Book Review: Insurgent by Veronica Roth (5/5). The trilogy ramps up!

6 Mar

I know I said I read Divergent quickly, but I flew through Insurgent. I think I read 95% of the book in three sittings, the last one being Saturday morning where I didn’t get out of bed for three hours because I wanted to finish it. I considered giving this 4 out of 5 stars as well, but I liked it a lot more than the first book, so it gets a full 5 stars. By the way, there will be massive spoilers in the summary. You have been warned.

Cover Image courtesy of Goodreads.com

Cover Image courtesy of Goodreads.com

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Starting off exactly where the first book ended, Tris and Tobias must find a way to defeat the Erudite and the rebel-Dauntless who have murdered half of the Abnegation. They try to find support in Amity to no avail and hide themselves temporarily among the factionless before seeking refuge among the Candor. When they learn they are a bargaining chip the Candor leader will use to save his own pepole, the Dauntless return to their home. Jeanine has had the rebel-Dauntless raid the Candor headquarters before they can escape, shooting a simulation chip into most Candor and some Dauntless. Tris and Tobias fear that with this power, Jeanine will attack again and the Dauntless numbers are not high enough to fight back. The Dauntless align themselves with the factionless in an attempt to eradicate the Erudite and their knowledge.

Meanwhile, Tobias’s father knows that there is some secret information that Tris’s father died to protect. Jeanine is keeping it from the rest of the population because it will change the way society functions so entirely that nothing will never return to the way it was. Without telling Tobias, Tris finds a way to avoid the Dauntless invasion, instead sneaking in with a team of four and trying to uncover the information. While Tris fails, Tobias find the information and is able to broadcast it to the entire population. It would seem that everyone is living in a giant experiment that hopes to find those with the ability to problem solve from different points of view: the Divergent.

I am much more enthusiastic about this series after reading Insurgent. The summary I gave leaves out a bunch of things for the sake of simplicity and still probably doesn’t make much sense. I’m too busy thinking about reading Allegiant to care. The ending reminded me of a book I read way back in middle school, Running out of Time, where the main character discovers she’s living in a time capsule and that outside of her town, it’s not the 1700s but the 1990s. I’m so excited to see where Roth goes with the final book and I’m anticipating finding out what happens beyond the walls.

Insurgent is about power: who has power, who deserves it, who we should trust with power, and what to do once you have it. Evelyn, Tobias’s mother and leader of the factionless, gains power and tries to usurp the factions and impose a faction-less system. Jeanine obviously has power and she keeps it through careful guard of information and limited access to full details. Tris is nominated to be a Dauntless leader but turns it down, knowing that there are others who will use the power better than herself. The question of whom to trust is hard to answer. Johnanna, the leader of Amity, seems to be one of the most trustworthy to me. She defies her own faction in order to stop the fighting, realize that what’s happening is bigger than her and Amity. Even in the end, the most powerful thing is information and it’s only through freedom of information that power can be restored.

Jeanine withholding information is a good reference to censorship and what it can mean for a population. In Insurgentthe population doesn’t know their origins and when Jeanine finds out and knows it will hurt her, she keeps the information hidden. This reminds me of the Freedom of Information Act and how scared politicians seemed that the information revealed would damage them personally. Government censorship is a hot topic in many countries today, North Korea being a prime example. Censorship can oppress a population into submission.

Comparison to The Hunger Games is obvious. An oppressive government that wants to hold off a revolt through withholding information, etc. The change that I like in the Divergent series is that the oppression really comes from within. Whatever exists outside the fence has set up the world that Tris lives in, but Jeanine is keeping them there. I really like this twist and it feeds on fear of the unknown.

Returning to the theory that dystopias are popular now because of our dissatisfaction with the current government and economy, I think that censorship is a great topic for Roth to cover in her books. I’ve heard before that those outside the US think we’re ignorant of world issues. I wonder if Roth is commenting on this and how the information we receive is filtered. On the news, I’m more likely to see a piece about local high school sports than the Ukraine. That’s a form of censorship.

This is probably the least coherent book review I’ve written and I think it’s because of what a whirlwind this book was to me!

Writer’s Takeaway: Talk about action! I almost think there was too much action in this book. In each of the short chapters, there was a massive amount of action packed into the terse prose. The plot kept moving so quickly that I didn’t have time to absorb what was happening some times.

I also thought there were a lot of characters and it was hard for me to keep them straight. I was glad that Roth didn’t re-introduce every character at the beginning of the second book, but even characters I thought had clear relationships in my mind got confused by half way in. I couldn’t remember everyone’s girlfriend, parents’ names, original faction, and loyalties; it was too much.

Despite these complaints, I still think this was an excellent example of a YA book with action and meaning. I think it was a great sequel. A full 5 out of 5 stars.

Until next time, write on.

Related Posts:
Review- Insurgent (Divergent Series. Book #2) by Veronica Roth | Book Gossips
Insurgent by Veronica Roth | Review | The Librarian Who Doesn’t Say shhh!
Insurgent by Veronica Roth | Nerdy Book Club
Lottie Reviews: Insurgent by Veronica Roth | Lottie Reads
Insurgent by Veronica Roth Review 3/5 | Blogs-of-a-Bookaholic

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9 Responses to “Book Review: Insurgent by Veronica Roth (5/5). The trilogy ramps up!”

  1. readingcook March 6, 2014 at 1:09 PM #

    Outstanding review! Excellent points on why dystopias are so popular and the filtering of our news. I have also read this series and agree that it is well written and engaging. Hunger Games really opened the gates to a wave of similar books, with the Divergent series, the Legend series by Marie Lu, and the Razarland series by Ann Aguirre being among my favorites. They all give teens – and adults – reason to read, and that is always a good thing.

    Like

    • Sam March 6, 2014 at 1:19 PM #

      I love when books can be embraced so much in our society. I think Harry Potter really opened this door and I’m so glad to see where it’s gone. I know my husband would recommend James Dashner’s Maze Runner series if you like dystopias. I haven’t read it yet, but I plan to before the film comes out!

      Like

  2. lynnsbooks March 6, 2014 at 2:12 PM #

    Thanks for the review. I read Divergent quite a while ago and enjoyed it so not quite sure why I haven’t got round to this yet. I have made a little bit of a vow to try and finish some of my series so I should probably add this to the list!
    Lynn 😀
    Must look into this Maze Runner series.

    Like

    • Sam March 6, 2014 at 2:58 PM #

      I’ve read mixed reviews on Insurgent, but as you can tell, I loved it. I’m half way through Allegiant now and I’m not as big of a fan, but I can’t wait to see how the series ends!

      Maze Runner is for sure on my TBR list!

      Like

  3. beckyday6 March 8, 2014 at 5:50 AM #

    Great review and thanks for the shout out! Unfortunately something went a little wrong for me in this book and I didn’t like it as much as the first, so I’m glad you enjoyed it more than me. 🙂

    Like

    • Sam March 8, 2014 at 9:38 AM #

      I read a lot of reviews that felt it had middle book syndrome. I’m almost done with Allegiant now and I think Insurgent was my favorite of the series.

      Like

      • beckyday6 March 8, 2014 at 12:53 PM #

        Ohh awesome, I hope you enjoy Allegiant I’ve seen a lot of mixed responses. I’m pretty desperate to read it but I’m impatiently waiting for the paperback to come out. 🙂

        Like

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. WWW Wednesday, 5-Mar-2014 | Taking on a World of Words - March 11, 2014

    […] finished: I finished two books on Saturday, Insurgent by Veronica Roth and Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Insurgent review will be up tomorrow, Outlander […]

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  2. Book Review: Allegiant by Veronica Roth (3/5) A reminder not to change your narrator in the final book of a trilogy. | Taking on a World of Words - March 14, 2014

    […] following, you saw me fly through Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy. I read Divergent and Insurgent not that long ago and on Saturday was able to finish Allegiant. I’m glad I read these so […]

    Like

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