Insurgent * Veronica Roth (Book 2)

“Like a wild animal, the truth is too powerful to remain caged.”

Insurgent takes off where Divergent left off. It is literally like we turned over the last page of Divergent and ended up in the beginning of Insurgent. Tobias, Tris, Marcus and Caleb travel with the remaining Abnegation to seek refuge with the Amity. The Amity live amongst the orchards and farms, just beyond the gates guarded by the Dauntless. It is not long however before they are discovered by the Erudite’s and must seek assistance from the only allies they have left, the Factionless.

“Insurgent, he says. Noun. A person who acts in opposition to the established authority, who is not necessarily regarded as a belligerent

Insurgent is a darker, more emotional and insightful counterpart to its primary novel Divergent. This novel focuses mainly on Tris, dealing with her actions and feelings from Divergent. Tris is emotionally fraught with guilt, anguish and loss and is not dealing with any of these issues. The reader is forced to watch her character’s demise into reckless abandonment, lack of self preservation and thoughtlessness. It is a hard pill to swallow, especially as Tris is the champion of the novel.
Due to Tris’ emotional issues, her relationship with Tobias becomes very tumultuous. Roth writes this so well, that I rapidly read this novel, hoping to get to the end where Tris was back to her normal self. Though what Roth makes you realize is that there will never be a ‘normal’ for Tris and these characters. Their world is being completely turned upside down and will never be the same again!

“This is bizarre,” I say.
“I think it’s beautiful,” he says.
I give him a look.
“What?” He laughs a little. “They each have an equal role in government; they each feel equally responsible. And it makes them care; it makes them kind. I think that’s beautiful.”

Roth uses a lot of heavy themes in this novel, such as fear, failure, disillusionment, loss and corruption. There are many surprises and betrayals.

“I read somewhere, once, that crying defies scientific explanation. Tears are only meant to lubricate the eyes. There is no real reason for tear glands to overproduce tears at the behest of emotion. I think we cry to release the animal parts of us without losing our humanity.”

There are people that you thought were trustworthy who are not. There are also many moments where situations look so dire that you cannot foresee a probable solution. Many friendships are tested, many lives are lost. Roth, however, very cleverly underpins her whole novel with the theme of hope. There is hope, courage, love, determination and patriotism that are needed to juxtapose the harshness and brutality of this world. It also provides an outlet for the reader and some reassurance that there is a sense of optimism in this new and every changing world.

This novel also allows the reader to explore each of the other factions in more detail. The opening chapters at Amity show a simple life of happiness and ease. The time spent with Candor explains so much value that is held in telling the truth, but also how sometimes the truth cannot set you free. The Erudite’s and their thirst for knowledge shows the harm and good in gaining information. It is such an interesting way to divide a society, but it highlights for the reader how within our own society all of these character traits are present. This then leads to the thinking of the Factionless, who embody every Faction and work together to create a society much like ours.

The book finished so abruptly that I kept flicking through the last few pages to see if there were any more chapters! Roth kept the suspense going throughout the entire novel. There are so many unanswered questions, so much to still understand! Allegiant was next!

People, I have discovered, are layers and layers of secrets. You believe you know them, that you understand them, but their motives are always hidden from you, buried in their own hearts. You will never know them, but sometimes you decide to trust them.

I was so happy this sequel didn’t become a filler book, or that it didn’t suffer on the “second-book syndrome” in which most second novels in a trilogy tend to be. I was surprised to realized that throughout the book there were so many things that actually happened, so many discoveries and things learned.

I thoroughly enjoyed the parts where we get a look on each faction. It was fascinating and interesting to see how they work and learn their beliefs and principles and ways of living. I saw the good and the bad in each of them, their issues and flaws and realized how much their world were twisted seeing how it limited their people to have their own individuality.

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