the factions are focussed on more than they were in Divergent, we get to find out a whole lot more about them. Each is run in completely different ways and each one stands for different things and ideas. The range of characters and interactions between the factions was one of the best things about this book for me and it made it a lot more interesting overall. What was fascinating to read about was the internal politics of each faction and how this could and would clash with any of the other factions. Each part of this world that Roth has created is extremely detailed but not hard to follow. 

What I love the most about Roth's writing is how she says exactly what she wants to and she isn't afraid to add in some very gritty and hard hitting scenes. Things are far from easy for the characters in Insurgent, especially Tris and Roth never shies away from this. Tris goes through so much in this book and is filled with guilt from previous events. After being forced to kill one of her own friends, Tris has no idea how to cope with the guilt of keeping this secret from everyone. I hated to see Tris so torn and I hated to see her put herself under such intense pressure. She is always quite broken after the events in Divergent, not being able to function properly anymore and this puts strain on her relationship with Four (Tobias). He doesn't understand why she isn't ok and she can't explain it to him without having to give away all of her secrets. 

The relationship between Tris and Tobias was fantastic. Even though they still clearly love each other and want the best for themselves and their faction, both characters have a hard time being completely honest. The strain and tension in their relationship was so wonderfully written and believable at all times. While I wanted to favour Tris and her decisions, I could see where Tobias was coming from also and it was hard for me to pick sides. I didn't want to have to. I just wanted them both to be on the same side and neither of them to be forced into making such hard decisions. Both characters grew on their own and together in different ways but I don't think this was always for the best. Both Tris and Tobias have secrets throughout this book and although it would have changed the plot, I did want them to trust each other more. 

Due to the nature of the plot, some of the scenes were quite hard to read. In terms of violence and action, Insurgent has a hell of a lot of it. People who like The Hunger Games because of how brutal it was will probably like this series just as much. Although it could have been too much, I think that each terrible event was more than justified and fit the story extremely well. All the way through the book I was hoping and praying that nothing bad would happen to my favourite characters but with Roth, you never really know what will happen. There are twists and turns all over the place due to so many characters being deceiving and secretive and I was on the edge of my seat the whole time I was reading. 

I really didn't think that Insurgent could be better than Divergent but it was in so many ways. I can't wait for the next book now.

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