This review is overdue, as I finished it within a week of its release after buying it at a book signing on day 2 of Roth’s book tour. Surprisingly, I geeked out over it a bit. Picking up shortly after the ending of Divergent, Veronica Roth’s Insurgent is an emotional roller coaster, filled with intrigue, betrayal, PTSD, and questioning love and trust. I loved it.
Tris Prior has gone through quite a lot since she decided to leave the safety of her former faction, Abnegation, where she lived by the whims of others, wholly self-effacing and altruistic. Now, part of the split Dauntless faction, she sits in the middle of a civil war on the precipice of breaking, with one faction trying to control the rest, and with her understanding of the strict rules which make up her society crumbling around her. Tris must find answers wherever she can, however she can, and that might come with the sacrifice of her relationships, Tobias not least of all.
From the beginning, we see the effect that the events at the end of Divergent has on Tris. The many deaths–some at her hand–have taken an emotional toll on her that is often missing from other books. Tris very clearly suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, with many of the dire effects shining through from the get go. Remember, she’s just a teenager, trained for combat but not yet hardened by it. It affects every aspect of her life and begins to destroy her from within throughout the novel. That being said, I love the fact that Tris is a strong female lead (no longer a rarity in YA fiction). She kicks butt, yes, but her intelligence shines through–though she continually struggles to come to terms with grief and guilt due to the terrible events at the end of Divergent.
The ending was quite satisfying. There’s a bit of a twist, but it’s actually exactly what I’ve been hoping for since the end of Divergent. The entire book drew me in and I couldn’t put it down. There’s intrigue, romance, drama, misunderstanding, and terrible circumstances: a recipe for a solid YA read.