Insurgent by Veronica Roth: Review

Title: Insurgent
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Publication Date: May 2012
Length: 525
Series: Divergent (#2)
Reason for Discovery: the Internet
From GoodReads:
Fighting for survival in a shattered world… the truth is her only hope. The thrillingly dark sequel to No. 1 New York Times bestseller, DIVERGENT.

"I have done bad things. I can’t take them back, and they are part of who I am."

Tris has survived a brutal attack on her former home and family. But she has paid a terrible price. Wracked by grief and guilt, she becomes ever more reckless as she struggles to accept her new future. Yet if Tris wants to uncover the truth about her world, she must be stronger than ever… because more shocking choices and sacrifices lie ahead.

Spoilers for Divergent only.
After the events that happened in Divergent, Tris and Four need to refocus and decide what they are going to do next. They make new alliances and new enemies. If Tris and Four are going to discover the secrets of their community, they are going to need to think fast.

Although I found Insurgent to be better in the world building department, I continue to feel meh about this series. Let's start on a positive note! I was pleased that there was a lot more world building in this book. We got to see how a few of the factions lived and how these factions enforce their community's goals. I really liked seeing how these factions really work. In Divergent, Tris sees a little bit of Abnegation and Dauntless, but as a "junior member" she didn't really get to see the inner workings of either faction. Now we get to see the factions for what they are. Each faction's world building felt internally consistent. I believed what was going on within each faction. I should note that although I found the world building to be interesting, it dragged the story down. I can understand why some people had trouble getting through this book. The action gets pushed to the side in an effort to explain what is happening.

In Insurgent, we also get a little bit of the real story behind this community as a whole. I found this to be interesting, but it reminded me a plot twist of a particular movie that will remain nameless for those who haven't read this book (or saw this particular movie). Although I was happy to finally get the real story behind this world, I felt it was too little too late. I really needed someone to explain why this faction world made sense to anyone living in the society. When the big reveal happened, I half-expected everyone to look at each other, nod, and say, "well that makes sense, why else would we be living like this?" 

When reading Divergent, I figured that the reason that the readers were following Tris was because she is one of the only people who were considered divergent. At the end of Divergent, we discover that there are a lot of people who are divergent. In other dystopian books with a teenage protagonist, we usually learn that there is something special about him/her. For example, in the Hunger Games series, Katniss becomes a symbol of the rebellion. As readers, we want to follow her, because she is where the action is. I am not sure why we need to follow Tris. Aren't there divergent adults we can follow instead who know what is happening? Tris is a well-written character, I just feel that there are characters that are more likely to take a leadership role, if this was a real life situation. There are a few hints of why Tris is important towards the end, so maybe it will all make sense. 

Overall, I continue to be a bit disappointed with this series. There are things that I like about this series like how Tris is written, but I continue to find problems with the series. If you enjoyed Divergent, you may find Insurgent a bit slow but still good. If you felt iffy about Divergent, I probably wouldn't continue the series.

I give the book a 2 out of 5.

2 out of 5 cats



Chanzie said...
December 20, 2013 at 5:11 AM

Oh no! So sorry this series isn't working for you. If you didn't enjoy it too much then I don't think I will either. I had such high expectations for this series after all the hype and seeing it on almost every blog! Great review Pamela :) 2 kitties is better than a DNF.

Chanzie @ Mean Who You Are.

Bellas Shelf said...
December 20, 2013 at 1:49 PM

I completely understand what you mean about the series not working for you. I loved Divergent. Insurgent was a let down to me. I did not feel the same sense of urgency to continue flipping the pages.
I read a quarter of it & put it down. It's not a "DNF" book, but I have had it since it came out & have not picked it up since. I have "Allegiant" now too in e book form. I should finish the series. I have heard ppl were not thrilled with the series finale.
I loved REBOOT & am stoked REBEL is coming out. I pray its not dullsville. Sometimes book 2 is a real let down and that always makes me sad after I simply adored book 1.
Tris was a well written character, but I don't feel she is too terribly "strong".
Her boyfriend? Four, to me is the one to watch. He has a fascinating history and is a strong leader imo.
Aaahhh well. I will finish Insurgent then Allegiant and see how I feel then.

Bellas Shelf said...
December 20, 2013 at 1:50 PM

Sorry, Reboot & Rebel are a totally different series and author. Amy Tintera. I think you may enjoy Reboot if you have yet to read it..

Nara said...
December 21, 2013 at 2:00 AM

It's weird because even though I've read this book twice, I don't remember ANYTHING about it. Divergent is one of those series that, for some reason, I can never remember. It's strangely unmemorable :/
I do seem to recall that this one was worse than the first book though!

Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms said...
December 21, 2013 at 8:41 AM

Too bad you didn't enjoy reading Insurgent, Pamela. It's no fun to pick up a book and end up not being entertained the way you expected. I think this is sometimes harder when it comes to books that have a lot of hype surrounding them - our expectations are high then.
I hope your next read will blow your socks off!!
Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

Unknown said...
December 21, 2013 at 4:44 PM
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...
December 21, 2013 at 4:45 PM

I'm so disappointed that you didn't like this series! This series has been one of my favourite so far because of Veronica Roth's writing style. I urge you to buy Allegiant and hopefully that may change your mind about the books.
- Annie (

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer said...
December 21, 2013 at 11:48 PM

I loved all the subtle hints about what the world is. I plan to read the final book over New Years. So sorry you didn't enjoy this one Pamela.

Jessica @ Books: A true story said...
December 23, 2013 at 12:39 PM

That’s a really interesting point about Tris and why people are following her. I hadn’t thought about that before. The most interesting thing about this series is the factions and the world building. Great review.

Unknown said...
December 25, 2013 at 1:06 AM

So many other people love this series, so you might like it. There were just so many things that rubbed me the wrong way about it. I am honestly surprised, because I normally jump on the bandwagon and love the same books that everyone else loves.

Unknown said...
December 25, 2013 at 1:09 AM

You are right that Insurgent doesn't have the urgency that Divergent did. I am going to be like you and push on and end up reading Allegiant; however, I am at the point where I don't think I will mind if I am spoiled.

I hope that Rebel is good for your sake! I feel like I end up feeling both excited and a sense of dread when my favorite books are about to come out.

Unknown said...
December 25, 2013 at 1:10 AM

LOL. No worries. I do that too. The titles are close enough that they sound like they should be part of the same series. :)

Unknown said...
December 25, 2013 at 1:12 AM

That is kind of hilarious. I have that problem with books too. I had completely forgotten that most of Catching Fire happens outside of the battle arena.

In regards to movies, I have seen The Black Cauldron three times now over the years. After a few weeks, I completely forget what happened in the movie, and a few years later I decide that I need to see the movie again. I watched it with my husband this last time, and he noted that the movie was pretty bland and that is why I don't remember it. Of course, a few years from now I will end up deciding to watch it again and the cycle will continue. ;)

Unknown said...
December 25, 2013 at 1:16 AM

I really think my expectations were way too high for this poor trilogy. I think I am going to have to wait and read Allegiant in a few months. Of course, I should probably just read it, because most of the buzz I heard about it was lukewarm at best. Allegiant will probably knock my socks off, because my expectations are so low!

I feel frustrated with balancing my desire to read the books that everyone is loving with my level of expectations for these books.

Unknown said...
December 25, 2013 at 1:18 AM

I am still going to read Allegiant. I do want to know how this is all going to end. There is a lot I do like about the series. Tris is written very well, and each faction is a very unique world. There are just some things that I can't let go. I am definitely in the minority in my opinion though. :)

Unknown said...
December 25, 2013 at 1:20 AM

That is right! I remember you mentioning that. I hope you enjoy your New Year's reading of Allegiant. :)

Unknown said...
December 25, 2013 at 1:22 AM

I completely agree with you about the faction world building. I really liked how each faction appears very "prim and proper" (outside of Dauntless that is); however, once you visit each faction's community, you discover that they all engage in some scary and domineering behaviors that involve injecting needles into people's necks or drinking certain concoctions.

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