TxtingMrDarcy Reads- “Beware the Smart Ones” Edition

Book Description (From Amazon):

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

Soundtrack: “Eyes Open”~ Taylor Swift

Again with the “Hunger Games” soundtrack, but it’s not surprising to me that songs inspired by one dystopian story are so easily transferred to others.

I stayed up WAY too late last night finishing this book, and when I turned the last page I sat there , whispering “YES!” into the darkness of my bedroom. That’s really all that was left to do. I am SO excited by the new group of YA writers right now- they are publishing some amazing work, and it’s exhilarating to be reading along as the stories unfold.

**Warning: If you haven’t read “Divergent,” please stop here. It’s impossible to discuss “Insurgent” without being spoilery.**

“Insurgent” picks up immediately where “Divergent” ended, in the aftermath of Erudite’s traitorous attack on Abnegation. Tris, Four, Tris’ Brother Caleb and Four’s assy father Marcus are fleeing to Amity, hoping for some asylum after watching those they loved being butchered by their faction-mates while under a simulation. They need to warn the other factions of Erudites betrayal, and hopefully gain support for the inevitable conflict that will occur as a result.

Veronica Roth managed to keep this book a non-stop race, and we run along with Tris as she is not only forced into the role of an Insurgent, but given very little time to grieve the extreme changes in her life. Watching both her parents die, and being forced to kill one of her best friends has understandably affected her, and she has a great deal of trouble coming to terms with the new reality the factions have been forced into. She doesn’t know who to trust, and throughout the story tends to place her trust in questionable people. Sometimes this works out for her, sometimes it backfires. OR DOES IT?!

There is so much going on at all times, that when you reach the final climax, your mind is well and truly blown. Multiple times over. As in “Wow, I can’t believe he was right! Good call, Tris! Wait, she’s doing WHAT?! OH NO FREAKIN WAY.”

I really enjoyed getting to travel with the main characters to the different factions. In the sake of thorough research (and not because I’m a huge nerd! Seriously. Stop looking at me like that.)(Ok I am, whatever. Moving on.), I devoured the bonus material in the back of Divergent and showed a definite aptitude for Amity, so it was interesting to finally see what they were all about. Some levity was definitely needed in the book, and Roth picked the right time to inject (haha, literally) some humor into the plot. We’re also whisked along to Candor, as they also need to be made aware of Erudite’s plans.

The ooooonly flaw I found in this book was the “second book slump” in Tris and Four’s relationship. There were so many reasons for it, including Tris’ emotional state, but it was the only plotline that I felt was predictable. Yay! They got together at the end of “Divergent!” Let’s mess with them a little bit so that they have some emotional distance and start questioning loyalties and trust and… *yawn*

I’ve read a lot of criticism of Tris’ actions in this book, and to me they seemed pretty natural. Her Divergent abilities allow her to picture scenarios from more than one perspective, so she’s going to see the angles that people accustomed to thinking a certain way might miss. Throw on a scoop of PTSD and a heap of guilt, and she’s not going to be Princess Predictable. Yes, she was reckless, and YES she lied to Four repeatedly. I’d rather have my heroine be ballsy and trust her gut, especially if those instincts turn out repeatedly to be right. Equal blame can be placed on Four for involving Tris in certain decisions, and then ignoring her input.

This book gets enthusiastic approval from me as a whole, and as a continuation of the first book. Veronica Roth continues her world building, introduces new vital characters, and somehow manages to blow the door off an amazing direction for the next book. The hardest thing will be waiting for another year to read how the story ends.

Four and a half pieces of Amity Bread.

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