Book Review: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

InsurgentTitle: Insurgent
Author: Veronica Roth
Published: 2012
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 525
From: Barnes and Noble

“One choice can destroy you.” The quote on the cover of Veronica Roth’s second novel Insurgent is the perfect lead into the second installment of the author’s Divergent trilogy.

Insurgent is a continuation of the first novel Divergent. Tris is reeling from the death she caused, and from those she couldn’t keep from dying. The factions are slowly breaking apart, some seeking shelter in other faction headquarters. The action in this novel follows closely in the footsteps of Divergent, with the reader taking quick turns down the hallways in Roth’s imagination.

The writing style is obviously the same, coming from the same author and character, but I still hoped it would change. Roth has a very simple, and sometimes annoying, writing style. Because she writes for younger teenagers, the writing has to be very clear and concise, with very little left to the imagination. Unfortunately, I don’t like that kind of writing. But, I agree it is perfect for young adults.

One interesting twist is Roth looks more at Tris’ psychology in this. I loved that, where Roth takes the time to figure out what is running through her characters’ heads, why they do what they do, what they’re thinking when that happens. We get the inside scoop from Tris, Four, Christina and Peter, to name a few, and it’s very refreshing in a novel written for a younger generation. I felt it took a long time for someone with a creative writing degree to get around to looking at reasons like that, but I’m glad it happened.

I also loved character development throughout the novel. In the 525 pages, which were a very quick read despite the large quantity, Roth is able to develop nearly all the characters she introduces, except those she only mentions. Character development is key in any story, but especially in a story about humanity and qualities of that humanity.

Overall, Roth paces the story well, weaving inner thoughts into the violence and action expected in a story about war. Despite its similarities to Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy, 24-year-old Roth succeeds in creating a name for herself, and hopefully Allegiant, the third part of the trilogy, succeeds in ending the story in a most fitting way.

Insurgent‘s prequel, Divergent, will be on the silver screen in 2014, while the second in the series will be out in 2015. Until then, if you are looking for similar books, check out Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies series or Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices trilogy.

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