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Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Review: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Title: Insurgent
Series: Divergent #2
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
Publication Date: 1 May 2012
Source: Review Copy 
Rating: 5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

War looms in sixteen-year-old Tris’s dark dystopian world as disputes between the factions grow. Tris must now fight against all odds to discover the truth that can save her and the people she loves. Sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge – and the choices she makes will have devastating and unexpected consequences.


Bear with me as I am going to take a slightly different approach to this review. You will have seen a LOT of reviews for this book this week with all the UK factions going head to head to get their reviews up. Therefore, the something different as I don't have to recap the story. If you need an update Veronica Roth has put a fabulous recap post up HERE be warned it contains spoilers. 

If you remember my review of Divergent (HERE) I state that Veronica Roth's perception of human nature and the insight into the nature versus nurture debate is profound. Insurgent takes these underlying themes and blows them out of the water. I find myself days after finishing the book remembering little pieces that slot into the puzzle that is human nature, the role people play in shaping society. Mankind's insistence on dominating the things around him even other people. Are we just pre-programmed to annihilate everything in our paths even if it means our own destruction.

One person is not naturally just one thing, they are a complex mix of all the attributes of the factions, some will obviously be more dominant than others but it will still be a mix. When I joined Facebook I had to put in a caption for want of a better word. This is what I put, I believe it is my own words, if it isn't please let me know and I will credit the person who said it:

Like the ebb and flow of the tide change is inevitable. It is how we cope with the change that defines us.

This caption just fits so perfectly with Tris journey in this book. People may start out as one thing but during the course of our lives and the challenges we have to face alter our perception of not only the world around us but of ourselves. The saying 'What doesn't kill you makes you stronger' is very apt. It is Tris's understanding and compassion gained from the challenges she has had to face that stands out within the narrative. Adversity can have the benefit of empathy and appreciation when viewed in retrospect. Obviously a little difficult to have that clarity of thought when you are in the process of experiencing the adversity.

The inclusion of fascinating insight into the workings of the brain within the narrative added to the nature versus nurture debate. The fact that certain chemical compounds alter personalities was engrossing. ( I am Erudite after all [ ; D ] ) the theory that society can be enriched by the use of chemical stimuli to alter brain chemistry brings its own argument.  Would it aid in making everyone equal, could utopia be achieved if we actually did this or would it just be another form of control?

Character interactions and development added to the underlying plot. I absolutely adore Tris and Tobias they evoke powerful emotions with their relationship. Their relationship isn't plain sailing but it is realistic in its portrayal, outside influences are bound to affect any relationship. Peripheral characters gained a lot more depth in this book, giving understanding to their actions and reactions as well as rounding out the plot.

Insurgent is a book that makes you question society as a whole as well as your place in it. Alongside high octane action, jaw dropping plot twists and one of the best fictional couples today. A fabulous and fascinating read.


  1. Brilliant and insightful review. I completely agree that one of the main strengths of the book is Roth's uncompromising look at human nature and relationships. Doesn't make for comfortable reading but excellent.

  2. I loved this book, I loved Tris and Four and how their relationship grew but wasn't plain sailing. I loved that every person thinks what they are doing is right even if not everyone agrees with it, they think it is. It's their different beliefs that stops everything from being so black and white. A fantastic book and a great review. xx

  3. Fab review, I really enjoyed Insurgent too :D


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