Insurgent by Veronica Roth
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I didn't hate this book. It's hard to hate a book that was really easy/fast to read. I don't feel like I really wasted any time on it, despite its lack of substance. Another reason for me to harbor no ill will towards Insurgent is because my boyfriend had already read it and I enjoyed making fun of the main characters/discussing the story with him.
If you've not read Divergent, you won't care about this review/book at all. Insurgent starts exactly where Divergent left off. No recapping, which is the author's creative decision (I agree with her reasoning--recapping can be awkward and clunky), but this left me confused for a little while, especially since I really only skimmed Divergent. Once I re-calibrated, everything made more sense.
The story itself is pretty solid, if you can continue suspending your disbelief from the first book. Yes, breaking the human population of a dystopian Chicago into five factions based on very broad personality traits (bravery, selflessness, honesty, peacefulness, logic) is a little silly. Assuming that people who display aptitude for several traits at once are inherently dangerous is even sillier. For the sake of the story, though, sure, why not?
I'm also a fan of the setting--I'm game for almost anything set in Chicago, and a future Chicago where the Sears Tower is referred to as The Hub sounds like fun. My roommates and I have enjoyed mapping out where each faction headquarter is located.
Where Insurgent loses stars is with its unbelievable dialogue and annoying narration. I don't care when or where your story is set, people still need to talk to each other like they are real people and not cardboard mouth-holes.
I also wish Tris wasn't the narrator, or that she didn't tell us so much. Trust your readers, Veronica Roth! We hear, from Tris, that she sees someone look a certain way. Then Tris goes on to state that the aforementioned facial expression must mean this because of this event and this person must be feeling this way because when this event happens to people they often feel this way. I felt like Tris was slapping us in the face with story filler. "Guys, I'm going to do this now because I am part Erudite and that makes me logical!" "Now watch me be selfless and sacrifice myself because I am also from Abnegation!" Then Tris would momentarily forget there was a war waging because she got lost in Four's blue eyes. I could have done without the romance.
Again: this book didn't make me angry at its author, and I wasn't furiously trying to finish so I could be done with it. It was more like, meh, that was fun, but c'mon now, really? Will I go on to read Allegiant? Yeah. Insurgent ends with a cliffhanger that was the most interesting aspect of the book--a thicker plot develops and we get a glimpse of what this trilogy has been trying to set up all along.
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