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Book DetailsISBN: 9780007442928
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Book Review: Insurgent by Veronica Roth - Reviewed by Brodie (11 Jun 2012)
It's safe to say that Divergent was THE novel of 2011. It quietly snuck up on me at the time and completely BLEW ME AWAY. So naturally Insurgent has been my most anticipated sequel of 2012. Did it live up to the hype? Not at all.
IT OBLITERATED IT.
Insurgent picks up instantly where Divergent left off, with Tris, Four (Tobias), Marcus, Caleb and Peter having escaped the horrors of the Erudite attack and now seeking refuge in Amity. I'm pleased that we got to explore more of both Amity and Candor this time, but true to Roth-style, they are not always as black and white as they seem in theory. I'm not going to delve too deeply into plot specifics, because it's the surprises that are the most exciting. But Insurgent is the most thrilling, emotionally evocative and addictive (you must have god-like willpower if you can put this down for a SECOND) sequel I have ever had the jaw-popping, eye-bulging, electrifying joy to read.
Tobias and Tris? Favourite. YA Couple. EVER. I want MORE relationships like this in YA. It's secondary to the overall plot, but when it's focused on, it so intimately sweeps you up in the moment. I swear, I've never slowed down so much during the sexy-scenes of a book, just to savour every single word and fully appreciate the emotions both characters are feeling with every heated second. What they have is not puppy love. It's POWERFUL. It could destroy whole worlds with it's quiet intensity. They are magnetic in a way only Veronica Roth can pull off. And even when they're at odds with one another, which they are for quite a lot of the novel, with tension so thick you can taste it, the relationship slows to a simmer, but the desire rages on and every touch, every look shared across a roomful of people or tense conversation filled with longing and frustration, is simply put: f****** brilliant. Their relationship is layered and complicated, nothing is simple, nothing is easy, but every obstacle is so goddamn worth it.
Tris is one remarkable heroine. With all she endured in Divergent, we see a girl carrying a heart full of guilt, regret and raw pain. She lost so much and she incited loss too, the guilt of Will's death plays heavily on her throughout Insurgent. She goes through one heck of an emotional roller coaster, but through it all, even when she falls to the lowest of lows and especially when she doesn't believe she can go on, she does. She keeps fighting, because she is a survivor. She is still Tris. Brave and strong and not without fear, but not without fury and fire too. She's smart and resilient and one of the strongest, most complex and admirable heroines I've seen in YA. Even if at times you might not agree with her decisions, you still cheer her on and not for a minute does she allow you to become disengaged in her story.
Revealed are more sides to Tobias and oh, in the name of all that is holy and Dauntless, I am in love with this boy. He's not without his frustrations, mystery and secrets, but that is what makes him so captivating. It's his flaws that give him intrigue, mixed with a beautiful kindness and exhilarating, sometimes scary side. Four.... Tobias... he is a thrilling specimen. Sometimes I wish Tris was more expressive with him, because you could see in certain moments the pain and sadness he was holding back, but it made for the kind of emotional angst that is torturously delightful. Tobias goes through his own emotional turbulence in the sequel, some of which puts him in a position where he and Tris struggle to stay on the same page, but each has their own reasons, each fueled by the right motivations, and while it's painstakingly messy sometimes, both Tobias and Tris shine as individuals.
New alliances form, old ones shatter. Known faces are shown in an entirely new light; some for the good, some for the worse. I love how Veronica can so expertly shift your perspective on a character. She does it slowly, sprinkling clues, building up to the moment where she lays it all bare and you're left gasping for an oxygen mask. An uprising is well into play and our favourite characters are right in the centre of it. War, deceit, love and pain are crashing upon us and Veronica is not afraid to throw in all she has, leaving you to wonder how she'll recover to do it all again in the next book. I laughed, I gasped, I melted, my heart ran a marathon at dizzying speed and I bit my knuckles so hard I'm surprised I didn't draw blood.
The action is as pulse-pounding as ever, the secrets are more earth-shattering and the suspense will almost kill you. It has all the brutality, intensity and surprise of Divergent, but - and I never thought this possible - it's even better. Insurgent is every bit a worthy successor to the novel that smashed so many favourite lists of 2011. Veronica is an author who deserves to rise to the same kind of fame as Rowling. Yes, I am really going there. Insurgent is THAT good. And I am counting down the SECONDS until the third installment, because with the way she ended things? OMFG. DON'T END. DON'T END. DON'T END. DON'T END. *IS DEAD*
Veronica Roth is the No. 1 New York Times bestselling author of Divergent, Insurgent and Allegiant - the Divergent trilogy. Now a full-time writer, Ms. Roth and her husband live in Chicago. You can visit her online at Twitter, Tumblr, her blog, and her website.
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