Insurgent by Veronica Roth

I wasn’t a huge fan of Divergent. I didn’t like Tris’ moral character, I didn’t swoon for Four, and I certainly didn’t buy their relationship. The only thing I really liked was how well Roth can write action.

Insurgent didn’t really change my feelings toward the series all that much.

I will still say Roth can write action. There’s hardly a moment of rest, and the few moments the characters do get are filled with the tension of waiting for the next big scene. It was fast-paced and amazing. I could picture everything in my head as I read, and the fight scenes were complex, but written in a way that makes it easy to picture.

Unfortunately, I still don’t really like Tris. Where in Divergent I thought she lost all sense of a moral center, in Insurgent she become reckless and stupid, under the guise of being brave and strong. Being brave does not mean tossing yourself into situations because you can. Brave is knowing when, how, and why to fight and when, how, and why to stand down. Tossing your life around because you can is not being brave or strong. I really, really hope Roth can finally make Tris the character she needs to be in the last book, but to be honest; I’m not holding my breath at this point.

The relationship between Tris and Tobias (Four) feels strained. There’s too much hidden, too many lies and little betrayals to have it feel like a good relationship. There’s only so many times a couple can ignore the problems with their relationship by making out before it blows up in their faces and can’t be repaired.

The action is the only thing that kept me reading this book. Knowing me, I will read the last book, simply because I’ve made it this far and I want to know how it ends. The twist at the end does have me interested, but unless the characters can manage to salvage themselves in the third book, this isn’t going to be a stand out series for me.

Divergent by Veronica Roth

This book was not what I expected. So many reliable people told me this book was amazing and that I would love it and I wouldn’t be able to put it down. It was decent, not amazing. I don’t love it; in fact, I barely like it. And it was very easy for me to put down.

I’ll start with what I did like. When there was plot progression, it was fantastic. The last 70 or so pages of the novel were the ones I couldn’t stop reading. Roth wrote the action very well and in a way that made it easy to picture without being oversimplified. However, the majority of the book is initiation training and trials, which slowed the novel down incredibly, in my opinion.

I didn’t feel connected with Tris and more to the point, half the novel, I kind of wanted to slap her. There’s written a strong female character, and then there’s taking it overboard. Tris takes it overboard quite a bit. In her attempt to distance Tris from the Abnegation, she goes so far as to seemingly lose a moral center. Being brave and facing your fears (aka Dauntless) doesn’t mean losing your ability to feel for other people. I have a major problem with Tris throughout the novel when it comes to this.

The relationship between Tris and Four feels…uncomfortable. I don’t buy it. There’s never a real connection and it’s hard for me to feel like there’s a real chance at a relationship there when they haven’t really spent much time together that wasn’t being used to train for the trials.

Unfortunately, because I’m curious and have a hard time telling myself no (even when I know better), I will probably be reading the next book just to see what happens. I’m really hoping it will surprise me and be better than the first.