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Review: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Title: Insurgent
Author: Vernoica Roth
Year Published: 2012

Genre: Adult fiction
Pages: 525
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Challenges: Dystopia
Geography Connection (my Google Reading map): USA (?)

FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this book from my school library

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): 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' 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 terms of war, sides much 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 nto know what she may lose by doing so.

Review: Ah, part two of the series, finally. Quick observations: YA dystopia...so popular right now and I never thought I would be a reader who would enjoy it. I wonder how long the ride will last? Strong female characters...a nice trend in literature, let's hope this trend doesn't disappear! Death and mayhem...too bad such depressing themes are doing well, but boy do high schoolers eat it up!

I had to wait quite a while to read this sequel since so many of the students at my school wanted to read this book. I am really glad I finally got around to it though. I was engaged from the first page and enjoyed the read even though I was confused at times. Yes, confused. There is a lot going on in Insurgent and by the end I am still not sure that I understand all of it. Perhaps I need school to be back in session (it's July) so that I can talk about it with my students. There are a lot of different characters and so much is going on in this book with back and forth loyalties that some things are not clear. Will they be cleared up in a third book? The ending leaves that possibility.

I do like the main character, Tris. She is strong, but not perfect, smart, but not brilliant, compassionate, but not sappy. She cries (often), but for really good reasons. She comes up with good ideas that have important outcomes, but she isn't the only character that can get things right and that is good.

The idea of factions--segments in a society where each group has something to contribute--is an interesting one. In a way, we've got that: entertainment industry; education; skilled labor; etc. But we seem to coexist for the most part. Insurgent shows how when we label too specifically we endanger ourselves. Too much "us against them" and I definitely see this is politics: it is always good in a political parties eye to have an enemy, or an other, to rally against. Insurgent uses this idea very well as factions are pitted against one another. I don't want to say any more since that would give away a main part of the plot, which readers should discover on their own.

I also like the idea of Divergence--that those with multiple skills or interests or abilities--are the ones who will need to rule. Only they can truly understand all sides and bring everyone together.

Suffice it to say, Insurgent is a fun read, a good sequel and I'll be interested to see if there is a third book in the series. And yes, I'll read it.

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