Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Published 2012, hardcover, library copy.
Whenever I hover between 4 or 5 stars, 4 or 5 stars, I choose 4 stars because I feel like if it was a 5 star book for me, I would know! So, I'll say 4.5 stars :)
The situation in this post-apocalyptic Chicago quickly escalates as factions take sides and Tris and her friends fight to stay safe. Tris is dealing with the aftermath of the Erudite-controlled attack on Abnegation at the end of Divergent and the choices that she made. She and Tobias start off strong, but secrets and reckless decisions threaten to tear them apart. By the end of this book, I was on the edge of my seat as the climax approached and things kept escalating.
This was a great sequel to Divergent. I know a lot of people complained that Tris was moody and depressed, but come on, this was nothing compared to Katniss in Mockingjay. Tris was still pretty awesome. Reckless, yes, but I love the girl. And let's be honest, it's not often that highly commercial fiction like this has a distinguishable main character that couldn't be identified as any generic female reader. Tris, though? She's smart and perceptive and brave and loyal and funny and she went through so much at the end of the last book, she was bound to be messed up in this one.
One thing that bugged me was Tobias and Tris' insistence to keep secrets from each other. That got a bit old.
Aside from all of this, the escalation in the plot was intense. You see so many different characters and ambitions fighting for what they believe is right, and things just go downhill as everyone clamors for control. At times, I have a hard time remembering all the various characters in the series -- took me a while to remember who exactly Uriah, Zeke, Lynn, Marlene, Christina, Will, and Edward were. Lots of names to attach to faces! Some of her minor characters are very distinct, like Marcus or Johanna, but some needed more work (like all the Dauntless kids Tris' age). But by the end of this book, I feel like I have a better grasp on them.
And that ending?! Wow. I knew it was going to be some cliffhanger because for some reason I read the last sentence (I used to do that all the time then I stopped because I was afraid of spoiling myself).
So, yeah, when's the next one come out? XD
Cover thoughts: LOVE these covers. The skyline of Chicago with the single image of the tree is awesome. I can't wait to see the next one!