Book Review: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

by Jenn (eating bender) on May 7, 2012

I’m so excited to talk about Insurgent! You may recall my review of Divergent a few months ago woah, way back in September? Honestly, where does time GO?

Anyway, this is the next installment of Veronica Roth’s trilogy, and when it was released on May 1, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. Big thanks to Bobby for making that possible. :)


Insurgent picks up right where Divergent left off. In fact, there is very little “recap” like what you might find in other book series where they try to rope the brand new reader in by explaining what happened in book one in the opening pages. I really respected Veronica Roth’s decision to leave this part out. Of course, there are plenty of details from the first book woven into the second, but by not having a full-blown summary, the reader is able to jump right into the action.

I won’t go into too many details about plot, especially for those of you who haven’t read Divergent yet. But I will say that I think Insurgent was right on par with Divergent in terms of how much I enjoyed it, and even stronger in terms of the writing and overall story.

In Short

In short, why haven’t you read Divergent yet? 😉 Only kidding, of course, but I do highly recommend starting with book one before picking up a copy of Insurgent. As I mentioned in my last review, this is essentially a dystopian series (think: Hunger Games) that takes place far into the future.

And not just any future…a Chicago future! Insurgent has a lot more detail with regard to Chicago landmarks. I could picture where everything was in relation to the Sears Tower, Merchandise Mart and Millennium Park. Granted, most of them are described as hollowed out versions of what they are in the present, but it was cool to feel like I could imagine the scene, the weather and everything else that is familiar because I call it home.

As is the case with the first book, there is plenty of action, drama and jaw-dropping revelations. Plus, the romantic storyline continues – without a love triangle! – which is always fun.

The Details

One of the things I think Veronica Roth does best in her second book is her character development. We learn an amazing amount of new and important facts about the main characters that impact the choices they make and their interaction with others. This is especially true in the character of Tobias (Four), but also exemplified through the protagonist, Tris.

After enduring quite a lot more than the average 16-year-old in book one, Tris has even more to grapple with. The problems are now much bigger than her – they impact the society as a whole and cause her to question everything she’s grown up knowing and believing in. I think Veronica Roth does a fantastic job of showcasing Tris’ internal struggle. She matures a lot in this book.

What’s interesting to me – without making too many comparisons – is how she is seen compared to someone like Katniss in the Hunger Games. After the first book, Katniss essentially becomes a celebrity, and the people around her use that celebrity to their advantage.

In Tris’ case, she did some very brave things in book one, but in the grand scheme of things she is not really seen as the “leader” among rebels. She’s important to us, the reader, because the story is told from her perspective. She’s certainly important to a number of other central characters in the book (Tobias aka Four comes to mind first). But she doesn’t really command the awe and admiration of an entire population. At least, not yet. Which is why it makes it even more awesome that by the end of Insurgent, she has made quite a name for herself – literally. That’s all I will say, other than that I have no doubt that her growing notoriety will be a theme that carries over into book three.

Veronica Roth’s attention to detail is also a huge reason why I love these books. Her writing style gets to the point quick, but in doing so unearths a slew of interesting information, not to mention a wildly creative world that actually seems possible. Nothing is too crazy or unrealistic. And the big reveal at the end of the novel will have you sitting on the edge of your seat and sad that you have to wait at least another year (or more) to find out what comes next.

Have I convinced you yet?

These Amazon reviews say it all. Divergent was good. Insurgent was AWESOME!


Have you read Divergent or Insurgent yet? If so, what did you think?

Last but not least, the winner of the LUNA Fiber Bar giveaway is Clare!

Congrats, Clare! Send your mailing address to me at!


{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Liz @ Southern Charm May 8, 2012 at 10:49 am

I read both! I completely agree with your review of Insurgent. SO GOOD. I love how she gets to the point. And the development of the characters? I loved that. And I loved watching all of them grow (Christina too!). I can’t wait for the next book! I want to know what happens :)
But right now I’m tempted to go back and read them both in hopes of finding clues about the ending of the second book.
p.s. I’m in love with Four! Bahaha.
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2 Jenn (eating bender) May 10, 2012 at 2:46 pm

I forgot to mention Christina! I loved watching her grow in this book, too. I’m also tempted to go back and re-read. I always find clues the second (or third…or fourth) time around! And Four? I hear you. :)


3 Melissa @TryingtoHeal May 8, 2012 at 6:42 pm

Now I have yet another book you’re going to make me read!!! I need more time to read!!! I’ve got one for you, that will show you how crazy I am about what I do for work: Kingbird Highway by Ken Kauffman. :)
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4 Jenn (eating bender) May 10, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Don’t you wish “professional reader” was an actual job? Not even an editor. Just a reader. :) Thank you for the book recommendation, too! Adding it to my list!


5 Mila @ loftyappetite May 9, 2012 at 8:40 am

Oh I loved Divergent and can not wait to read this!! Thanks for the review and getting me pumped up to skip the next few books on my “to read” list and on to this one! :)
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6 Jenn (eating bender) May 10, 2012 at 2:50 pm

I did the exact same thing! Totally worth boosting it up the “to read” list, I promise! :)


7 Susan May 9, 2012 at 9:45 am

Happy Birthday again!! These books are on my list. Lovin’ the HP, by the way. (I know, no surprise there. :))


8 Jenn (eating bender) May 10, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Can’t wait for you to read them – and so glad to hear you’re enjoying HP!! My greatest book loves, no matter what. :)


9 Katie May 9, 2012 at 5:04 pm

LOVE this review, LOVE both books! I just posted my review also. I can’t believe that ending?!?! And I completely agree about your comparison with Katniss. I even mentioned something along those same lines. I really want to go back and read it again – there was so much going on that I am sure I missed something!
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10 Jenn (eating bender) May 10, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Awesome!! I’m going to check out your review right now! I want to go back and re-read again, too. :)


11 Katie May 11, 2012 at 1:57 pm

I totally agree! I couldn’t get over how good both Divergent and Insurgent were. I can’t wait to see what happens next (and I love Tris and Tobias together!). Why hasn’t these books gotten as much press as Hunger Games :( ?!


12 Jenn (eating bender) May 14, 2012 at 7:08 pm

I agree wholeheartedly! No idea why they don’t get as much press – but I’m guessing that if they do end up making a movie out of it, it’s going to blow up like crazy. :)


13 H May 13, 2012 at 8:39 am

Amazing review. Completely encompasses the book. I do have one question though (sorry, confused): Whaaaaat happened at the ending? Without giving away too much, there were a few mentions of things ‘outside the fence’ during the book, and did the ending eradicate that possibility? Little confused:)
LOVED it. So mad I have to wait for the 3rd one


14 Jenn (eating bender) May 14, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Great question, H! Without giving anything away, I interpreted that the ending – and the people involved – were all allusions to what was outside the fence, and that will play a huge role in the third one! It’s going to be a long wait, but I guess we can’t blame Veronica for wanting to make sure it’s a great read for us, haha. 😉


15 Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner March 3, 2013 at 11:09 am

I just finished Divergent (hem, in a day) and was thinking “I wonder if Jenn wrote a review on it.” I loved it! I’m excited to read Insurgent, but not excited to wait for the last book to come out…it will probably be painful.
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16 Jenn (eating bender) March 11, 2013 at 11:55 pm

I love that you 1) finished Divergent in a day and 2) thought about my book reviews! It made my day to read that. :) I can attest that it is painful to finish Insurgent and have to wait. In the meantime, I look forward to reading Veronica’s blog posts that sometimes have little details here and there. They are in the process of getting ready to film the movie in Chicago…ah!! You can check it out here: And she has a Tumblr, too (clearly I am a big fan, huh?): :)


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