Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth
One choice can transform you–or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves–and herself–while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.
Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable–and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so. (Goodreads)
The factions, they are a’crumbling. Dauntless traitors have sided with those nasty old power-hungry Erudites and Tris and Tobias, along with a few friends, find themselves seeking refuge among the Amity. Tris’s parents are dead, and her brother, Caleb, has left his own faction to help Tris and to find safety once again. Marcus, Tobias’s monster of a father, is now with them as well, and neither Tris nor Tobias trust him.
Tris finds that Marcus is secretly meeting with Johanna the “leader” of the Amity. Through some stealth eavesdropping, Tris overhears something interesting: Marcus believes he understands the motivation of Jeannie (of Erudite. So many names!) and her evil plans. Especially plans she has for the Divergent. When Tris, unable to contain herself, confronts him, Marcus suggests that Jeannie knows what lies beyond the city gate, and further, why the gate locks from the outside. (You guys I have been dying to know this!). But he won’t tell her anything (hate him!).
At the same time, the Erudites continue to attack the Dauntless and Tris must find her place in this war. There are certain people, like Tobias, she trusts without question. There are others she hates, like Marcus, but who may have the answers she craves, answers about the things her parents fought and sacrificed their lives for. Here she is once again put to the test and has to decide whether or not to listen to those around her or follow her own instincts. I think you can guess what she decides to do. I mean, come on.
I thought this was a great sequel. Yes, there is a whole lotta crazy fighting and traitors and oh-my-gosh-who-can-you-trust situations, but I felt this story was awesomely intense, though in a different way than its predecessor. There is so much tension between the factions, each having to decide to side with Erudite (who seems to hold all of the cards) or not, or trying unsuccessfully to stay neutral. And even among the ranks of those Tris and her counterparts trust, there is drama and fighting.
There is also some super fabulous kissing between Tobias and Tris. I’m not going to lie, this is a major selling point for me. I like their relationship, which is fraught with pain because they are both so stupidly pig-headed and fierce, but it’s also full of beautifully raw emotion. They don’t mince words and they don’t hold back at showing the level of absolute devotion they feel for one another. This time around they’re both keeping secrets, no one more than Tris who is not only struggling with massive guilt over shooting Will, but is creating plots she knows go against Tobias’s wishes. But you have to love that girl. She’s driven and she does not stop, even at the cost of her own safety.
Roth really brought both Tris and Tobias to all-new levels in this book. We get to learn a little more about Tobias’s history and, more than anything, we see how constant his love is for Tris. And Tris is even more fascinating as her aptitude for Dauntless, Erudite and Abnegation come together. Her impulsiveness and her recklessness come forth stronger when she is acting out of selflessness and her instincts, her ability to see a situation from all sides, become a greater strength in the mental and physical battles she has to endure.
Crush Intensity: 4.5/5 Of course, I liked the first book more because it was such a fresh, new idea, but this was a strong sequel. Roth took it in the right direction. It was a bit long and the ending leaves you hanging, but it still packs a punch. It’s a good read.