Big Book,  YA


Veronica Roth
War looms in sixteen-year-old Tris’s dark dystopian world as disputes between the factions grow. Tris must now fight against all odds to discover the truth that can save her and the people she loves. Sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge – and the choices she makes will have devastating and unexpected consequences.
If you have read Divergent (and if you haven’t look away! and check out our review) you will know that Tris, at age 16, went through the choosing ceremony and made a choice to leave her own faction of Abnegation and join Dauntless. Then later on we find out that her simulation results indicated that she had an aptitude for 3 factions and could have chosen any one of them – that she was in fact Divergent. That choice has led her on a roller coaster of an adventure, as she went through the violent Dauntless initiation process, was picked on for her size and quickly learnt who her enemies were. She also begins to realise that all is not well between the five factions and that in fact a war is coming.
Insurgent takes up where Divergent left off, with Tris and Tobias heading for the safety of Amity after the horrific Erudite attack. There is no recapping so it may be an idea to have a re-read of Divergent first to remind yourself of where the story is up to. Insurgent is fast paced and keeps you gripped. I have to keep reminding myself that Tris is just a mere 16 years old, one who has lost her parents and whose life is at risk for her Divergent qualities.
Divergent introduces us to the five factions; Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless and Erudite. In Insurgent we get to know each faction better. Although each has their own particular set of beliefs and morals, there is a consequence for holding those ideals so highly. For example, Candor values honesty, but yet they value it so highly that they have no thought to the damage that it might cause. Dauntless are free and value bravery but their chaotic way of life and complete recklessness leads to much unnecessary damage and death.
There is much fighting and loss and Tris is truly on a journey as she battles, not only to find out the ‘truth’ and what the significance of the ‘Divergent’ is, but also to battle her inner demons as she comes to terms with all that has happened. She seems increasingly reckless and finds it hard to make the right choice as her guilt and grief threaten to overwhelm her and at times I admit to getting frustrated with her and wanting to shout at her!
Tris and Tobias (Four) seem more apart than they are together for a lot of the book as they battle their demons separately and find it hard to trust and completely let go and be honest with each other about what they are each dealing with. Yet their underlying commitment to each other despite everything is very touching but it’s heart breaking at times as Tris is so conflicted as she wants to reach out and touch Tobias and be close to him, yet constantly holds back because of her pain and confusion. There is a lot of emotion going on that sweeps you right up with it. Phew!
The last few chapters are pretty relentless and I even confess to getting a wee bit confused and having to go back and re-read a few pages there is so much going on! There is a twist in the end… not completely unpredictable but it’s left me musing over society and its ills and how easily society could get to this place. Scary stuff!
Verdict: This is a fast paced and very gripping sequel to Divergent. I completely loved Divergent and still love it a little more than Insurgent, but am hooked on the story as a whole and cannot wait for the final part of the Trilogy to make its appearance next year.
This post is part of the Team #CANDORUK campaign for #INSURGENTUK
Reviewed by Lesley

Publisher: Harper Collins children’s
Publication Date: May 2012
Format: Paperback
Pages: 525
Genre: Dystopian, Romance
Age: YA
Reviewer: Lesley
Source: Provided by publisher
Challenge: None


  • Sarah

    Fab review Lesley, I actually think I loved Insurgent even more than Divergent. I’m glad I re-read Divergent before I started it though because there was so much that I had forgotten since I first read it last year! It’s going to be a loooooong wait for the final instalment though lol

  • Jo

    Great review, Lesley! Your’s is the second review I’ve read wherre Divergent has been preferred to Insurgent. I find that interesting! Originally, I preferred Insurgent to Divergent, but thinking about is, they’re both completely different stories – Divergent being about Tris and her own story, her initiation, etc, and Insurgent more about the society as a whole and the problems, though focussing on Tris too. I think it’s a little difficult to say which I prefer, there are different elements of both that I just love! I love them both, I think that’s what I go with (though.. Insurgent was REALLY good! Haha!).

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