Google+ If You Like Books: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

If you like: traitors * overcoming fears * selflessness

This review contains spoilers for Divergent, so if you haven’t read it yet consider yourself warned.

Insurgent is the sequel to Veronica Roth’s Divergent. (See my review here.) This book is set in the aftermath of the Erudite led attack on Abnegation at the end of book one. Tris, along with Tobias, attempts to discover the information that her parents died to protect. Divergent status takes on a different role in Insurgent, as it is revealed there are more divergents than most people suspected, and that they seem to be the key motivation behind the attack.

There are many secrets and mysteries inside the walls of society, but Tris comes ever closer to solving the puzzle. In Divergent, she spent much of her time concealing her identity and surreptitiously gathering information. After stopping the simulation her secret is exposed, which allows her to step into the role of a leader, and fight much more openly. The biggest obstacle for Tris to overcome now is finding out who her parents really were and what secrets they took with them to the grave. Tris is a reluctant leader, and feels lost at times. Instead of fighting to save everyone, she now must choose who to join with and who to believe. This is much more difficult and makes it harder for her to know the right choice. Her strength lies in her ability to recognize the core of what motivates those around her, and use it to find the truth and to find unlikely allies. In other stories these turncoats would seem like a convenient contrivance, but Tris’ valor makes it easy to see why they follow her and trust her instincts.

The exploration of character and personality in Insurgent is even more fascinating than that of Divergent. Previously, choosing who you were was limited to five core values. Now, the world of the factionless has been opened up, and the prevalence of many divergents muddles the concept of the factions. Each type of faction is still important to keep society as a whole. Without knowledge, bravery, sincerity, selflessness, and friendship the world cannot function. Do people inherently favor just one of these traits, or does each person possess a little of each? Though other characters are remarkably impressed with Tris’ many abilities, the number of faction transfers and divergent abilities indicates that nearly everyone has multiple aptitudes. One’s strength does not put a limit on growth of character or the will of an individual to strive for the greater good. At the same time, the belief that one value is more important than all others can corrupt even the best of intention and lead to the unraveling of society. This concept highlights the important of being multifaceted and not segregated into a single focus.

If you won’t let the color of your shirt dictate who you are, read Insurgent.

Roth, Veronica. Insurgent. New York: Harper Collins, Inc., 2012. Kindle Edition.

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