Insurgent by Veronica Roth

September 9, 2012
I’ll admit it – I was a little anxious as I began reading Insurgent by Veronica Roth. Why? The first book in the series, Divergent, was not only one of the best dystopian books I’d read, it was one of my favorite books, period. However ,I was terrified of the disappointment which comes so often with an overstretched series. Luckily, Ms. Roth more than soothed my pre-sequel jitters with the captivating story of Tris Prior.
In Divergent, Tris started out a shy young girl with an enormous amount of hidden strength. After finding out she fit into not one, but three factions (thus labeling her Divergent), Tris’ life became infinitely more dangerous. Insurgent not only dealt with the repercussions of what happened in Divergent, but forced Tris having to learn how much a life was worth. She began taking unnecessary risks, believing her own life to be unimportant. With a war against the Erudite faction brewing, the time to be having a breakdown was definitely not when Tris was having one. Believing risk-taking will prove her worth as a member of the Dauntless faction, Tris nearly dies several times in pre-war skirmishes.
While the plot was perfect, Tris was a major problem for me. She was written as very depressive, despite the fact that she had the support of not only her boyfriend Tobias, but multiple friends. It is understandable that she would face struggles in Insurgent – after all, she
lost both of her parents in the same day, as well as the fact that she feels responsible for the crumbling of her former faction, Abnegation. Aside from these obvious internal battles, I felt Tris sank into an almost inexcusable amount of self-pity. Her conflict was almost completely internal, reflected by the fact that nearly all of her thoughts were about how terrible her life was. But what about all of the Abnegation who died? Weren’t their lives worse, when they died for reasons most of them didn’t even know? And why would she risk her life when that’s exactly what her parents died for?

Fortunately, my sentiments about Tris’ lack of discretion were shared by Tobias. Originally her initiation instructor, Tobias (who is known as Four to most of the Dauntless faction) spent a large portion of the book being angry with Tris for not caring about her life. As Tris’ boyfriend, it seemed like Tobias put a lot more effort into the relationship, but would go on little, “I’m done with you,” sprees, when he was clearly fed up with Tris not caring. I felt that it would have been great to have his character been develop more, but the reader does get to meet his mother and learn a little more about his background.

Even though they spent a lot of time fighting, Tris’ and Tobias’ relationship was much stronger by the end of the book. The external conflicts (i.e. Erudite war, Tris turning herself in to the Erudites, etc.) forced them to work together amidst everything. As a reader who couldn’t put the book down, I think them having to function as one when they could have given up made the book much more relatable than it might have been otherwise. The story is set in a world none of us can understand – after all, it’s at least one hundred years in the future – yet everyone today has experienced the fierce fight that comes with making a relationship work.

Veronica Roth has somehow took me and all of the other Divergent series fans back into one of our favorite worlds with Insurgent. It’s so much more than your average dystopian novel. There’s the expected technology - serums that induce people to kill themselves, high-tech security systems, insanely advanced MRI machines. But it’s also a story of self-sacrifice, believing there is always hope, and above all, fighting for what is right.

Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

FreelanceGirl said...
Sept. 13, 2012 at 9:40 pm
Okay, as the author, I just have to say how irritated I am about these typos - because a lot of them aren't mine!! Ugh, that's seriously annoying!
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback