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.
I want to start off this review by saying that I was really reluctant to start this book. Whether that was because I was scared Insurgent would have typical second-book-syndrome or whether I was just a little tired of the similar patterns in dystopian YA, I couldn't say. But, despite my reluctance, once I was past the first few chapters, I started to get into the writing and really flew through it.
I enjoyed the characters in this book. Tris, our main protagonist, was feisty and outgoing in every way possible, and I really enjoyed the insight we got into how her Divergence was affecting her choices. However, sometimes she could get a little reckless and it seemed like everything she was told not to do, she was immediately determined to do as if to show that she could not be controlled, which started to grate on me after a while. There is also a certain matter concerning Will - which I won't go into due to spoilers - that bridged the gap between the first and second book, and was, I felt, a little too dragged out during this book. I understood that it needed to be there, but after a while it did start to annoy me.
The plot was crazy; there's lots of running around and jumping on trains between factions, and there never seems to be a time when a character stays still. I really enjoyed learning about the members and customs of other factions, although sometimes I felt that there was a little too much running around with not really too much purpose. The build up to the ending was absolute chaos, but I loved it; the last few chapters of the book, with so much happening, were really exciting to read. However the ending, I felt, was slightly underwhelming; this may have been because I had been told so many times about how mind blowing it was, and although it was interesting and offers some explanation on the factions and how they came about, I still didn't feel as if it was anything too revealing.
Tris and Four's relationship throughout the book is turbulent, and I enjoyed how it wasn't too simplistic or perfect as it made it more realistic. There were times when I wanted to scream at them to just be honest with each other, and times when I didn't feel like they would last, but I was happy with the last we saw of their relationship before the end, and am interested to see how it develops further in the last book.
Overall, I gave Insurgent 4/5 stars. Was it as good as Divergent? I wouldn't say so, but it was certainly a fast paced sequel that didn't have too many symptoms of second-book-syndrome. I am really excited to see how the last book unfolds, and to see how Veronica Roth will wrap up the story.