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on September 27, 2013
So please forgive me if this review isn't very coherent, but I am in stunned awe at the amazingness that is Insurgent. I literally have no words to truly express my feelings towards this book. Words like amazing, incredible, wonderful come close to describing it, but they still fall short. Veronica Roth has done it again.

From the moment I picked up this book, I stopped reading for one simple reason, and that was to eat dinner. Other than that, I read it straight through because I just had to know what was going to happen to Tris and Four. I was thoroughly engrossed in the world Veronica Roth has created. The ending WILL take you by surprise and anyone who says they saw it coming is a liar. Not only does it shock you, but it will leave you craving, wanting, and dying for the final book.

The Tris in Insurgent is very different from the Tris in Divergent. The events in Divergent have altered her and made her question a lot about herself and the people she trusts. I still believe she is a great and incredibly strong character. Despite what happens to her, she still perseveres and tries to push though. Four (Tobias, whatever you prefer to call him) is beginning to compete with Patch for the title of "Teresa's Favorite Fictional Character". But if I am honest, there is no way for me to choose between the two because they are so different. I love that Four is strong and doesn't coddle Tris, because he knows she is strong. This is such a difference from many male leads who feel the need to be way too overprotective. I love Four, plain and simple. I hope the next book has Four in every single scene, although I know this is impractical.

This next bit of the review might be a bit spoliery, but not really since Veronica Roth stated it before Insurgent was released, but here was your fair warning to skip to the next paragraph. I absolutely loved that there was no love triangle. It would have gone against everything in Tris' and Four's characters, and personally I think there are more important things going on in the series. While this in no way means Fourtris had it easy, the problems came from themselves and their situation, rather than some new random love interest. This fact made me love the book even more.

Normally, the second book in a series is my least favorite, and while I cannot say for sure that I liked Insurgent more than Divergent, I can say that it lived up to every single one of my very high expectations. The story itself was incredible and the plot twists kept me constantly guessing. Normally, I can get some sort of beat on where the story is going and how it is going to end. This did not happen here, I never knew what was coming and was shocked on numerous occasions. This book has everything a good book should have: action, romance, heartbreak, shockers, and drama.

Overall, I highly highly recommend this book. It will not disappoint. If you loved Divergent, you need to read this now. If you have not read Divergent, what are you waiting for? Read that, and then read Insurgent and join the rest of us in the wait for the final book.
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on January 30, 2015
I finally picked this up after waiting patiently for not only the movie to come out but for the trilogy to be complete. The idea of having to wait to read the entire series because it isn't out yet is rather annoying, so I'd just rather wait then get obsessive over it. Lets just say, if I didn't wait I definitely would have obsessed over when the next book comes out. I finished this in a sitting... mainly because I just broke night and read through it until the end. It was great! And I am so excited for the movie to come out on DVD so I can pick it up and finally watch it. I have been spoiled for some parts of the movie and some parts of the books thanks to Tumblr and Instagram, but still an amazing read... something I was not expecting. Lets just I have already ordered both Insurgent and Allegiant so I can get right into it. Although it bothers me that I had to get them both in Hardcopy, when my Divergent copy is in Paperback, but you know what... I'm that excited to finish the series. Plus I'm tired of getting spoiled so much. By now you can already tell I loved the book, I loved the world and the story building. I thought it was incredible! I loved Tris as the heroine, and when I say love I mean LOVE. Apart from Hermione, she is one of my favorite female characters! She was just amazing. And of course I loved Four, he was awesome as well! I just really enjoyed the book so much, I don't know what took me so long to read this! Definitely Highly Recommended!
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on July 19, 2012
After the horrible events during the Dauntless/Erudite attack on Abnegation, the factions are all in turmoil. Amity has chosen to stay neutral, and that is where our heroes take refuge, but war is coming and they have to take part if they hope to save the people. Tris Prior is having her own inner war dealing with grief and guilt over what's happened, and she needs to get her head in the game because a lot of people are counting on her. As they get ready for battle hints about the real reason Abnegation was targeted will come to light; secret information that only leaders of their government, like Marcus, know. Tris will have to embrace her Divergence, especially her affinity for Erudite, if she hopes for any chance of saving everyone.

Veronica Roth has wow-ed me again with Insurgent. The plot, the characters, the surprises, the secrets, the emotions! There's so much I want to discuss about Insurgent, and I will try to do it without any major spoilers! However, if you haven't read the first book, be warned! there are Divergent spoilers.

Let me start with our Dauntless heroine. Tris is shaken by what happened at the end of Divergent. Nightmares about the death of her parents, and what happened with Will keep her up at night. She keeps running the scene in her mind, thinking she could have done things differently. This was the hardest part for me, seeing Tris lose her Dauntlessness because she's blinded by grief. Lines like the one below made me want to slap her.

There is a part of me that wants to be lost, that struggles to join my parents and Will so that I don't have to ache for them anymore.

There are a lot of lines like this. I really thought Tris was stronger than that, than wanting to die. I understand the change, but what I hate about it is that she's giving up! She's giving up when there's still a reason to live, and his name is Tobias. He loves her enough to keep trying to get her to snap out of her dark mood, but Tris is too caught up with her inner demons. Tobias doesn't want her to give up, but he also won't put up with her reckless behavior forever, and I loved that he said so to her.

"If you throw yourself into danger for no reason again, you will have become nothing more than a Dauntless adrenaline junkie looking for a hit, and I'm not going to help you do it." He spits the words out bitterly. "I love Tris the Divergent, who makes decisions apart from faction loyalty, who isn't some faction archetype. But the Tris who's trying as hard as she can to destroy herself...I can't love her."

What made me sad though is that Tris continues on her downward spiral even after Tobias talks to her about it. Doesn't this mean that she doesn't love him enough to want to live? Doesn't she see that she's not alone? She has not lost everyone. Sigh. It takes a strong shock, an ultimate reality check to get her to see sense, but I thought that was a little too late for her to realize that she had someone who loved her. And that she should fight to stay alive because of him. Still, amid all the angst and depression Tris is still able to see things as they are, and take action.

Four is still the hot, badass, sexy man we love. We get to know more about his past when it comes back to haunt him, and Tris realizes she might not know all of Tobias. I thought he trusted too easily, which I found completely out of character for him, but I liked that Tris called him on it every time. Their relationship is struggling but neither wants to give up the other. Though it makes for a very frustrating romance, it's also more realistic. I mean, relationships aren't supposed to be easy, and I liked that they try again and again to work through their problems.

The plot wasn't all inner angst and relationship troubles. There was action, secrets that needed uncovering, a bit of back stabbing, and no end of surprises. We get to know more about some of the other factions, as our heroes travel back and forth between each base. There was a lot of death in this sequel, which is why one of my favorite parts is the paintball fight at Dauntless HQ. This is what Tris says:

"I decide to keep the shirt to remind me why I chose Dauntless in the first place: not because they are perfect, but because they are alive. Because they are free."

I think after all the death and chaos we too needed a reminder of the true nature of Dauntless, and a little fun time if only for a minute.

The ending was a real shocker. I'm still going back to that last chapter and re-reading it, making sure I read that shit right. I so didn't see that one coming, though now that I think about it, there were some hints. As for Tris and Tobias, though they return to a 'happy note' I thought they still had issues to resolve. I already know there's more trouble coming their way. Not just for the factions, but for them personally and I can't wait to read it! All I have left to say is that the wait for the third book will be horrible. HORRIBLE.
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on May 23, 2012
I'm attempting to write a review of a "book" which I won't be able to give justice to. Insurgent is a story at it's finest, a book at its best, awesome to the fullest. The extreme plot, complex characters and unexpected twists and turns of events that never fail to surprise and amaze the readers made this book a
one huge awesome read. I can't tell you how much I love this series!

Once again I was thrown into the world of Divergent, beautiful and terrifying at the same time. The story immediately picked up where the first book left off--Tris, Four, Caleb, Peter, and Marcus--in the train heading to the Amity compound. I'm glad that this time, Insurgent gave me a glimpse of what it is to live inside Amity, the faction dedicated to pursue peace. In the same way that the readers were given the opportunity to see how to live in Candor.

There are so many things to love about Insurgent, and I won't be able to finish if I state them all. But what I loved the most is Four (*swoon). I love it because I get to know him more in this book. Though there are lots of readers who seemed to be so irritated by him, I think he remains strong and amazing. And though Tris annoyed me from time to time because of her recklessness, I'd say that she's the most effective heroine I've ever met. She's strong-willed and smart and absolutely kick-ass. She suffered a lot--the death of her parents, the destruction of Abnegation, and the guilt of killing his friend Will--but she remains strong all through out the story. I just hope that Tris learned to trust Four, and not be stupid to think that Four will just let her go and do whatever it is that she wanted even if she risk her life. I want to pin-point one thing that Tris must have been missing the whole time: Four will always come to the rescue no matter what. He ends up saving her all the time. And Four should have trusted Tris more. I see that both main characters have their own issues to deal with like trusting each other and learning how to communicate with each other better. I hope they will learn to work this out in the next book to spare the readers some heartache that may result from stabbing one another out of arguments whether who is most infuriating of the two! Believe me, I felt stabbed a million times now! *winks*lol*

The setting of the story is as great as ever. The pacing is perfect! No dull moment, no boring ones. Most of the times I was expecting something to happen and then my heart throbs, my stomach flutters. But what's great is that they come when I'm least expecting them--always surprising, shocking even. Action-packed, full of suspense and lots of exciting moments. This book will leave you breathless. The characters are amazing as ever. Friends and enemies aren't what they seem. You'll hate some of those you loved, and love some of those you hated. The turn of events will question what you believe, who to trust, and where to stand. The twists and the revelations will amaze you once again, something that Veronica Roth didn't fail to give her readers.

I don't think my rating can ever give justice to it. I would give it a "10" if I could. I will definitely give this book the highest possible rating I can give. This book is what you call "the total page-turner." It did not disappoint, it will never disappoint. Undeniably and irrevocably, this book will take it's place beside Divergent -- there on top of the list of my most favorite books.

To Miss Veronica Roth,
Once again, consider me awed.
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on April 4, 2016
Post-apocalyptic Chicago is protected by tattooed teenagers, governed by teenage Mother Theresa's, plotted against by teenage bookworms, with 2 other groups of teenagers that serve no purpose whatsoever.

Who actually works in this Chicago? The poverty-stricken "factionless" masses that somehow go along with this.

Ok, whatever. Why was there an apocalypse? Not sure.

Oh, and in this book you can take a group of teens and turn them into peerless warriors in a couple of weeks of jumping off trains and beating each other up for no real reason.

I love the part where Tris gets shot in the shoulder, has the bullet removed without anesthesia, and can still run, jump, fight off a zombie army, witness the violent death of both of her parents and make-out with her boyfriend without any noticeable difficulty.

Lastly, why exactly do the trains never stop? How do they refuel, who drives them? There are just too many stupid issues with the book that suspension of disbelief is impossible.

I don't write reviews, but perhaps this will save at least one person the agony of investing any time or money on this book.

I gave it 2 stars because 1 star seemed cruel, and there are a few interesting images here and there but the book is mostly hopeless.
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on November 21, 2014
I was really disappointed with Insurgent. I thought it was forced and not at the level that Divergent was. Things like: Erudites developing weapons without so much of a hint of foreshadow, Tris's sudden turn on Four due to a hunch over rational thought, the need for Four to prove himself by publicly humiliating his father to declare his territory among the Dauntless baffled me and took me out of the story.

Tris in this edition showed little growth. For the most part she didn't really deal with the turmoil that was going on around her. I thought a character with her strength and determination would have to find a way to cope with her losses. After all isn't that what the fearscape showed us? Yet when major events occurred, Tris would at best quip or have a moment of discomfort and then move on as if nothing happened. She was very bland, lackluster in her evolution. In fact she seemed more distraught with the situation that occurred with Will than her parents. I could only think that was because she had to deal with Will's girlfriend. I just never found Tris to be this shallow. She lost a slew of people that were close to her both living and dead and her responses were at best momentary. I just couldn't get into this character.

Personally, I wished Divergent had dealt with the simulation world and Insurgent dealt with the physical. I did not care for the way the climactic scenes were handled. I'm not sure why the computer system only used the virtual to protect itself and why poison gas would be slowly administered. That didn't seem reasonable. If they were going to protect the system it certainly wouldn't be a game of wits.

The truth serum scenes were the bright spot of Insurgent. I thought it was wonderfully crafted, flowing and suspenseful. I wonder why that didn't carry through the rest of the book. If not for brilliance of these scenes, I would have only given Insurgent one star.

As much as I liked Divergent, I found that Insurgent suffered in too many areas. Although Veronica
Roth is a master, Insurgent did not rise to the standards I expect from such a high quality author.
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on October 10, 2014
Originally posted on my blog: Tangled Up In Books

Insurgent picks up exactly where we leave off in Divergent and from there the roller coaster ride begins. Friends become enemies, enemies become allies. Lines are drawn, lines are crossed. The major thing I've discovered now that I'm two books in and sitting here nervously eyeing Allegiant is if you ever feel like you know what's going to happen next or whether that character sitting there smiling sweetly at you is for sure friend or foe, 3/4 of the time you're most likely wrong. Well at least that was the case for me. This one was packed full of surprises. The number of times I stared at the page wondering, sometimes aloud, just what in the hell is going on I couldn't count on one hand. The heart pounding intensity was just as strong in this one as it was for me in Divergent. I think the only difference would be that there was a darker tone here. One thing was for sure, there is no case of the sophomore slump here.

In the first book I came out of it feeling like up to that point I really only had a strong grasp on two of the factions and a partial on a third, though by the end of this one I feel like I have a better grasp on all five. Each one of the factions absolutely fascinates me. I love learning new things about them and seeing how they operate. I also started to see that it is true what's been said before that not one faction itself is bad. There's going to be good and evil within each one. Though I still feel like some of them have the scales tilted just a bit more towards evil than the others...

It's quite easy to become attached to most of these characters. I only say most because there are quite a few I would gladly put a bullet in their head with no remorse whatsoever. They are all so full of depth and they're part of what intrigues me so much about the different factions. Each person really embodies the personality of their chosen faction. It's so hard when characters are so likable, especially in a book such as this one. People are going to die. People are going to betray one another. Some of those deaths and betrayals hit me really hard. One in particularly I am steel reeling over.

Tris had me in a big spiral of emotions through basically the entirety of this book. Actions taken at the end of Divergent completely flipped her world upside down. It was hard to read and watch her go through the guilt and blame taking on top of all the other heartache she was going through and slowly sink inside of herself. It was frustrating and hurt to watch her go from this total ass kicking girl from book one to a shell of what she once was with a nonexistent self worth, yet still being able to see small sparks of her old self trying to break through.

If going from book one to book two is any indication of what I have in store for me next I am both excited and nervous to see what comes next and ends the series. The ratings are all over the place from one star to five and that honestly terrifies me. I fell in love with Divergent and Insurgent just deepened it for me. I don't have the best track record for being happy with series enders but I'm hoping and praying that it won't let me down. Please...please...please... *Crosses self* I'm going in...
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on February 20, 2015
Divergent is the first in a series of novels of a future world created by Ms. Roth. And boy, has she created an fascinating look at one possible world having twists and turns as the story unfolds! It is fairly accurate with the movie of the same name. For me, I watched the movie and decided I would read the book. I kept imagining the characters in the movie although Ms. Roth does a fine job describing the main characters as well as many faces of the others faction members. I'm now on the third novel in the series. If you like a fairly fast paced, somewhat telegraphed storyline in a good adventure love story, give this a read. Notice by the way, the huge numbers of reviews. It is no accident it made the movies. I just found out the second in the series is coming out in the theaters next month. Ms. Roth has done herself credit with her new world she has created for us. Enjoy!!
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on July 24, 2015
Wow, what a twist and disappointment. After reading the first book, I was impressed how closely the movie followed along, and I could see why. It was well written, perfectly paced, and for the movie to stick so closely was a testimony to how little room for improvement was left with Divergent.

I came into Insurgent expecting more of the same. Man was I grossly disappointed. I actually saw the movie first and thought it was very well done, so I was excited to dig into the book expecting a similar storyline but some deeper character insights and the juicy bits you get from the book that just don't translate onto film. What I got was a ragtag, at times completely nonsensical, rambling, all over the place mess. It left me scratching my head wondering if these were even written by the same author. Anyway, here is the breakdown, as always Pros first.

Pros:
1) The best pro was a carryover from the first book. The worldbuilding in this series is brilliant and innovative. I really like the deeper look inside Candor, and to see the dichotomy even between those houses like Amity and Candor who should have been allies in standing up for what was right. This really was the only high point in the book.

Cons:
1) Inconsistent characters. It was like some of the characters from Divergent developed multiple personality disorder. Tris turned completely unlikeable in this book, and given that readers are trapped in her head due to the 1p POV, that is not a good thing. Other characters seemed to act in ways contrary, or at least inconsistent, with how they were written in Divergent.
2) Story. Things sometimes happened for no reason. Characters acted in unfathomable ways. Sometimes obviously courses of action were ignored by otherwise brilliant strategists. All in all this felt like a REALLY BAD fanfiction written in the Divergent setting.

Since reading and expressing some of my displeasure at the drop in quality between Divergent and Insurgent, I have heard rumors that the third book drops even further so I should go ahead and lower my expectations. I think I will pursue another course. Given how much quality stuff there is piling up in my reading queue, I think Insurgent was bad enough for me to do something I rarely do...leave the series unfinished and give the third book a pass.
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on April 2, 2013
Divergent is a straight-forward young adult drama-turned-action utopian story set in the near future. It has been oft compared to The Hunger Games, and that is a fair comparison if only for the fact that it involves a supposedly-perfect society in the future and centers around an adolescent girl with blooming, previously unknown potential.

The story takes place at some undefined time in the future in a `fallen-and-restored' version of Chicago, Illinois (this is never expressly clarified, but the hints are there. Plus, it's the author's home city). In this society, there are five factions or sub-cultures within the culture, each with their own traits and chosen ways of life. The factions each have elders that make decisions for all the people as a whole, though there is no president or sole person in charge. When a child turns sixteen, he or she is tested for what faction they would best fit into, which may or may not be the faction they were born in. The test results are only for evaluation and reference, as the child still has the option of staying in their home faction or moving on to another, regardless of suggestion.

The book opens with Beatrice on her testing day, and the faction-choosing day that follows. This, if you hadn't guessed, is where things take a turn from the norm. It's also where this `Divergent' term comes in, but I shan't ruin that part.

To be honest, the plot takes a little while to get moving, even after Beatrice chooses her faction and begins training. If the book has one flaw, it is the author's lack of detail. When I sit down to read a `sci-fi' novel describing a version of humanity's future that differs greatly from our present, I want to know, in at least moderate detail, how things are different. What advances have been made technologically to improve life? What does the architecture look like? How do people dress? A small amount of this information is revealed as the story progresses, but I failed to get an accurate, overall picture of what this future really looked and felt like because the plot is largely dialogue-driven. Through the speech, one gets hints of the surroundings and situation of life, but the scenes are frustratingly acute in their focus.

I realize that this is, after all, a novel written primarily for teens, so you may perceive I'm expecting too much from a young adult novel and feel tempted to suggest I go read some Tolkien. I understand that; I'm saying the lack of detail is blaring in this story, and it was a bummer because it could have been stellar. Other readers may not be so bothered by it.

Alright, on to the good stuff: the plot is pretty original, or at least it tries to be. It would be hard to be completely original in the wake of books like 1984 or Brave New World, as most books of this sort of kind of trickle-down copies of one of those, including The Hunger Games. But Roth still makes it fun to read, and once you really become familiar with the different factions and what they stand for, their society (and it's flaws) start to gain some depth. The characters are enjoyable and diverse, especially the chemistry between Beatrice and a faction trainer named Four.

This book has been criticized for it's violence, but I did not find it to be excessive or unnecessary. There is no more violent content than can be found in the later Harry Potter books or Hunger Games. Plus, it's presence in the story is tasteful and makes for compelling action. Additionally, the `simulation' scenes, in which characters literally face their fears in a virtual-reality type setting, are among the most creative and exciting sections of the book. They are intense, widely varying, and some are undeniably creepy.

I got the feeling that there is something big and weighty buried beneath the subtext of this book; something larger than the lives of these kids in factions, something that could shake their reality forever. This is the first of three books, so I reckon that the author is building up to something epic which will unfold later. Divergent does have an ending of it's own with an exciting climax, and while it doesn't exactly end on a cliffhanger, there are definitely some threads intentionally left unconnected. Also, the villains (the ones who aren't blatantly obvious) are being hinted at all through the book, but never fully acknowledged, so I'm sure they will come into play later as well.

For what it is, Divergent is a good book full of interesting ideas, a writing style that is easy to read, and events that keep one tearing through large chunks in one sitting and coming back for more. A fun little piece of escapism with promise of greater things to come.
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