By K.M. Cone | Staff Writer Published: 05/21/2013 1:05 pm EST
Publish date: May 1, 2012 Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books/Harper Collins | Buy Book
I’ve had a somewhat surreal experience with Veronica Roth’s dystopian story. When I read Divergent a month or so ago, I decided that I wanted to be Beatrice Prior. I connected with her on a deep level, especially with her struggle to define herself and her identity. I even got a haircut that reminded me of her, forgetting, of course, that she wore her hair somewhat longer.
When I read Insurgent I experienced an odd, out-of-body feeling as Beatrice cut her own hair in a similar fashion to mine. While she and I do not have the same hair color nor share exact physical characteristics and we don’t live in the same universe, I feel like her. We could be friends.
As strange as that may seem, what makes these books even more enthralling than The Hunger Games is just that: Beatrice, or “Tris”, is someone we can empathize with. We understand her actions. We could be her. While Katniss is someone we watch, Tris is who we are.
Insurgent picks up shortly after Divergent left off, with the simulation over and Tris grieving for the friend she had to kill in order to save her own life. She keeps this information hidden from everyone, including the person she loves the most, driving a wedge between her and Four/Tobias that begins to deepen over time.
Tris is faced with many more difficult situations throughout Insurgent, including participating in what looks like a betrayal of her friends and faction in order to discover the truth about the simulations they’ve been under, the “divergent” population and even the factions themselves. What comes to light is both exciting and terrifying.
Battling within herself, Tris chooses, at different times, to act like the Erudite (her thirst for knowledge), the Dauntless (her bravery), and Abegnation (selflessness), her parents’ faction. This “divergence”, the ability to excel in more than one faction, aids Tris in becoming a nearly unstoppable force as she ruthlessly pursues the truth and a way to end the chaos that is destroying the city.
Tris and the remains of the loyal Dauntless team up with the “factionless”, those who have for one reason or another left their previous groups to forge their own massive group where everyone is welcome. While worried that the factionless have their own agenda, in order to rise against the Erudite and the Dauntless traitors, Tris, Four, and the rest will need every willing ally.
Insurgent provides even more twists and turns than the first book, and at one point I was worried Tris wasn’t even going to survive. It is only through an old enemy that she is able to escape at all, and someone she thought would never turn against her betrays her, nearly ending her life. Tris’ relationship with Four is tenuous at best, and his family members are seemingly determined to rip the two apart or, at least, prepare them for the end of their “temporary” young love.
Despite the factions’ war on each other, the relationships begun, ended, and changed, and her identity still warring inside her, Tris is stronger than before, tougher, able to navigate the fine line between recklessness and true self-sacrifice with a bull-headed determination that finally leads her to the truth about herself, the people around her, and the city in which they reside.
The loose ends of Insurgent will no doubt be resolved in the third book, Allegiant, which arrives on October 22. With its recent cover reveal, I can’t help but wonder if there’s a meaning behind the three books’ symbols: Divergent wasfire, Insurgent was a tree, and Allegiant is water. Does the fire stand for Dauntless bravery, the tree for Erudite knowledge, and the water for Abegnation’s unselfish nature? The first two books have each dealt with one particular faction Tris has aptitude for, and I don’t think it’s coincidence that the books comprise a trilogy.
I love these books, particularly Insurgent, which is a rare sequel that ups the stakes of its predecessor and explores new material. The main character is not involved in a love triangle, which is a breath of fresh air. Tris is tough and feminine, qualities rarely paired together in this age group (at least in my experience), and the writing is modern and clean. There isn’t a lot of description and yet I know what everything looks like. Tris is also relatable, not only with her identity crisis, but with her problems revolving around her family, her trust issues, her relationship with Four, and her resolve to do what is best, no matter how bad it may seem to others. She will do what she thinks is right.
We have a lot to look forward to with these stories. The last book comes out on October 22, and the film version of Divergent arrives next year, starring Shailene Woodley. In the meantime, though, I just might read the first two books over again.
Summary:GREAT: Insurgent follows Tris Prior as she starts to unravel the secrets behind the simulations and even the factions themselves. Teeming with grief, betrayal, anger, and love, Insurgent is even better than its predecessor, Divergent.
Book Type:Digital Edition