I’ll be your family now.”Tobias, Insurgent, Chapter 36 Page 399
Author: Veronica Roth
Like the first book in this trilogy I also watched this movie before reading the book. Okay that was true of all of the movies and books so I will get that out of the way here. Like seems to keep happening to me in trilogies I really didn’t enjoy the second book as much as I enjoyed the first book. It was not bad by any means and it also did not make me angry like the second book in the Honor trilogy did, so that is improvement. This review will likely have more spoilers in it than the last. Fair warning.
Anyways, here is the goodreads summary of the book:
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.
First thing I realized while reading this was that I was reading this book like it was happening months/years after the first book when in reality it is maybe a couple days later. That was insane to me when I first realized it because I really had in my mind that so much time was passing.
I don’t remember all of the plot points of this book as well as I do the first and the last. Again this was one of those books that I feel like the point of it was to push the story forward to the next book. Though plenty of things still happened in this book. I will have to talk in specific details about quite a few things so this is your spoiler warning for this entire section. Just the whole section will probably be filled. So if you do not want that just move down to the final recommendations section.
Okay, for those of you still here let us begin.
I feel like the biggest focus Veronica has in this book is trying to talk about morality and honesty. Both lessons that are important to learn for everyone. Morality comes up a lot. First we see it when Tris is torn over having to kill Will. She knows that it was either kill him or he would kill her, but she still struggles with her choice to kill him. She has nightmares about it and even finds it hard for the remainder of the time to pick up a gun and use it. This is something that is glanced over with pretty much every other character, and in most other books. They just make it seem like killing is easy, like there is a right time to do it and a wrong time to do it. This is one of the first books I have read where they really show the character struggling with that decision. Yes, Tris could have shot will to wound instead of to kill, but she had been trained by Dauntless to kill to save yourself, not really to wound your attacker. As for honesty that comes up early on as well when you see her lying to Tobias (Four) about how she is feeling. She never tells him what is bothering her, never tells him about Will. You also see it come up in the Candor trial for both Four and Tris. Four tells Tris they are going under the truth serum because neither of them have secrets worth dying for. We learn that he kept is want to leave Dauntless from her, that she made him change his mind. This is also when we learn that Tris is not affected by the Candor truth serum and that she could have lied about what happened with Will. She chooses this moment however to admit to everyone that she killed him. Knowing that both Christina and Four will find out she has been lying to them. It takes a lot of courage to admit to a lie, and a mistake, in front of that many people.
We also see the issue of morality come up when it comes to Caleb and Peter. Caleb makes decisions in this book based off what he thinks is right. Faction before blood. For him it is not always a question of is it right or wrong it is a question of what is going to be right for the largest number of people. He makes a lot of mistakes in this book, things that make me go from liking his character to absolutely hating his character. I won’t spoil that for anyone because that change is so hard to put into words. Peter on the other hand shows the morality thing by being the least moral person other than the Erudite leader in this book. He jumps back and forth between whose side he is on to benefit his own self. Morality and honesty are not in his vocabulary clearly.
Major plot point here that I find very annoying is finding out that Tobias’ mom is still alive. I am sorry what. Why did that have to be included? He already has one shitty ass parent. Why did we have to add a second? I already loved him, Tris already loved him, give the guy a break. But no, we can not give Four a break because he is clearly the character Veronica decided to use to toy with our emotions. I can’t say I blame her for bringing his mother back, it was a plot twist I was not ready for when it happened. (Okay I was but that was because I watched the movie. I wasn’t ready for it in the movie the first time I saw it so I know I wouldn’t have been if I was reading before watching the movie.)
I feel like this wouldn’t be a Divergent trilogy review if I didn’t talk a little bit about the movie. Please just read the book before you watch the movie. Like I said about Divergent, the movie is its own work of art. It is good, but it doesn’t follow the same plot points as the book does. It gets you to the same result in the end, but it goes about it in a completely different way. It makes you feel bad for characters that you shouldn’t, and makes other characters so irrelevant to the story that you wonder why the movie chose to even include them in the first place. This has nothing to do with me liking this book less than the first, nor anything to do with how I decided to rate it, I just felt like that needed some addressing.
Despite the fact that I enjoyed this book less than the first I still enjoyed it and really think it is worth the read. There are a lot of things going on in this book. Some things that drive the plot, some things that never get touched on again, and some things that will lead to character development later. Read the books if you have not and you enjoy dystopian stories, you will not be dissapointed.
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