During our Snowpocalypse I was snowed in for several days, so I spent much of that time vegging out, reading, playing Minecraft, etc. The book I was reading was Divergent by Veronica Roth. I was pleasantly surprised by the story, despite a rough beginning of cliche similarities to The Hunger Games and middle-schooler-ish behavior on the part of the main characters. I devoured the majority of the book in a single night, unable to put it down.
So you can imagine how I very enthusiastically started the sequel, Insurgent. This book too took me little time to finish, but I have to say I was not as enthusiastic about the tale as a whole.
This book picks up on the crux of attacks, conspiracies, secrets, and massacres. Tragedies have occurred, hard decisions have been made. And the characters revert to their beginning-30-pages-of-the-first-book idiocy.
Tris, the main protagonist, has suffered much in the battles that ended "Divergent". She has associating physical and emotional trauma because of it. Her boyfriend, Tobias, the main male protagonist, is also struggling with the sudden proximity of his father, whom he has run away from in the past.
When things get tough, the characters get tougher, right?
Wrong. Tris spends almost the entire book lying to and 'betraying' Tobias because 'she has to'. Erm. Sorry, hun, I don't care what kind of post- or pre-apocalyptic world you're living in, but you never ever ever have to lie to the one you love. Ever. Communication is key, after all, so what are you doing?
In the end Tobias discovers her in her 'act of betrayal' (which is also highly overblown and ridiculous) and naturally feels childishly 'betrayed' (yet again, how did this girl's attempt to find information ahead of its destruction lead to the conclusion that she betrayed you?) and says he 'doesn't know her' blah blah blah. Five paragraphs later he's had a change of heart and it's all sappy and mushy and then BAM cliffhanger.
If it sounds like I'm being pretty hard on the book, it's because I am. I really enjoyed the first book, but now I have little to no motivation to go and buy the third book and read it. This is a repeat of the "Eragon" books by Christopher Paolini all over again. He was an idol of mine for the space of about a year when his first book, at age 15, came out. Then the sequel followed and my admiration evaporated. It was such an overly-dramatic rendition of angst, plus dragons. Ack.
To sum it up, I give "Insurgent" 2 stars out of 5...a steep drop from the 4 stars out of 5 that I would have given "Divergent".