Veronica Roth’s Insurgent was released May 1st of this year (great birthday present for me!) and starts off right where Divergent left off. Post-apocalyptic Chicago has been divided into five factions: Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless, and Erudite. At sixteen you are simulation tested to determine your aptitude. The following day, you choose the faction you want to remain in for life. Most choose the faction they’ve been raised in. Those who don’t play well with the faction they choose at sixteen, end up factionless, homeless, untouchable, dumpster-diving hungry. Those who’s test results show aptitude for more than one faction are called Divergent. In this society, to be divergent is to be considered dangerous–so they hide it any way they can. Not only is Tris Divergent, but she’s unique among these unique individuals. Find out why…
Beatrice (Tris) Prior has been shot in the shoulder and is riding a train to Amity faction headquarters somewhere on the outskirts of what used-to-be Chicago. Her parents as well as the majority of Abnegation (her childhood faction) have been killed by Dauntless warriors (her chosen faction) who were being led, mind-controlled due simulation serum invented and inserted by orders of the Erudite leader. Things are pretty bleak for Tris to begin with and get more harrowing when she has a fall-out with Tobias, but the climax is fantastic. Through various twists in the plot where it’s unclear who Tris should trust, we get to see what each faction (and the factionless) value and how it affects the way they live. The end is a real surprise!
I was a bit frustrated with Tris’s wimpiness a few times—especially around guns. I understand about Post Traumatic Stress and guilt and all that. But come on! This is the girl who left her loving family and jumps off roofs!
If you love exciting dystopian YA fantasy, you’ll love Divergent and Insurgent. Roth does a great job of explaining this very different world and making you feel like you’re part of it. I love the underlying messages about human nature peppered throughout—don’t know if it’s intentional or not. Nevertheless, Insurgent is fun and I hope Hollywood makes both books into movies.