Author: Veronica Roth
Source: ARC from Harper Collins
Publish Date: May 1st 2012
*Note: I chose to use this cover image, as this is the cover on the paperback I received*
I hereby award this book 5 wings!
I have wanted to read this book since I put down DIVERGENT in December. I've been absolutely dying for it to come out. The thing I am probably most thankful for is, I didn't read Divergent until a long time after other people. So I've had less time to pine over the end of it and the upcoming Insurgent.
I normally start a review with cover-art appreciation, so I will for this one too. I must admit, I am a bit of a purple addict, so this cover is automatically something I would be drawn to, were it just a book on a shelf. I think it sits very well with the UK cover for Divergent. It's a soft colour, yet the picture is edgy. This book is unique in the fact that I love the UK cover just as much as the US one.
So on to my actual review:
It's not often that I say a sequel is as good as the book before it. But in this case, I was just as drawn into this book as I was Divergent.
There is something about Veronica Roth's writing style that hooks me in the first second and leaves me pining for more when it's over. She is a very talented author, creating a world that is beautiful in it's starkness. It's not a world I wished I lived in personally, I think that's because I am very uncomfortable with anything or anyone that tries to tell me what to do. I am too independent.
For anyone who doesn't know what I'm talking about because you haven't read Divergent *gasps at anyone not read it yet* but instead have come because you are a friend or follower interested in my reviews, just a quick re-cap of the Factions and what they stand for.
This Dystopian world is segregated into 5 Factions. Each of those Factions are dedicated to the upholding of a particular virtue. These are: CANDOR (the honest), ABNEGATION (the selfless), DAUNTLESS (the brave), ERUDITE (the intelligent) and AMITY (the peaceful).
As we discovered in Divergent, each Faction is not without it's faults.
Tris's initiation into her chosen Faction should have been a day of celebration for her and the other initiates. Instead it turned out to be a day not many would forget due to the unspeakable horrors witnessed that day.
The one thing I like about INSURGENT is it picks up seamlessly where we left off in DIVERGENT, so we really are thrown back into the thick of things. War is looming because of the ideologies of each Faction. They all believe strongly in what each one stands for and they will fight for their beliefs.
So Insurgent has an action-packed beginning where you are sat on the very edge of your seat, watching as the action unfolds around you. I will warn you now folks, have your seatbelt buckled for a bumpy ride. Some might liken it to something we call "Car Crash TV" - this means, you know it won't be pretty, but you just can't bring yourself to look away.
Don't get me wrong, it isn't all high-action scenes. You do get the chance to come down off the adrenaline-high and breathe for a while. Mixed in with all the action, are the scenes where we get to see the character development. We get to see how Tris and Four, amongst others have grown from one book to the next.
It's good to see that Tris has grown from the girl she used to be, into a somewhat more rounded young woman who can see things not necessarily as others would have her see, but without the rose-tinted glasses that some of the other Factions seem to wear.
But not all is well with Tris either. She seems to be on a bit of a self-destructive streak. Without going further in depth and spoiling the story for those of you yet to read it, all I can really tell you is that there were many times I wanted to reach into the pages and give Tris a shake. I wanted to give her a slap and a good hard dose of 'wake the hell up'. Oh so many moments that I wanted to tell her to trust others around her rather than try to go it alone. She's strong, but confiding in others isn't a sign of weakness, it's a sign that you trust others enough to let them help you reach your ultimate goal.
Tris is a self-deprecating girl at times. I really do wish she would learn that she has more value than she places upon herself.
But in my opinion Veronica Roth didn't write her that way just so that there were ups & downs, highs & lows within the story. She wrote it that way because it lent to the overall character growth - Tris had to go through all those hard times, self-destructive, ugly times, in order to progress as a young woman on her way to finding a reality, a life that she was more comfortable living.
I really wish I could say more on the subject, but I am afraid of my mouth running away with me - so at this point, I will just say, it needs to be read to be believed.
I loved Four. *swoons* Oh how I loved me some Four. He has to be my favourite fictional boyfriend. I loved the moments between the two of them. Amidst all that is going on, the chaos and strife, they still manage to have some sweet, stolen moments together. A touch here, a kiss there. I am a die-hard fan of the Tris/Four relationship.
There are things in this book that put a strain on them. Things Tris does and times when she doesn't put enough trust in him to tell him the truth. There are secrets she holds and choices she makes that put the whole relationship in jeopardy. It's a case of waiting to see if what they have is strong enough to withstand the trials and tribulations.
For me, one of my favourite things about this book and about Veronica Roth's writing in general, is that - even within a fictional, Dystopian world - she manages to inject a healthy dose of realism. It doesn't feel like you are reading fiction. Instead it feels like you are right alongside them, living things the way they do. You are the character Veronica didn't need to write - the story just sucked you down into it.
Whilst I was reading it, I really felt that the world had indeed been divided into 5 Factions. Thank goodness when I put it down I realised that it wasn't. If it were real, I would for sure rather be Divergent.
For me, I wouldn't want to live my life in the dedication to one particular virtue. I would rather be a part of all or none. I want to able to believe in all the virtues, not be forced to make a choice for just one.
I love how life is never simple within the walls of Insurgent, as we all know, real-life rarely ever is. Instead it's like a roller coaster that is being built as you ride it, so you are never sure where the end will be. Sometimes it's like hurtling towards a black hole at a speed faster than light. Believe me, as a woman who likes riding roller coasters, this was one I never wanted to get off.
Alas, I did have to get off because it did end. Now I am one of the many who are left pining for the last installment in this amazing trilogy.
Many thanks to be given to Harper Collins for providing this ARC. Bigger thanks given to Veronica Roth for writing these books and keeping me on tenterhooks for the next. In a way, I wish I hadn't read this early, as now I have longer to wait til the last one next year. I think I'll find myself re-reading both Divergent & Insurgent to relive some classic Tris/Four moments. Otherwise, I will be left pining for the two of them (Four especially).