Insurgent (Divergent #2)
This isn't really a review--it's more of a commentary--and this is for everyone who has read the book. If you haven't read Insurgent, I would recommend not reading this post. I already have a spoilerless review of Insurgent up. Go read that instead of this or just skip to the end of this post (I kind of rant). You've been warned.
I'm not going to explain back story since I assume you've already read the book.
There be spoilers after this point.
I started Insurgent in the hopes of it being better than Divergent (since I wasn't a fan of it), unfortunately it left me with a bitter feeling. I enjoyed most of the action scenes and I thought the book was well-paced. However, there are a few things that bothered me.
I was mostly confused about how the government in Insurgent works. In the first book we have the faction system, and we have Erudite/Dauntless teaming up to wipe out Abnegation and take control. This--I thought--would lead to civil war. Instead the surviving Abnegation, the Dauntless who refuse to fight, and some Erudite run away to Amity where they are asked to leave so Amity doesn't have to fight. Candor also refuses to fight.
I didn't get this. Everyone refuses to fight. I thought the entire Abnegation ordeal was completely unforgivable and that everyone would team up and bitch smack Erudite/Dauntless. I guess me and Tris were wrong.
Along the way Peter joins Tris and Four. Four does nothing about Peter. Tris gets in a fight with him at one point. Why hasn't anyone shot and killed Peter? Didn't he stab a guy in the eye? Didn't he beat up Tris? Didn't he betray Dauntless? Why is he being allowed to wander around untouched? Veronica Roth's answer is BS: "because Peter owes them so he wants to repay the debt." I also don't take Veronica Roth's answer for why some people are the bad guys: "because they're just cruel."
We're then taken to a factionless safe house. The factionless have grown in size. This is part of the book where I smacked the side of my head. Dauntless had about four or five open spots in the first book, and about fifteen recruits. I was wondering if anyone else had noticed that there would be a lot of factionless in the city if this were true for all factions. Apparently so. Oh and there are more divergent among the factionless. Sure. Just how big is the population in this book? Sometimes it's referenced as being really small, at other times it's huge.
Also, there's a war on and the trains are still running? Who's running the trains? Why? Why aren't the trains being watched? Dauntless headquarters are abandoned so everyone goes back there. Why did they leave guns and armor and supplies at Dauntless? That doesn't make sense from a tactical standpoint since Dauntless is their military. There's not even one soldier guarding it: just a bunch of cameras that are easily taken down with paintball guns.
All of Abnegation gets wiped out in the first book. Later we're told that some of the Abnegation have returned home. HOW!? I thought they were all on the run or dead. How many survived? Sometimes it seems like a few, then it seems like a lot.
There comes a point when Tris realizes that being Divergent means having super-empathy of some kind. Why can't she think like Jeanine? Why does she have a hard time figuring out the motives of others? This doesn't make sense since super-empathy would mean understanding others perfectly.
I'm suppose to accept that being Divergent is rare but in this book half the population and half the main characters are Divergent? Then what's really rare--just to shake up the rules--is testing well for three factions (I feel like this was done just to keep Tris special). That doesn't make sense. In the first book no one knew what Divergent was, then all of a sudden we find out that people talk about them--openly tell stories to their children--about the Divergent. Later it's like everyone just found out. Which is it?
I did not understand the secondary characters. I kept getting Lynn and Christina confused. Who the heck were they? Who is Will and what did he do again (note: I had to look this up in the last book). Some back story would've been appreciated since it's been a year since I read the last book.
Peter saves Tris? All because he owes her on a debt? That isn't logical. It's so 80s action flick that it made my eyes burn.
There are a lot of plot holes here and a lot of cliches. A lot. I could go further into detail but then it'd be too long of a "review". Understand that I wanted to like this book, I really wanted to. I was all set to actually read the third book, plot holes be damned. Then I got to the ending. That ending... That ending destroyed the entire series for me. That ending--the revelation--was so bizarre, so campy, so overdone, that I had already thought that might be the case but dismissed it because who would write that?
While the ending explains how a ridiculous government and society formed--this also destroys the entire first book. This means that Tris is an experiment, the factions are an experiment, and that everything up to this point has been calculated (for the most part).
Here's my end blurb: The Divergent trilogy is now The Matrix of YA books. The fans will defend the book, but everyone will notice the plot holes, and everyone will defend it because of the special effects.
To say that I had a few problems with Insurgent is to compare an ice cube to a glacier. To say that there aren't any plot holes in this book is an understatement. It caused a lot of frustration for me and I am seriously concerned that no one else has noticed these things, that no other review I've read has pointed these things out. That all I've gotten out of a majority of book bloggers is "Tris and Four! Guns! Four!"
If there is a negative review of this book please post it in the comments. Or tweet it at me. I want to read it. Because really, I can't be the only one, and because really, five stars everyone? Five stars?
But... to each their own. I ain't mad about it.