Insurgent by Veronica Roth

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review.

I have done bad things. I can’t take them back, and they are part of who I am.

Tris has survived a brutal attack on her former home and family. But she has paid a terrible price. Wrecked by grief and guilt, she becomes ever more reckless as she struggles to accept her new future.

Yet if Tris wants to uncover the truth about her world, she must be stronger than ever … because more shocking choices and sacrifices lie ahead.

After waiting almost a year for it’s release I am pleased to say that Insurgent does not disappoint! As expected it is full of exciting Dauntless stunts, epic fight scenes and a lot of character development. At the end of Insurgent I was left, once again, in awe of the mastery Veronica Roth has over her plot line, characters and their experiences. 

My favourite aspect of the book is definitely the growth of Tris and Four’s relationship. The events at the end of Divergent saw them both going through a lot of trauma, and in this book they have to learn to push through it, accept it, and move on. Their struggles at communicating with one another effectively are realistic, their relationship is strained but they never doubt their feelings. It is great to finally see a YA couple who works out their issues instead of running to the nearest available alternative love interest. 

This book is well paced, with furious action scenes perfectly balanced by poignant moments of emotion. The plot line impressed me as well because, while it is relative simple, the author has put a lot of thought into the human motivations that drive it. My only disappointment in Insurgent  is that in the first book there was some heavy foreshadowing that allowed me to guess the final twist, but to balance it out there were many other things that I failed to see coming until they were revealed. 

Veronica Roth has followed up her debut smash hit Divergent with a worthy sequel, that, in my mind at least, cements her as one of my favourite authors. If you loved Divergent, then Insurgent is a book you can’t miss! And if you haven’t picked up this series yet, you should be coveting it! You won’t regret your choice. 

About the book:

  • Date published: 08 May 2012
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books
  • Format: Paperback, 544 pages
  • ISBN 13: 9780007442928 ISBN 10: 0007442920
  • Categories: Young Adult, Dystopian
  • Goodreads / The Book Depository

Divergent by Veronica Roth

One choice decides your friends, defines your beliefs and determines your loyalties … forever.

When sixteen year old Tris makes her choice, she cannot foresee how drastically her life will change. Or that the perfect society in which she lives is about to unfold into a dystopian world of electrifying decisions, stunning consequences, heartbreaking betrayal and unexpected romance.

One choice can transform you.

I am reviewing Divergent after reading it for the second time, and I have to say it was even better than the first time I read it! Last year I was really excited and raced to finish it so I could find out what happens. This time, a large part of that urgency was gone and I was able to enjoy the book slowly. I picked up on a lot of small details and nuances in the character’s interactions that I had missed previously. 

Divergent is an explosive read. It’s incredibly well paced, but this doesn’t stop Roth from fleshing out detailed and deep characters, having a killer plot line, and creating a vivid and believable dystopian Chicago. The setting is well described and I always feel I’m right there with Tris, and the social structure is clear and makes sense. Initially I felt that defining human character with five broad traits is a bit ambitious, but Roth makes it work, and as the book progresses it becomes clear that the point of the story is that it is NOT possible. 

There are so many great things about this book, but I feel my favourite are the characters. Tris is immediately relatable from the first page - she is strong and fierce, but this does not alienate the reader because she is also realistic and admits all her vulnerabilities. Since the story is told from her perspective, we get to examine her thought processes, but because she is incredibly perceptive and empathetic, this doesn’t take away from the reader’s experience of the other characters. My other favourite characters are Four (again, an immediately likeable character, and not at all like the usual smug, hot-as-hell YA hero) and Christina (a genuine friend who is grounded in reality and, unlike many other YA “best friends” neither trails behind Tris like a side-kick nor treats her like a charity case). 

I recommend Divergent to everyone I talk to. Actually, more accurately, I always find ways to bring it in conversation so I can recommend it to people. Dystopian young adult at its best, Divergent will have you begging for more. Lucky, since the sequel, Insurgent, was released on the 1st of May. 

About the book:

  • Date published: 03 May 2011
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books
  • Format: Paperback, 496 pages
  • ISBN 13: 9780007420414 ISBN 10: 0007420412
  • Categories: Young Adult, Dystopian
  • Goodreads / The Book Depository

Anticipated reads in 2012

These are the books I am looking forward to reading in 2012. They aren’t necessarily being released in 2012 - but hopefully I will read all of these soon! There is some really great stuff coming out, so I will highlight these too. 

The Kingkiller Chronicles: I have had The Name of the Wind for ages and I really want to read it. But I don’t want to read it without having the second book, The Wise Man’s Fear, handy because I know it will be awesome. The mass market paper back of The Wise Man’s Fear will be released on 6 March 2012 - the hardback copy is already out.

The Divergent Series: I read Divergent in 2011, and the sequel, Insurgent is coming out in May 2012. I am very excited to read it.

The Broken Empire series: I bought Prince of Thorns a few weeks ago, and am looking forward to reading it, and the sequel, King of Thorns, whichis due to be released in August 2012.

The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead - sequel to Bloodlines - will be released June 2012.

The Prophesy series: M. K. Hume’s Prophesy trilogy about Merlin should be a great read. It is the prequel series to her King Arthur series (which I enjoyed immensely). The second book in the Merlin series, Death of an Empire, will be released on the 19th of January 2012.

I received Unearthly as a Christmas present, and now I can’t wait to read the sequel, Hallowed

The Spirit-Walker series: I have been wanting to read this series for a very long time. I hope 2012 will be the year I finally read it. The third book in the trilogy is Cold Steel (no cover yet) and it is being released on October 4 2012. 

The Lightbringer series: I am looking forward to reading the first book in this series, since I really liked Brent Weeks’ Night Angel Trilogy. I already have the first book, The Black Prism, and the second book, will be released September 1 2012. 

What are you looking forward to reading this year? 

My favourite books of 2011

Now that 2011 is almost over, I think this is a good time to reflect on the books I enjoyed reading the most over the year. These books were not necessarily released in 2011, but I read them this year, and out of the many books I read, they are the absolute best. Here they are, in no particular order:

Clicking on the images will take you to my reviews.

The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins.

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi.

The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson. Actually, anything by Sanderson is awesome.

The Emperor’s Knife by Mazarkis Williams.

The Rain Wild Chronicles Books 1 and 2 - The Dragon Keeper and Dragon Haven. 

Divergent by Veronica Roth