Fiction: “Insurgent” by Veronica Roth

insurgentAll right, I’m going to attempt to bang this out as quickly as possible, because I’ve got a wedding to go to and I still have to give myself a mani-pedi. There might be a second review coming out later tonight, because in addition to the wedding, I’m on a deadline for awesome, and if I don’t get X, Y, and Z done before tomorrow, then I’m going to be very disappointed in myself.

Hold up – did I miss The Ten Commandments this year?!  OH IT’S ON TOMORROW THANK GOD

Oh, that also means my friends who are watching Once Upon a Time get a week’s reprieve this week.  Thanks, ABC.


Also: I also realize there’s a movie out for this book in theatres right now. I haven’t seen it – I’m gonna wait for it to show up on Redbox. In addition, there is no way I can discuss Insurgent without getting into significant plot points from Divergent, so if you don’t want to know anything about this series, turn back now, because ahead be sea monsters.  And by “sea monsters,” I of course mean “spoilers.”

Insurgent picks up directly where Divergent ended – with the Abnegation faction in ruins after being attacked by the Erudite-controlled Dauntless; Tris’s parents are both dead, and now Tris, her brother Caleb, her boyfriend Four/Tobias, Tobias’s father Marcus, and a handful of other friends and allies are running to the Amity compound.

Brief note about Four, also known as Tobias: I will be calling him Four. We find out his real name is Tobias in the end of Divergent, and in this book, Tris pretty consistently calls him Tobias, whereas all other characters call him Four. But when I hear “Tobias,” regardless of the fact that I know the actor playing him looks like this


And that I should picture someone like this,

carl weathers

But all I can see is this:

tobias blue himself

So; Four it is.

ANYWAY, the gang is all hanging out in Amity regrouping, and no one trusts Marcus (because he was abusive to Four, dontcha know) and also, Tris is uber depressed at the fact that her parents have died. Aw man, that sounds flippant, and I do not want to diminish the fact that her parents have died because it is important. Tris’s reaction, however, is so Young Adult that I almost can’t stand it.

Essentially, Tris is so despondent over the fact that her parents died for their cause (which isn’t truly revealed until the last fifty pages of the book, bee tee dubs) that she decides she’s going to take every risk imaginable in order to a) die for the same cause and b) join her parents in the afterlife. It takes her half the book (and multiple instances of Death Wish Overload) for her to realize that her parents didn’t die as martyrs to a cause – they sacrificed themselves so that Tris could live. Once that hits her, she’s still all about risks, because she’s a teenager in a dystopian fantasy, but she’s less headstrong about barging into dangerous situations without making a plan first.

The rest of the plot is very jumbled and fast-moving: they make a plan to fight Erudite, but then Amity gets attacked, so they have to escape. They hide out among the factionless for a bit (and find Four’s mother, who thought she had died – surprise!), then they go to join forces with Candor, but then Erudite and Dauntless – who are still working together – break into Candor and shoot everyone with a serum that will control that person from afar, unless that person happens to be Divergent, in which case the serum won’t work and then Erudite will be able to determine who is Divergent, which is very helpful for the Erudite, but not so great for the Divergent, which includes both Tris and Four.

There’s a whole big thing about how the reason the Erudite want to weed out the Divergent is because they are unpredictable in their decision-making. When faced with a problem, Erudites will solve it in one manner, always; Dauntless (sometimes literally) attack the problem, again, in the same manner as any other problem. But Divergent will look at problems from all angles, and make an informed decision using traits and techniques from across the factions. And when you’re planning a coup, individuals who do not react in a predictable manner are dangerous, according to Erudite.

So that’s why the Erudite want the Divergent. And when they start controlling some of Tris and Four’s Candor and Dauntless friends into committing suicide in order to get some Divergent to turn themselves in to Erudite. And of course, when that happens, Tris sneaks out and turns herself into Erudite the next day, because she has a death wish.

Fight fight fight, shooting shooting shooting. In the end, they defeat the Erudite and find the knowledge that they were after, and how it affects the Abnegation and the entire faction program. But that’s a spoiler, and also, I can’t quite remember it because I returned the book to the library a month ago.

Insurgent doesn’t really give the reader time to breathe – it’s all PLOT FIGHT PLOT SAD PLOT FIGHT PLOT PLOT. Every decision that Tris has to make is steeped in importance, and while I can agree that, in the midst of a war (however fictitious), things do happen very quickly, I still think that some space between episodes can let the reader regroup, and react to things.  It was a very quick read, but at times, I felt that it was a little too quick.

So thanks for reading my incredibly disjointed review of Insurgent. Hopefully I’ll be able to manage my deadlines appropriately and we’ll be having a nice Easter treat tomorrow.

Grade for Insurgent: 2 stars


One thought on “Fiction: “Insurgent” by Veronica Roth

  1. Ahh! Yes. I was disappointed with Insurgent too. I felt alone until now. I’m sure that there are people who genuinely loved it, but I have to wonder how often people get caught up in the hype so badly that they see it as great without really thinking about it. Great review.

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