Saturday, December 13, 2014

Review: INSURGENT by Veronica Roth

insurgent cover

After turning off and stealing the simulation that was forcing members of Dauntless to kill Abnegation, Four and Tris leave Chicago to escape the Erudite. But with Jeanine still alive and determined to control all the factions, they're quickly drawn back into the city, where Marcus wants to unveil the secret Jeanine was ready to kill for. Will he convince Tris she needs to risk everything to help him?

If that summary made a lick of sense to you, congratulations, you've likely read Divergent! (I know I should probably review these books in, like, order or something, but hey. It's my blog, I do what I want.) I immediately downloaded Insurgent after finishing Divergent, because hellloooooooo, I loved it. Divergent, that is. Insurgent was a bit of a letdown.

First of all, Four. In Divergent he was a total hottie, but in Insurgent there was no chemistry between him and Tris WHAT. SO. EVER. Their makeout sessions read like a microwave instruction manual. And I got sick of his constant whining pretty damn fast. Waaaah, you never tell me every single damn thing that's going on with you right away, waaaaaaahhhh. By the time the storming of the Erudite compound rolled around, I was rooting for them to break up.

the pity train has derailed at the corner of suck it up and move on

The ending in particular was SUPER annoying because there were several things that did not make sense:

  1. Why is Tris considered a traitor to Dauntless? It's not like she's siding with Erudite or helping Jeanine escape; she just wants to make sure the information in Erudite's computers doesn't disappear and innocent Erudites don't die. Where's the conflict with Dauntless here? She's working toward the same goal, just with different priorities.
  2. Why doesn't Tris tell Four about Marcus' plan? For that matter, why agree to help Marcus at all if she's so worried about Four's reaction, especially when Marcus never tells her exactly what he's doing or why it's so important, other than, "It's essential to the preservation of society"? As Tris herself pointed out, their society is already in ruins, so what exactly are they risking their lives and personal relationships to save? Seems unnecessary. And it's not as if Tris is THE ONLY PERSON IN THE WORLD who can help him. He can go pick on someone else.
  3. The big reveal at the end (which let me assure you was underwhelming) negates the messages and themes of Divergent, namely that people are more than the places they grow up in, or their families, or their jobs, or their major. You don't have to be just one thing. But the reveal shows exactly the opposite: they're breeding for divergence. In other words, the only reason Tris and the other divergents have different abilities is because their parents belonged to other factions. So that whole thing about people being more than the sum of their parts and free will? I felt like it went out the window.

Not to mention the fact that by the end, I wanted Four to throw himself off a cliff. Let's break down Worst Boyfriend of the Year's actions a bit, shall we?

  • Instead of supporting Tris when she gets into a fight with Peter, he tells her to calm down. AWESOME, WOMEN LOVE BEING TOLD TO CALM DOWN! Keep that up.
  • Instead of being understanding when he finds out Tris killed Will and that's why she's been freaking out lately, he tells her, "It's not easy being with you." Are you kidding me? Look in the mirror, buddy. LOOK IN A FREAKIN MIRROR.
  • Most hilarious (if by hilarious you mean awful) part: when Four breaks into Erudite and you THINK he's going to rescue Tris, but instead he tells her that he *could* break them out of Erudite at any time, except he needs to do yada yada some such to prepare for the Dauntless attack. So she should just hang in there with the mental torture for two more weeks, and then maybe probably he can get them out. Tris: "I don't think I can last that long, I really can't." Four: "You're a strong M├Ądchen, you can do it." [I may be projecting a bit here.] NO. Tris has to be rescued by fucking Peter. What is even the point of you, Four?
  • When Tris is caught as a "traitor," Four doesn't even attempt to talk to her or offer an explanation for her behavior that would, presumably, save her from being KILLED. To repeat: we're supposed to believe that Dauntless is ready to execute Tris, and because she was helping his dad, Four sees her dying as a completely reasonable outcome to not-exactly-being-a-traitor. For someone who keeps yelling at her to stop risking her life, he seems pretty copacetic with Tris getting executed and/or tortured.
  • Then, twenty minutes after Tris yells at him for being a jerk (finally), Four comes hop-skipping over and says, "You were right. I do know who you are. I just needed to be reminded." COOL STORY, BRA. At that point I would have been like, "I think we need to start seeing other people." BUT NO. Everything magically becomes happily every after ville again, and they kiss and make up. Literally.

i just threw up in my mouth a little bit

I want at least one scene of abject apologies and groveling. To the level that it's so pathetic, it's embarrassing.

Not to mention the fact that the writing style in Insurgent read VERY YA. Like Harriet the Spy. The number of conversations Tris eavesdropped on was ridic.

So yeah. I found this book to be EXTREMELY annoying. But I will say Veronica Roth can still spin a fast-moving story, even when it makes no sense.

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