Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Insurgent (Divergent)Summary: Tris and Four continue to have a rocky relationship and continue to try and figure out why being Divergent, like they are, is such a threat to society.

Dystopian literature has a pretty specific set of themes and settings.  The rise of new young adult dystopian is a fad that will fade eventually.  But there will be several sets of books that I think will continue to be popular after the fad has passed.   Most visible is the Hunger Games series.  They have sold a gazillion copies and there is a movie.  I like Hunger Games have read them (reviews below).

A second series that I think will probably stick around for a while is the Divergent Series.  It is a trilogy and the third book is not scheduled to come out until Fall 2013.  So I cannot give it a final opinion, but I have enjoyed the first two.

Set in Chicago, my former hometown, the world has degenerated to five factions that emphasize particular personality traits.  A few members of the society are showing signs of having more than one of these personality traits and they are called Divergent.

The Erudite (emphasizing intelligence and curiosity) made a move to take over the society at the end of the last book.  Tris and Four, a part of Dauntless (which emphasizes courage and protection) stopped the attempt, but Dauntless is now split and scattered and many are dead.

Tris was forced to kill a friend to defend herself in the last book and her guilt is separating her from Four and making her question her own abilities.

As an adult that likes to read young adult books, I get frustrated frequently by the decisions of the characters that seem to make no sense.  There is some of that here.  But most of it is really about a lack of communication rather than poor decision making.  After having finished a book on communications for married couples with our small group, I keep seeing areas where Four and Tris, although not married, could really benefit.

I always find it hard to review fiction books, especially middle books like this.  First books are about introducing.  Final books you can give an overall reaction.  But the middle books are about the story.  And to avoid too many spoilers, I don’t really want to discuss the story that much.  I will leave it with just a couple of comments.  There is a pretty significant twist right at the end.  I am very disappointed to know that it is going to be another 16-18 months till the next book.

Selflessness and dependence (especially on a romantic partner) is a major theme of this book.  I like the way they are dealt with, although clearly this book isn’t to be emulated as much as enjoyed as a story.

If you liked Hunger Games, this series has similar style, but very different story.  I recommend it.

Purchase Links: Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle Edition, Audiobook

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