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Goat Heads and Sand Burrs, P. Kirby's Reading Blog

The good, bad, and fugly books I've read.
Insurgent - Veronica Roth

Got this, installment numero dos of the Divergent series, at the library, and consequently had to read it quickly because YA is popular and often I can't renew. Which may be why Insurgent didn't engage me as thoroughly as Divergent, the first book in the series.

Or maybe I was distracted by my new acting hobby (three auditions, one film, one theater, in three days and I'm a noob to acting).

Or maybe Insurgent just wasn't as good Divergent.

I'm thinkin' it's a mixture of all three.

Even though Insurgent is action-packed, to the point where one wonders if there's any spot on Tris and her compatriots' bodies that isn't bruised and bleeding, there's a kind of flatness to the story. The voice just didn't grab me and demand that I care about Tris and Tobias. Actually, this time around, some of the secondary characters were more interesting and compelling.

Plus, Tris and Four/Tobias's relationship was tepid in the first book, and in Insurgent, it leaves me colder than a polar bear with a bad case of mange. Even though the narrative tries to add a third dimension to Four, he still reads as a one-, okay, two-note, character. He vacillates between demanding that Tris trust him, all while not trusting her; and turning into Mr. Cuddles when Tris is feeling blue. There isn't much else to him -- certainly not a sense of humor, which pretty much dooms my "feels" for him -- and I found myself skimming their interactions, thinking, "Here we go again."

As much as I'm a fan of action, especially brutal, blood-splattered action, it starts to feel repetitive here. Point of fact, my favorite aspect of the story was Tris's struggle with coming to terms with death of her friend Will, at her hands. And her need for forgiveness from the two women in his life: his sister and his girlfriend.

And finally, the revelation at the end, the explanation (partial) as to how this strange little society came about, seems to come out of left field. I'm not sure how this could have been set up better, without giving this plot point away, but it lacked impact. Perhaps because too much information (world building) was held back, probably to be used in the next book.

But curiosity is still strong with this cat, so if or when, I stumble on the next book, cheap or at the library, I'll pick it up.