Divergent – Veronica Roth Insurgent – Veronica Roth
- Allegiant – Veronica Roth
Still Alice – Lisa Genova Not For Glory, Not For Gold – Keith Miles The Mammoth Book of Angels and Demons
- Last Night at Chateau Marmont – Lauren Weisberger
The Green Mile – Stephen King Tiger Men – Judy Nunn The Rosie Project – Graeme Simsion The Rosie Effect – Graeme Simsion The Bane Chronicles – Cassandra Clare et al
- Moriarty – Anthony Horowitz
- The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
I felt let down by Insurgent, but it has nothing to do with the story, if that makes sense. What I mean when I say that I felt let down by the story is that I saw the big twist coming. As soon as Marcus told Tris that there was something going on regarding “secret information”, I just knew what was going to happen. And you know why? Because I read The Maze Runner series. Is that spoilery? I really hope it’s not. Anyway, if I hadn’t read The Maze Runner, Roth’s big twist would have taken me completely by surprise. I suppose that’s one of the pitfalls of reading all of the newish books in a genre: the ideas are bound to overlap. But this is in no way Roth’s fault (unless she ripped off the idea from The Maze Runner, then it totally is). Roth’s story needed to go in a certain direction in order for it to make sense, and it just so happens that something very similar happened in Dashner’s world.
I didn’t see the whole Caleb thing coming, though. Not. At. All.
I don’t mean to scare people off. Roth continues to make astute comments on the human condition in this series. In Insurgent, Roth tackles Amity. Tris gets into a fight in Amity HQ and she is taken away by Amity officials into a room where she gets injected with a drug that makes her forget why she was fighting and the drug makes her feel happy. Sounds perfect, right? Why fight when you can get high? But when you really look at it, it’s really messed up. Fighting is part of human nature. We stand up for ourselves, for our beliefs, and for our loved ones. What would happen if our ability to do that was stifled? What would happen if every time you disturbed the peace with your anger, you were drugged into complacency? It’s a scary, scary thought and one that Roth investigates brilliantly.
That being said, I had some serious issues with the Tris and Four (sorry, Tobias) relationship in this book. It is such a common YA trope to have the central couple experience difficulty to the point of almost breaking up in the second book. Tris and Tobias were no exception. After having to make some heart-wrenching decisions, and after losing her family, Tris is understandably withdrawn and more than a little shaken up. But how does Tobias react? He gets mad with Tris for making certain decisions instead of trying to understand them. I mean, come on, he decided to stay in a faction he hated just to be with her. So why, when Tris really needed him, did Tobias decide to act like a total tool and expect Tris to act like her normal self after what happened to Will? It was ridiculous!
And then when Tris kinda betrayed Tobias to work with Marcus, he forgave her pretty quickly after she called him out for not showing his supposed love for her. If he were that upset, how could that one speech make such a difference? It wasn’t even a particularly eloquent speech! I felt like Tris and Tobias were just being put through the ringer to add more tension to an already fairly tense story. I didn’t like it one bit.
Also, just a head’s up, Tris cries a lot in this book. Like, a lot a lot. Every other page, it felt like. Yes, she was going through a really, really hard time but there are only so many ways an author can describe crying before the descriptions run together. Couldn’t Tris have done something else with her grief besides crying?
I may be being too judgemental.
All in all, this was a solid follow up to Divergent. There were just a few issues that detracted from the otherwise amazing storyline.
Postscript: Has anyone reading this watched the Divergent movie? What did you think? I’m thinking of renting it so I have something to do tomorrow other than stare at the torrential rain!
Pingback: The Liebster Award | Stay and Watch the Stars
Thanks for your comment at OKP! I definitely agree that the relationship aspect of the book felt forced, and your insight on how Roth handled Amity is spot-on (and much more charitable than I was). I’ll be sure to read your Allegiant review after I finish the series. 🙂 -Cheri
Oh wow, thanks for stopping by! You just made my morning!
Roth’s downfall, I think, is that she had some good ideas and good messages but they got lost in the execution