In book two of the Divergent series, we begin right where the last book left off. War is looming. Each faction is being forced to choose a side and haunted by horrors they have seen. Tris Prior is ragged with grief and guilt, mourning her parents, friends, and her very faction. But Tris wants answers. Why did this happen? What was the secret her parents died for? And how can they stop this war before everything falls apart?
I am warning everyone now, there will be a lot of spoilers here. I finished this book three days ago and the more I think about this book, the more problems I have with it. Originally, if I had written this post three days ago, I would have given this book 4 stars despite the major teen-angst. However, I think my star rating may have dropped down to 2 1/2 stars.
As with most teen series these days, the second (and third) begin right where the last one left off. There is little to no recap for those of you who didn't read the book back to back. Thank goodness there is wikipedia and goodreads for those who don't remember all these different characters and factions and politics. However, if there was a character that you connected with in Divergent, do not expect to have the same connection with them in Insurgent because they all change so much.
Insurgent reminded me of Harry Potter #5, riddled with teen angst and one massive death wish. Tris goes from being a hero to a complete head case with more issues than Rolling Stone. There was a heavy focus on Tris and Four's relationship, which, as you can imagine, was grating. Why does it matter that these two love one another when their entire world is falling apart? Four shows his love for Tris over and over again and yet she fights it, ruins it, flaunts it, and then tosses it away.
And what does she toss it away for? Information. In a mind boggling twist of fate, Tris finds herself siding with Marcus, Four's abusive father, in a covert operation to find the one piece of information that forced the Erudite to mind control the entire city. Marcus, a known liar, abuser, and manipulator, somehow convinces the ever-logical Tris that she should trust him and not tell Four a thing, because for some reason Four is now completely untrustworthy, even after sacrificing himself to save her life. Then, Roth drags out the secret until the very end, and I can promise you this, it wasn't that world changing.
Here is a big issue I have had with these books. How can you possibly separate human nature into only five categories? Five? I mean, I have always had issues with Astrology and blood typing, but at least there are more categories than five. No wonder the Erudite rebelled. You stick all the smart people together in one room and I promise, they are going to eventually have a problem. For that matter, the Dauntless are a terrible faction. A group of trigger-happy, undisciplined, extreme sports fanatics who are almost worthless as far as security is concerned. What a terrible way to build a society. Especially one that isn't very old. Someone did not plan this very well at all.
I don't know what is going to happen in the final installment, but I can only hope that Tris is now over her self-deprecating death wish and can move on into this new factionless world where she will actually have to be a hero rather than just react when bad situations are thrown her way. Please Tris, don't be another reactionary character like Katniss Everdeen. Please.