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.
When we left Tris, (Oh, warning: Divergent spoilers! Avert thine virgin eyes!) the Abnegation faction had just been attacked by the Erudite controlled Dauntless. She stopped the simulation that was controlling her compatriots, but at a high cost: her mother, father, and friends were killed. The Dauntless and Erudite factions are fractured—families torn asunder.
As Tris and Tobias try to move on and fix what the Erudite have started, they discover more and more secrets. Secrets kept by faction leaders and secrets that they keep from each other. But at what cost?
Tris has never had an aptitude for Candor, but she is learning that the quest for the truth is sometimes the most important thing: the truth that started this war. The truth that her parents died for. The truth about the beginning of factions. The truth about what lies beyond the fence….
As Tris fights to discover what this terrible truth is she learns that others are not as keen to let this knowledge be shared. She learns that sometimes you must go against the grain to do what’s right. Sometimes you have to be Divergent.
The second novel in Roth’s Divergent series isn’t as action-packed, in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong—there’s still plenty of chaotic, pee-your-pants kind of action, but this is more of a psychological novel. Tris never got the chance to really grow as an individual during her initiation, which is exactly what she gets to do now.
While I think it’s wonderful that Roth explored the psychological trauma that would probably have affected any normal sixteen-year-old girl who had just witnessed death and destruction on a first hand basis and had to kill quite a few people to stop it, I’m not going to lie: it was frustrating. Which makes me seem heartless. Which maybe I am. However, I couldn’t stop myself from screaming at Tris a couple of times. She takes on the role of damsel in distress a few times more than I’d like. But I’m also a control freak, so I’d probably just pick up the f*cking gun and kill whoever needed to be killed rather than wait for my oh-so-sexy boyfriend to rescue me.
Dear God, I’m a sociopath, aren’t I? Hopefully that will come in handy if I ever survive to see a post-apocalyptic society….
Self revelation aside, I really do appreciate that Roth decided to make Tris more three-dimensional in this novel… even if it did piss me off a couple of times.
Nonetheless, this book was great. It’s obvious that Roth has thought a lot about this plot and character development. The first-person present still irks me just a tad, but I’m adjusting. If you are currently reading Insurgent and you’re just not that into it—don’t worry, it really does pick up. Tris gets herself out of her PTSD rut and starts having way more balls than I ever will. (Disclaimer, I’m not a psychology major; I cannot verify that she suffers from PTSD, but that is my theory).
This novel will take you on an emotional roller-coaster and then dump you on a cliffhanger so high it leaves you saying: “Whoa, wtf just happened?”
Seriously, while you have a tentative idea about what the ending will be, you still won’t quite see it coming.
So hop to it, my avid readers! This trilogy awaits! …And if you time it right, you could finish Insurgent just in time for Allegiant to come out next month!
Veronica Roth is a twenty-two-year-old debut author and a recent graduate of Northwestern University's creative writing program. While a student, she often chose to work on the story that would become Divergent instead of doing her homework. Now a full-time writer, she lives near Chicago.