ABOUT THE BOOK
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
young adult sci-fi dystopian thriller published by Katherine Tegen Books on May 3rd, 2012
second book in Divergent trilogy
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.
Note: There will be spoilers below, proceed at your own risk.
There are books that needn’t exist because they don’t seem to serve a purpose, especially those comprising of 500+ pages that go on and on and on. What happened in the first 70 pages of Insurgent could have been resolved by page 140 and that’s stretching it a lot. But oh no, after numerous plot inconsistencies, overused tropes and lots of dragging on, we come to a lukewarm revelation. In other words, the plot of Insurgent could have been shrunk to fit inside Divergent for that how little of a plot it has.
I restarted this series feeling like I should give Tris and Four one more try but yeah, that didn’t happen. I was already wary of them after Divergent and then both the characters devolved spectacularly like you wouldn’t believe in Insurgent. I have to applaud the many instances where Tris and Four are basically the same aren’t-very-nice-person(s)-ever. I just cannot see them ‘in love’ after the way they lied through their teeth to each other throughout the book. Theirs is not a healthy relationship and these characters are not the ones that were in Divergent which you’d think would improve things, but no.
So Tris is going all out on the whole too stupid to live scenario like chill down on the stupid, yo. Even without considering she is the most rare Divergent to ever exist (YA heroines be our special snowflakes, right), she chooses to go with her instincts when it comes to Marcus. This just goes to show conflict for the sake of conflict because there will obviously be consequences of pitting Marcus against Tobias. Then you have Tobias working in secret with his factionless mother, Evelyn, so he’s just as closed off as Tris is. Yet he does have half an ounce more intelligence than Tris because of the reason why he infiltrates the Erudite headquarters. However, that’s it. That’s all I have to say about him.
What bothered me most about Insurgent is how the subject of depression and suicide is taken so lightly. Like, it’s a dystopia so it’s fine? No, it’s never fine. I get that the situation is so dire that Tris just wants to stop fighting and die but man, handing yourself over to the enemy would just prompt the enemy to hunt more Divergents when their experimentation turn out to be successful. It felt like Roth was vying to portray all three sides of Tris and failed to portray them well (or at all because let’s admit, factions never made sense to begin with). Sacrificing herself to save others (and getting others to off herself in the process) is the Abnegation in her, the Erudite is going with her instincts because what’s thinking things through when you’re high on Divergent brain and the Dauntless is just driving it all home. In short, Tris’s actions are just plot devices on top of plot devices and all because of fucking serums which are the biggest and the most convenient plot device of all in the series.
That brings me to the ever-present serums. A list of serums that cannot affect Divergents: simulation serum, truth serum, mind-controlling serum, please-stop-talking serum, more serums that I don’t care about. Except peace serum. It’s safe to assume that peace serum is probably some kind of a drug which is why it affected Tris as much as it did. However, what’s in the rest of the serums that is so fucking useless in altering the chemistry of Divergents’ brains? The inconsistency of the plot is just shoddy as hell. How was this even allowed?
Going with the theme of Divergent, there’s still no worldbuilding in Insurgent. What there is in abundance of are descriptions of all the different factions headquarters. Amity are the happy-go-lucky community of farmers and only because they’re getting drugged via their bread. Candor is all out on black and white because what says honesty like black and white in a checkered pattern all over a place. Erudite fucking wear glasses to prove their intelligence and have the cleanest labs there ever were. Fuck you, Erudite for the wear glasses, will nerd out trope. Also, surprise, surprise! Abnegation live in houses that are clones of each other. Why the fuck do the Abnegation need so many resources for houses when they’re the selfless faction?
In all, Insurgent is a joke of a book and I was laughing by the time I finished reading it. In retrospect, I seem to find it more problematic than funny which is sort of sad. However, I’m still laughing about how this is a bestseller and weeping for all the trees that were sacrificed for this useless piece of fiction that renders itself absolutely shitty with a crappy as fuck ending.
‘Do remember, though, that sometimes the people you oppress become mightier than you would like.’
This review is amazing, and it *almost* makes me want to re-read, just so I can lolz along with you. I think I'll spare myself, though. "Fuck you, Erudite for the wear glasses, will nerd out trope." <– hands down favorite sentence. The one advantage to being excited about sequels and speeding through them is that it prevents me from having time to actually think about what I'm reading. I remember being disappointed after Insurgent, but it was more of a general "wow, that wasn't nearly as good as [I thought] Divergent was" feeling. I definitely didn't pick up on all these issues that seem so obvious when you point them out.
I almost want you to read Allegiant just so I can read another review like this one. (it's so much worse so the review will probably be even more fun to read LOL) Are you going to read it?
This review was refreshingly honest haha! I really enjoyed reading it! I DNF'd Insurgent because the first 50 or so pages bored me >.< Great review! 🙂
Tatiana Montalvo says
This comment has been removed by the author.
Haha seems like I can be such a good book pusher when I hate a book and don't want others to read it. But yeah, spare yourself please.
Seriously! I thought Erudite might actually need the glasses but there was a paragraph when it was clear it was all for show and it pissed me off. The fact that there are still stupid stereotypes in the future says everything, really.
Yeah, it always take me a few days to sort through my feelings about a book and they usually intensify afterwards.
I'm definitely reading Allegiant starting in early February so you can expect another review like this. So ready to be done with this trilogy, haha.
Heee. If I DNF-ed books, I would have DNF-ed this so fast. Believe me, it doesn't really get better after the first 50 pages.
Ruty B. says
I loved your review!
I only read Divergent and couldn't move on. After reading one dystopia YA the all look the same.
Like other reader said after reading your review I want to read the book just to laugh with you
Thanks for your honesty
Gosh, you actually read Insurgent after not really being a fan of Divergent? You're more dauntless than I am (Did you see what I did there? Hey-oooo! Faction joke!)
I still cannot fathom how Divergent won a Goodreads Books of the Year award. I was so unimpressed with Divergent that I didn't even contemplate continuing with the series. Granted, I'm not really good at keeping up with series to begin with, but I at least optimistically proclaim that I intend to carry on (if the stars align and I don't get distracted and I don't totally forget that I intended to carry on with a series). Although, I must say, after reading your hilarious review, I *almost* want to pick up Insurgent just to see how much worse it can get.
Ah, yeah. Sadly that seems to be the issue with YA dystopia. I would 100% recommend Red Rising trilogy by Pierce Brown, though. So good!
Heee, you're welcome! =D
I have an issue with abandoning series and I spent money on the books so that was another motivation. Haha I laughed at that joke!
I have given up on understanding how Goodreads YA winners work out. Such unimpressive results every year.
Haha I would actually not recommend reading Insurgent, it took me weeks just to find the motivation to read past page 60 or so. Meh.
Goodness, peace serum working on Tris when all other serums failed really didn't make sense. Unless they laced it with alcohol and weed? In which case it wouldn't be their standard serum. Come to think of it, I could totally imagine Amity as a hippie commune, so grassed serum doesn't sound all too far-fetched. Lol.
Haha, oooooh dear. Your Divergent review inspired me to re-read it, and this review is also inspiring me to hurry up and re-read Insurgent to see if it really was that bad 😉
Haha should I feel bad for you?=P
I’ve heard so many people say they’re sure they won’t like the series if they reread so they just don’t. Meanwhile, I really need to get on Allegiant and be done with it all. Aahh!
Such a good review. Well done. I keep convincing my fiance that he doesn’t need to read Divergent (he wants to see what the fuss is about), but he insists that he’ll get to it soon. I haven’t read any of the sequels, but it’s good to know that they’re just as awful as the first.
Oh, if I get it in my head that I need to read a book to see what the fuss is about I usually do so and end up regretting it. It’s a hard life, haha. But yeah, if I hadn’t brought Insurgent and Allegiant after loving Divergent so much the first time around, I totally wouldn’t have continued.
Eli @ The Silver Words says
I loved the first book in the series but to this day, I can’t stand the second two books in the series. I thought the second two books were a complete disservice to Veronica Roth’s writing skills, and I was so disappointed. I’m going to give her another shot with Carve the Mark though, because I did really love Divergent. I can completely see what you’re saying with Insurgent. Just… WHY? ;-; There were so many things that went wrong with it. Great review though, and I love your blog theme!