by Veronica Roth
Summer book releases are HERE. Finally. I have been waiting for these books to come out for about a year now. I am that crazy girl who goes to the book store, and when I don't see a new release on the shelf yet (where it is SUPPOSED to be), demands that they comb through the boxes in the back so that I can get my fix. I might be a book addict... And a little extreme. But it's all for your benefit, dear reader!
The first of the four books released this past Tuesday that I want to bring to your attention is... Insurgent. This is the sequel to Divergent which I reviewed last year (Need a refresher? http://breadofbooks.blogspot.com/2011/06/divergent.html). This follow up starts right where we left off, with Tris, Four & the others escaping on a train... without any recapping of the prior events. The lack of reminders was a little difficult since I read the last book a year ago now, but once you get into the rhythm of the story, the details come back to you. I can't give away any plot points here, without spoiling Divergent for those of you who haven't cracked it open yet. But Roth expertly sweeps us away into the world where society has divided everyone into factions based upon their personality and strengths. In Divergent, we see the cracks in that society form, and in Insurgent, what seems to be the beginning of complete destruction.
I appreciate the relationship building and character development that Roth accomplishes, especially between Tris and Four (Tobias). The author doesn't rely at all on the too common young adult (YA) fiction love triangle. Instead, she builds a strong relationship between the two lead characters, who have to overcome their own struggles with communication and trust, in a world that seems to be built on lies. The book also continues upon a believable path, with the main characters recovering from the fallout of the first book. Her characters do not simply sweep the events of the last book "under the rug", but struggle with the guilt and grief that is left behind. For Tris, the events of the previous installment become a part of who she is, seemingly making her more vulnerable to the audience, and more believable. Roth also manages to create a unique YA world, that does not completely follow the formula that so many YA books do. And she expertly leaves you with a revelation on the final page that leaves you wishing there was more. Now I find myself, again, waiting on the edge of my seat to find out what happens next.... only approximately 365 more days to go...