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May 16, 2014 / ljbradburn-Smith



Whilst having great expectations of a book can leave you feeling disappointed, when it doesn’t live up to them, I’ve found that it works the other way around too. I must admit I didn’t have massively high hopes for Insurgent, I expected that I would enjoy it and find it entertaining but I didn’t think it would be anywhere near as good as it’s predecessor, Divergent. I feared it would fall into the dreaded ‘middle book’ trap, which I often find happens in trilogies where the author obviously has a clear starting point and an end point for the first and last novels, in the series, and the second novel is clearly there just to fill in all the in-betweeny bits. A bit like those horrible stories I have heard about the poor neglected middle child who has pressure to live up to the wonderful first child and doesn’t get to see the benefits of being the cute baby either (can you tell I’m a first-born? ;-)).

I can well imagine that this ‘filler’ trap is hard to avoid, as it is in keeping with the natural structure of a story that you find out more in the middle,  but I think it is important to make sure the middle book gets enough care and attention, and interesting plot developments, to avoid it getting lost in the bigger picture. This slightly negative expectation may be why it took me awhile to read this second book in Roth’s series, but after watching the film version of Divergent I was keen to know how Roth developed the story and I wasn’t disappointed.

I found the storyline interesting, with plenty of plot twists and turns and the suspense created in the build up to the climax, at the end, exciting to say the least. I always know I am excited by a book when it gets to the last pages and I have to cover up the page and reveal the lines one by one, as I read, so I don’t race to the end and ruin something for myself.

Insurgent finds Roth’s protagonist  Tris in the midst of a divided society. After suffering the shock of losing family members and friends, in the Erudite attack against Abnegation, and with her Dauntless faction members’ loyalties divided Tris fights to uncover the truth hidden beneath layers of misplaced trust and brainwashing. Her heart versus her instinct and her family versus her faction are just some of the choices she is forced to make  in her latest battle for survival. In Insurgent readers are treated to a more in-depth view of the significance of being divergent and the reality of life  in all of the different factions, as well as the underbelly that exists beneath them, waiting for its opportunity to rear its head.

Roth’s style is easy to read, fast paced and her execution of her ideas is, at times, compelling. Whilst this series is not The Hunger Games it does make for a great read and in my humble opinion Roth  has proved, once again, that she deserves her place as one of the more popular series in the sea of young-adult dystopian fiction which is currently sweeping our bookshelves.

Insurgent is full of revenge, love, regret and just enough teenage angst to make it work without making me want to sit everyone down and give them some life advice.



Leave a Comment
  1. J.R.Barker / May 19 2014 1:43 pm

    Great review!
    I much prefer it when I have low expectations of something because if it’s good you enjoy it more. There have been some great books and films that have been ruined for me because they weren’t quite as good as I was led to believe.

    • ljbradburn / May 21 2014 6:05 pm

      Thank you 🙂 Yeah me too, same with parties and events somethimes. I find if I build aything up too much it can be really dissapointing when it isn’t as good as i’d hoped and sometimes the best things can be the last minute plans that you weren’t looking forward to or a book you weren’t that bothered about! 🙂 x

      • J.R.Barker / May 23 2014 6:45 pm

        Absolutely, over hyping can ruin a thing more efficiently than almost anything else!

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