Book Review: Insurgent (Roth)


Author: Veronica Roth © 2015

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Genre: YA Literature & Fiction

Subgenre: Sci-fi & Fantasty, Dystopian, Values & Virtues

Reviewer: Sara

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The five factions of dystopican Chicago have plunged into war, led by the ruthless and power-hungry leader of Erudite. Abnegation is largely in ruins, Dauntless is divided, and Candor and Erudite are united while Amity attempts to remain out of the fray. Tris and Four, along with survivors from Abnegation and others form a small resistance, fighting to return balance to their world. Amidst the chaos, the truth of their world is brought to light, a secret known only by a few that threatens the very thing for which they are fighting.


The second book in Roth’s Divergent Series, Insurgent had its hooks in me before I even picked it up. It picks up with Tris and Four where Divergent left readers, taking refuge in Amity while sorting out their options. There’s no loss of tension or pace to the story, even as the characters settle into the routines of their pacifist hosts. The fallout from the dissolution of their society is far reaching, and the safety the survivors find in Amity is quickly threatened by Jeanine and her followers.

Busy moms, fear not the five-hundred-plus page count. This book sucks you in with meticulous world-building, complex characters (who behave in sometimes completely aggravating, BUT age-appropriate manners) and unique plot points. Roth’s story, told again from the view of teenaged Tris Pryor is layered and engaging. There’s a new group introduced, the factionless, who live off the grid and in the shadows. This does not, however, mean anything in terms of their abilities and goals. The factionless are an intriguing addition to an already engrossing storyline; their introduction brings new central characters and plot lines of their own. Most impressive is that adding this plot line and its characters neither steals from the already established story, nor does it create confusion.

The characters, all of whom were created with precision and layers of detail. More of those layers which are peeled back in the second book, revealing the history behind their habits and personalities. There’s a great tension between Tris and the power-hungry Jeanine. Adding to that is a betrayal and discovery that beyond the walls of her world lies something more. Something that will alter everything their society has ever known. Something that makes me want to pick up book three as soon as I put down book two.

One of my greatest dislikes about the book was a continued aggravation by Tris and her attitude about using a weapon in self-defense. It seems incongruous with her situation and previous behaviors. Perhaps this is not a pure reflection of Tris, but some characteristics of Ms. Roth’s deep-rooted beliefs? In my opinion, it doesn’t fit with the story she has written. That being said, at least it is consistent through the book.

Insurgent continues the conversations initiated in Divergent about societal norms and expectations, behaviors and values. It generates reflection in the reader and creates excellent talking points with the YA readers in the household. I devoured this book and eagerly await the day I can read it with my kids. The end of this book, the second in a series of three, was so strong that I was torn between feeling maybe the story was nearly over (so did it warrant an entire third book?) and that I couldn’t wait to read more. Good thing I bought Insurgent and Allegiant at the same time so I could dive right in!


Have you read Insurgent? Finished the trilogy? I’d love to know your reaction! How did you feel about Tris by the end of this book? How do you feel going into the third page-heavy book?

Happy trails and may the good books be plentiful! 🙂

4 thoughts on “Book Review: Insurgent (Roth)

  1. I preferred Divergent, not convinced the ending of Insurgent made all the struggle in the book worthwhile but guess Ill have to read Allegient to find out!!! Do love all the characters though

    Liked by 1 person

    • I understand what you mean! I was so hooked by Divergent that I burned through Insurgent and dove straight into Allegiant. The characters were very well-developed through D & I and Roth was consistent with them, which I appreciated (even if I didn’t always like them!) Happy reading when you get to Allegiant! 🙂


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