Have you read Divergent yet? If not,
why the hell are you here reading this? you are truly missing out. It is one of the most intelligently written young adult dystopian novels of the last few years, and I should know; I’ve read a couple (give or take about 15.)
You know how when you read a sequel, the first few chapters are about 50-100% recap of the previous book? There is none of that here. Insurgent picks up right where Divergent ended, making it feel like you are jumping right into the action instead of building up to it, like a typical novel. Awesome. (Although if you haven’t read Divergent in a bit, or if you are a little hazy on the details (no shame there, I definately was), I highly recommend reading Roth’s plot overview of the first book on her blog.)
I really don’t think I can give an overview of the plot without completely spoiling it for people who haven’t read it. What I can say is that the second installment of this trilogy is even better than the first. It is FULL of non-stop action, drama, plot twists, unpredictability, shocking revelations, and new insights into the past. The character development and relationships between different characters are not only much more complex and rich, but some of them are downright crazy-town!
Tris is divergent. She left her family to join a different faction and has somehow become one of the “leaders” in a “war”. Like other strong female protagonists you may be familiar with (I’m talking about Katniss, not the puke-educing Bella) she isn’t completely sure that she deserves her status or that she even wants it. The internal struggles she faces each time something new happens, each time a new revelation about the past comes to light, are so well-written, I could swear that I thought them myself. Everyone, including Tris, has made sacrifices.
The sacrifices will shock you. The ending is the worst/best cliffhanger I have ever read. PURE TORTURE.
Honestly, I’m a little surprised that this is a young adult novel. Not because I think the content is inappropriate for young adults, but because my PhD trained brain was having troubles keeping up with all the plot twists. A friend recently asked me why you would ever re-read a book. This is a perfect example – I am 100% sure I missed something. Even so, this might be the best book I’ve read in 2012.