Monday, 18 June 2012

Insurgent - Veronica Roth

Remember how I said I hadn't read Insurgent yet? Well, that was a lie. I managed to squeeze a little time in between parts one and two of book three of Game of Thrones. (Yeah. Yeah.) Not to mention that the book reads ridiculously fast. It's definitely something you can get through in a few hours.

Insurgent picks up literally right where the last book left off. Tris is on her way out of Abnegation Territory and headed who knows where while still reeling from everything that has just happened to her and everything she has discovered about the world she lives in. Suffice it to say, things are not going to get any easier for her.

I had the disadvantage before reading this to be working in the Children's department of HarperCollins and helping manage a blog contest for the Insurgent release. While, of course, the job was amazing, having to read thirty plus reviews of a book I meant to read before I could even touch it was super hard and put expectations in my head. I don't want to do that to you but I do want to address some things that I had read over and over in all the other YA blogs.

Firstly, I want to talk about Four. There are such differing opinions on him! Some reviewers think he is heaven come to earth. Others think he is a controlling bastard. I went into the book knowing there were conflicting views and have to say, the people that called him controlling are very much in the wrong. I'm not saying he's a perfect little daisy (I would not date him, if we're being honest. But I wouldn't be Dauntless either, so there you go), but what you really have to look at when reading is how he acts in relation to how Tris is doing. 

You see, Tris isn't doing that well in this book. If you've read Divergent, you know that she went through a lot in the last fourth of the book and is obviously now going to have some issues. What you might not realize as she had been so badass in book one, is that she is still very much a young girl and doing what she had to do is going to scar anyone, let alone her. She reacts badly, to say the least. Is it understandable? Yes. But blaming Four for his reactions seems odd to me. If I were in his shoes, I'd act the same. That's just the truth. He had reason to worry about Tris and he did. End of story.

As for Tris, well, she was getting a tad bit on my nerves, I have to admit. While I do admire her tough, go-get-em style, she does grate on me a bit as too Sometimes I feel like her character is too much a reaction to the pansy heroines of earlier YA (coughTwilightcough) and goes too far in the opposite direction. While I want to like her for being unique in not being some sort of perfect action girl, I guess her flaws are just the kind of things that would make me dislike her in real life and that's a bit hard to get over. 

I don't want this to sound like a negative review, though. It isn't! The plot is really well thought out and interesting, twisting and turning from moment to moment so that you really don't know which way is up. Part of the reason it reads so fast is that you sit down and don't realize you've read forty pages until you look up. It pulls you in and doesn't let you go until it's good and ready. I do really enjoy that.

The other unfortunate thing about reading the reviews, though, was knowing that there was some big twist at the end that no one wanted to spoil. Now, I'm not going to spoil it either, obviously, but I do want to say that if you're aware there's a twist and you're reading carefully, it's not going to be that much of a surprise. It is an interesting direction to take the novel but it is not very shocking as there is appropriate lead up to it. I would like to think that if I wasn't looking for a twist, I would have still seen it coming. Is it a good plot point? We'll see in future books. Is it surprising? Not especially.

Should you read Insurgent? Yes, yes you should. The series is turning out to be super original and interesting, a fun take on a slightly overdone genre. Plus, with the first two titles being Divergent and Insurgent, aren't you just dying to find out the title of the next? Convergent? Resurgent? Non-urgent? Detergent? We'll just have to wait and see.

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