Wednesday, March 20, 2013



Is it possible to like a second book in a series or trilogy, more than the first? Yes, it is. Many times, unfortunately, the second book in a series is just fluff and filler. Additionally, some major characters even go AWOL for a while. Nevertheless, I felt that way about Divergent/Insurgent, though; I liked Insurgent slightly more, although I'm sure that some of you will disagree. To be quiet honest, since Finnick was (noticeably, past tense) my favorite character in the Hunger Game trilogies, if there was no Catching Fire (book 2), then there would be no Finnick. Therefore, how could Catching Fire not be my favorite in the trilogy? Let's not speak about Mockingjay, and how I threw the book at a wall, shall we? 

Did I like Tris better in this book? (see my earlier Divergent review) Hmm. Well, yes and no. There were moments when I felt like she was a sensibly strong character. That's the thing, though. For all her smarts, I've never thought she was all that sensible, regardless of her faction aptitudes (i.e., going on a foolhardy suicide mission just because, someone that you know already not to trust, dangles a carrot in front of your eyes. Moreover, you don't even know what that carrot is.). But let's just cut through the chase, regardless of how much I like her character or not, I'm here for Tobias (cue: Bonnie Tyler's Holding Out For a Hero). Essentially, I'm going to finish this series to see what happens to his character and to Tris and him as a couple. Seriously, the girl finds herself in more inane situations when he's not around (shakes head). 

I hereby proclaim 2013 as the year of Tobias. And, have you seen the guy slated to play him in the movie? Theo James. Never heard of him before, and I'm not surprised that he's English-seems to be the norm for the hero in a YA book to movie-but he is very close to how I had Tobias pictured in my mind. The ears that stick out some, the nose with a slight hook, the lean body type (although, I pictured him a little bigger, but still on the lean side). He is a nice looking young man, although he doesn't look eighteen. Albeit, when they cut his hair shorter, he just might appear younger. I'm going to give him a pass on his age because Shailene Woodley (slated to play Tris) doesn't look sixteen, either. Really, this girl has got some serious luck on her side to be getting all these good roles, and now, on top of it all, she gets to make out with him...she's evidently got a huge stash of four-leaf clovers, hanging horseshoes and rabbit's feet somewhere (starting on mine today!). Good for her, but she definitely needs to give her leprechaun, George Clooney, or whoever cast her in The Descendants, a huge hug because I'm pretty sure that she didn't get this role based off her acting performance in her ABC Family show (my two lucky penny thoughts). 

Over the course of these two books, the one thing that I've learned about this series is: don't become attached to any of the characters, except for the hero and the heroine. Because just when you start to feel something for them, they're gone. As in g.o.n.e. Permanently. Add one more to the rising casualty list. And some of these are so random, too. Like, you really didn't have to write them out that way; there was no passion, rhyme, reason or purpose for it, and it wasn't even really for shock value. Or, if it was intended that way, it missed the mark. Part of the problem here might be, there's just too many characters to keep track of, popping in and out of the story. Maybe that's one reason for why there's so many sudden character finales; it's just easier to kill them off, then to continue writing on-going storylines for all these various characters.

I don't know, maybe I'm just being hypercritical (if you think so, feel free to call me out on it in the comment section;). However, I could take the most fickle sixteen year old girl around, and she would still not be as fickle or conflicted as Tris. It's exasperating. And, how is it that Tris seems to always be the smartest person around? (spoilerish) Yeah, yeah, parts of her brain are bigger (oversimplification) than yours or mine (yawn). So what? Sounds painful, if anything. Shouldn't she be having some headaches or migraines with that kind of condition? As someone who gets tension headaches, maybe my brain is big too. Let's put me in a Houdini water tank simulation, and let's see if I can break my way out. Kidding!

However, why is this small, average looking girl seemingly immune to everything (truth serum, fear, pain, simulations)? Maybe in book three, we'll find out that she can resist Kryptonite, too. For someone that has all this going for her and Tobias, in this book, she's got a clear death wish that I just can't empathize with. She's got Tobias wrapped around her finger, for pete's sake. What more could she want? Although, her relationship with Tobias is strained, and there are trust issues on each end that they have to overcome, I just couldn't understand her self-destructive tendencies. Tobias was holding out on her, although his were more of an omission. She was holding out on him. Repeat. Repeat. Then, she lied to him, and made a promise to him that she broke. She goes on later and breaks his trust again. It's no wonder that he gets exasperated, as well. She's Dauntless, so that means she's supposed to be brave and take risks, but she was taking risks out of a sense of grief, and I could not connect with her on that level. It negated her earlier image from book 1, as well. Her grief was almost self-serving, conveniently transitory and superficial; a cop out or an easy out for such a supposedly strong character. Furthermore, her parents would not have wanted that for her-that kind of a sacrifice. Additionally, given everything that she went through in Divergent, she should know that. So, what was her real motivation? That's the thing with Tris, regardless of her faction traits, I never seem to fully know her...

Insurgent - 4 stars out of 5

P.S. - I've decided to include a small playlist at the end of each review that I post. These are songs that I was reminded of when reading the book or songs that I listened to while reading it. A couple are oldies but goodies.

Holding Out For A Hero - Bonnie Tyler
When You Tell Me That You Love Me - Diana Ross
Kiss Me Slowly - Parachute
Closer - Joshua Radin - Tobias comforting Tris
What If You - Joshua Radin  - the scene where Tris leaves Tobias to go to Erudite headquarters
A Thousand Years - Christina Perri - Tris finally telling Tobias how she feels about him
I Will Not Take My Love Away - Matt Wertz (my favorite)

Reviewed by Susannah B;)

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