I don’t have nearly as much time as I used to, to devote to reading. How lame is that?
Insurgent by Veronica Roth.
So this is the sequel to Divergent and just for the record, there will be spoilers for it in this blog post. I wish there wasn’t but if I tried to not give anything away about Divergent the post would go like this:
Insurgent was an awesome continuation of the complicated story line set up in Divergent with intense, heartbreak and emotionally exhausting reactions to the events that occurred at the end of the last book.
And that doesn’t nearly capture all my excitement about this book.
All right, so that’s clear then.
Insurgent starts up where Divergent left off – in the wake of the terrible attack engineered by the Erudite leader that has left the city without a government, an entire faction almost wiped out and Tris guilt ridden, traumatized and orphaned. With half their faction still loyal to Jeanine Matthews, Tobias, Tris and Caleb are at the mercy of the other factions and spend most of the book drifting between them, looking for allies, evading old enemies, searching for answers and for Tris in particular, dealing with the events of that night.
The story was compelling and fast paced the whole way through. A huge number of likable characters died really good deaths at really good, devastating moments. The plot thickens and Tris’s decisions became increasingly complex. And the giant secret revealed at the end is pretty exciting, meaning I’m going to have to sit around waiting for the next book to come out.
But by far my favourite part of the book, and by favourite I mean the part that moved me most, not the part that I enjoyed the most, was Tris’s struggles, not with what she was facing now but trying to deal with what happened. She feels intense guilt and pain over Will’s death, survivor’s guilt, loneliness and fear that she is not worth her parent’s sacrifice and in her inability to deal with these issues, she alienates the few people she has left, which only adds to her guilt and pain. Her PTSD symptoms as well as her self loathing and guilt is woven into the story relentlessly, so there is never a moment when the reader gets to forget how much she’s hurting. While this is devastating to read, or at least it was for me, I really, really loved how hard hitting, how honest and how genuine it felt. This is not a story about bad things happening to good people, they have a little cry and a few bad dreams and then move on. This is about how traumatizing things can effect every aspect of a person’s life, how they can change their perspectives on themselves and turn them from a “good person” into something else.
I found Tobias’s attempts to reach Tris particularly moving – equal parts beauty and heartbreak.
At the end of it all I think this book is awesome, possibly better than the first one for it’s sheer emotional power, for the story’s constant demands that the reader question and evaluate the situations Tris finds herself in and for the complex, broken, beautiful, brave, confused characters, all of whom feel real in their trauma and courage. Moving and intense, I definitely recommend everyone grab these books, take a few days off work and get through them at their earliest convenience.
Last movie I watched: The Big Chill. Apparently this was a big movie in the 1980s or something – Glenn Close and William Hurt and a bunch of other famous people. They all get together after their old friend commits suicide. It’s funnier than it sounds. It’s also sadder than it sounds.
Last TV episode I watched: The last episode of Battlestar Galactica season 2!!! BSG remains one of the best TV shows EVER. Also – Ahh! The Cylons have come!