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Book Review: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Insurgent – the long awaited sequel to Divergent is finally here! And, let me tell, you it packs a punch.

Book Review: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

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insurgent by veronica roth

Title & Author: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Genre: YA – Fantasy

Release Date: May 1, 2012

Series: 2nd book in series

Publisher: HarperTeen

How I Got the Book: ARC via HarperCollins


“One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.”

A Fantastic, Complicated Sequel

Insurgent had a lot to live up to. Divergent was my absolute favorite book of 2011. I had a ton of expectations with this anticipated sequel of 2012, and I came away feeling really good.

Insurgent had a completely different pace than Divergent. Divergent was like meeting someone for the first time. You find out their likes, dislikes and get a general sense of what type of person they are. Insurgent was like going on a vacation with the new friend. You see them 24/7 and find out what they’re like all the time.

So, how did seeing Insurgent in it’s metaphorical pajamas with no make-up on hold up? Overall, it held up extremely well (like matching pjs well). There’s a lot that goes into that answer, so let me explain.

First, like I mentioned, Insurgent took Tris’ story to the next level, as it should have. Readers learn a TON about the different factions and how they will choose to act when sides are being taken over an impending war. Things get pretty political, and strategy and planning take a huge role in this book.

Although I definitely enjoyed this aspect of the novel, it was a huge gear shift from Divergent. Where the Divergent was all about introductions and firsts, Insurgent is all about revisiting questions raised before and uncovering hidden plots and secrets. Just be prepared to be fully immersed into the world of the factions.

Second, Tris and Tobias’ relationship gets really tricky. There’s a ton of back and forth between them, and personally for me, it lost a lot of its fire and spark. Oddly enough, I’m not saying this is a bad thing. For the sake of the story, I think this has to happen.

The way Roth writes it, it all makes sense. Tobias did worry me for awhile…but I was happy with how Roth brought things together.

Third, there is a ton of action in Insurgent. But, it’s not crazy brutal-style fighting that’s all descriptive and gruesome. It’s the type of fighting that’s sneaky and calculated, where the characters have to watch their back or something will take them by surprise.

Tris and Tobias do a lot of traveling between factions in this book, and Roth does a great job of keeping everything clear.

About Endings

Moving on to the overall plot, there is a ton going on. Factions are forced to pick sides to prepare for a war that’s looming. The Erudite (my faction!) are continuing to seek out the Divergent to kill/study them, and Tris and Tobias are determined to figure out what’s really going on.

Let me just say, that if you think you know what’s going to happen in Insurgent, stop guessing cuz you will be wrong. Roth takes this book to a new level, and I CANNOT wait to see what she does with the last book.


Fans of Divergent, you will not be disappointed. Insurgent is a fantastic sequel to our beloved series. It has a very different pace and attitude than Divergent, but that’s the genius of it. The book has evolved along with its characters and setting.

Although nothing can top the first time you fall in love with a book, Insurgent does a great job of kicking the sophomore slump right between the eyes. My only warning: be careful about how fast you read Insurgent – another year is a long time to wait for book #3!

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.