Finished 29th March, 2015
Author: Veronica Roth
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One choice can transform you – or it can destroy you. Tris Prior’s initiation day should have been marked by victorious celebrations with her chosen faction; instead it ended with unspeakable horrors. Now unrest surges in the factions around her as conflict between their ideologies grows.
In times of war sides must be chosen and secrets will emerge. Tris has already paid a terrible price for survival and is wracked by haunting grief and guilt. But radical new discoveries and shifting relationships mean that she must fully embrace her Divergence – even though she stands to lose everything…
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“Insurgent… Noun. A person who acts in opposition to the established authority, who is not necessarily regarded as belligerent.”
Insurgent is a very well put together, easy, intriguing read. I found the world really easy to slip back into and, as this is my second time reading it, I picked up on several things that have only now come to light as I have read Allegiant. On that note, the foreshadowing just about killed me. And I am not just talking about the end of Insurgent – no, it is clear as day that Veronica Roth had the ending of the trilogy planned out long before she actually started writing it. Throughout the whole book there is definitive clues to that end, which seriously messed with my emotions.
“‘My dear girl,'” she says. ‘I am his family. I am permanent. You are only temporary.'”
Do you see? Do you? Do you? Seriously, it was quite destressing…
Veronica’s characters are complicated, layered and realistic. There is always more to someone than meets the eye – you can never know all that there is to know about them. This is a really important message to broadcast and Veronica does this beautifully.
Uriah is amusing, sassy, sarcastic, fun and a brilliant character to read about. He is a great friend – especially to Tris – and has brought her out of a slump several times.
“‘A representative?’ Zeke says. ‘She’s not going herself?’
‘Yeah, and stand out in the open where a bunch of angry people with guns can take aim?’ Uriah smirks a little. ‘I’d like to see her try. No, really, I would.'”
Marline is sweet and slightly naive. She didn’t really leave much of am impression on me aside from the vague imprint of her bubbly personality. However, I have not read Divergent in over a year, so that may factor into my opinion.
Lynn, Shauna and Zeke were all brilliant characters as well. They, Marlene and Zeke express what it’s like to be truly Dauntless – they are fun, loud, hilarious and free.
“By the time the fight dies down, my clothes are more paint-coloured than black. I decide to keep the shirt to remind me why I chose Dauntless in the first place: not because they are perfect, but because they are alive. Because they are free.”
Both Tris and Tobias simultaneously made me love them and grow extremely frustrated. However, the main thing to take away about their characters is that they fought for what they believed in and remained strong despite the odds. They are by no means perfect, but neither are we. I loved them as a couple and feel that they compliment each other so well – especially after seeing from Tobias’ point of view in Four.
“‘Sleep,’ he says. ‘I’ll fight the bad dreams off if they come get you.’
‘My bare hands, obviously.'”
Upon first reading the trilogy, I remember really disliking Christina. Now, I actually really like her character. She’s sassy, reliable and loyal. Christina was Tris’ first real friend, and their relationship really expresses that.
“‘Fine.’ [Christina] sighs. ‘I would take out the blush, but I’m pretty sure it’s not the right colour for you.”
‘Shocking, considering we’re so similar in skin tone.'”
The Erudite were just as brilliant, hilarious and awesome as I remembered. By this, I am referring to Cara, Fernando and the rest of the crew – the non-brainwashed members who display the true values of the faction. As an Erudite myself, I couldn’t be more proud to have these amazing people representing my faction and showing that not all members are corrupt.
“My father taught me to see the Erudite a particular way. He never taught me that they made no judgments about what people believed, but designed things for them within the confines of their beliefs. He never told me that they could be funny, or that they could critique their own faction from the inside… He never told me that an Erudite could offer to help me even after I killed her brother.”
For whatever reason, I kept picturing Fernando as a twelve year old… I have no idea why, because he’s actually sixteen (he was in Caleb’s initiate class).
“‘Nando?’ I say to him. ‘I thought the Erudite didn’t like nicknames?’
‘When a pretty girl calls you by a nickname,’ he says, ‘it is only logical to respond to it.'”
Yep, still twelve. (Sorry Nando!)
Johanna was another amazing characters who supported the true values of her faction – for Amity was not always about avoiding existing conflict to preserve peace. Below is a quote from the original Amity Faction Manifesto, which was later removed (as seen in World of Divergent).
One Friend says to Another: ‘Friend, today I fought with my enemy.’
The Other Friend says: ‘Why did you fight with your enemy?’
‘Because they were about to hurt you.’
‘Friend, why did you defend me?’
‘Because I love you.’
‘Then I am grateful.'”
Veronica has subtly woven some serious themes into her writing, making it all the more believable. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), homosexuality, abuse, prejudice, forgiveness and beauty that runs deeper than surface appearances are all examples of this.
“Colour fills her cheeks, and I think it again: that Johanna Reyes might still be beautiful. Except now I think that she isn’t just beautiful in spite of the scar, she’s somehow beautiful with it, like Lynn with buzzed hair, like Tobias with the memories of his father’s cruelty that he wears like armor, like my mother in her plain grey clothing.”
Insurgent was a fun read and while the trilogy is a YA series, it great for all ages, whether you don’t read much or read way too much (though, arguably, that is impossible). I am really looking forward to watching the movie and seeing how well it has been adapted.
Other Notable Quotes:
“‘Thank God,’ he says, pressing his forehead to the door. ‘I was beginning to think it would never wear off and I would have to leave you here to…smell flowers, or whatever you wanted to do while you were on that stuff.'”
“There is a part of me that wants to be lost, that struggles to join my parents and Will so that I don’t have to ache for them anymore. A part of me that wants to see whatever comes next.”
“Sometimes I feel like I am collecting the lessons each faction has to teach me, and storing them in my mind like a guidebook for moving through the world. There is always something to learn, and that is important to understand.”
“I laugh, mirthless, a mad laugh. I savor the scowl on her face, the hate in her eyes. She was like a machine; she was cold and emotionless, bound by logic alone. And I broke her.
I broke her.” (In reference to Jeannine.)
“Telling me the time is a small act of betrayal – and therefore an ordinary act of bravery. It is maybe the first time I’ve seen Peter be truly Dauntless.”
“Every part of my body chants it in unison. Live, live, live. I thought that in order to give my life in exchange for Will’s, in exchange for my parents’, that I needed to die, but I was wrong; I need to live my life in the light of their deaths. I need to live.”
“Every part of his posture suggests ease… I have never seen him look so comfortable without a gun. I didn’t think it was possible.”
“‘Woah there, Tobias,’ says the man to my left. ‘Weren’t you raised a Stiff? I thought the most you people did was…graze hands or something.’
‘Then how do you explain all the Abnegation children?’ Tobias raises his eyebrows.
‘They’re brought into being by the sheer force of will,’ the woman on the arm of the chair interjects. ‘Didn’t you know that, Tobias?'” (This is by far my favourite)