My side is better! No, my side is better! Why in the heck are we doing this?! I’ve got the truth! No, I have the truth! Anything you can do, I can do better! Ketchup is better than mustard!
And it goes on…
Sometimes we think we’re fighting for the right thing, but maybe we don’t have all the facts. Maybe there is someone else we should be listening to. Maybe the people who seemed so bad before, aren’t really that bad.
This book finds the factions in shambles. Abnegation has been attacked by Erudite. People have been shot, including Tris, but she’s alive. Candor won’t help anybody. They have a strong alliance with Erudite and won’t cross any boundaries. The Dauntless headquarters is constantly watched. They can’t go back for a while. The factionless also have a plan. It turns out the factionless are actually banded together under an unlikely leader. It’s someone you never really would expect.
No one really knows what to do at this point. They know they have to get the simulation program from the Erudite so the Dauntless cannot be used against anyone again, but that’s easier said than done. Tris is also having problems. She’s shot a friend in self-defense. The Candor demand that Tris and Four undergo a truth serum questioning. They were originally charged with crimes against humanity, but no one knew they were under a simulation from the Erudite. The truth comes out, but Candor still decides to side with Erudite.
In the Amity section of the city, they vote on whether or not they’re going to get involved. They’re not. They know the Dauntless are planning on storming the Erudite compound and that many people may die, but they don’t want to get involved. Tris fights with herself over her guilt of killing Will, but also over her feelings for Four. She doesn’t want to be close to anyone. It seems she has lost her entire family. It also seems her brother is now on the side of the Erudite. How can things get much worse?
The factionless soon join the fight. It seems they’ve been doing more than simply sitting in a dirty part of the city. They help the Dauntless raid the Erudite headquarters. At one point, Tris turns herself in and is subjected to torture via simulation. She is also sentenced to be executed, but an old frenemy helps her out of a bind.
Tris and Four go back and forth between factions in the city. Four’s father alludes to some very important information. It’s information that everyone needs to know. The Abnegations were going to release the information to the public and that’s what Tris’s mother and father really died for. The whole thing ends up being very M. Night Shyamalan.
What I liked
Because I tend to like M. Night Shyamalan and also Edgar Alan Poe and such writers, I liked the twist at the end of this book. It was something I sort of saw coming, but not entirely. I kind of got that something weird was going on, but not the kind of thing of proportions like The Village.
What I didn’t like
Here is the thing… this book is flat-out not as good as the first book. It’s not. Well, maybe that’s just me. There are a lot of problems with this book. This relationship between Tobias and Tris reeks of teenage bullcrap. Let me tell you something, all of that Romeo and Juliet jazz people talk about when they talk about teenagers falling in love is bullcrap. Infatuation? Yes. Lust? Yes. Love? No. Teenagers can love their parents, they can love their siblings, and maybe they can love their grandparents, but they don’t love each other. I know they think they do, but they don’t. Teenagers lack the mental capacity to fall in love in the proper sense. Being in love means more than, “Oh I want to be around you twenty-four hours a day,” it means, “hey I’ll clean up your puke, if you get sick.” Teenagers don’t get that. So all of this, “I’ll risk my life for you. You’re my only one. I can’t live if you die,” stuff is all bullcrap, hormones, actually. All of that would mean so much more coming from a character ten years older.
Although I liked the twist at the end of this book, it screws up the entire story. All this stuff people have been fighting for goes out the window. It doesn’t mean anything. Here we are, led the believe that Tris lives in a dystopian society that seeks to pare people down to small portions of their personality, but it turns out things are more complex. It’s really not just for the government; it’s for other people. Tris still lives in a dystopian society, she just doesn’t know the extent of how dystopian it really is. All the stuff you read in the first book and most of the stuff you read in this book is inconsequential. It doesn’t mean anything in the larger scheme of things. It’s boils down to pettiness. That’s it. All this fighting with people killing each other because they’re in different factions means nothing. People died for nothing.
Sure, there is still corruption. People still erred. Bad things still happened to good people and other injustices of the universe, but this big battle about who was right and who was wrong meant nothing. None of them were freaking right.
I don’t know if Veronica plans to go anywhere else with this story. I did like the twist at the end. I would like to see what she does with that, but I think it’s unfortunate that so much of these two novels revolved around people simply being petty when the whole problem could have been solved by people being honest and open with each other. Isn’t that one of the desirable character traits of this strange society?
I feel bad for any people these people have to help. They obviously have too many of their own problems to do anyone else much good.
abnegation, amity, candor, corruption, dauntless, divergent, divergent series, erudite, factionless, factions, four, insurgent, Insurgent by Veronica Roth, tobias, tris, veronica roth
Coming of age, Family dynamics, Fantasy, Fiction, Finding Your Self, Mystery, Post Apocalyspe, Post United States, Romantic Fiction, Roth-Veronica, Science Fiction, Social Commentary, what if, Young Adult