I absolutely loved Veronica Roth’s Divergent and eagerly awaited book 2. After a slow start, Insurgent really takes off. At first I was afraid this would go the way of recent second books I’ve been reading which were disappointing. I am so glad that was not the case. I did have to take a look at a fan site to remember all of the characters. I had trouble keeping all of the Dauntless characters straight. Some short recaps in the book would have been helpful. I am noticing this in plenty of second books lately, the lack of recaps makes me feel a little lost. Besides all that, this book was great! Tris, her brother Caleb, Tobias (aka Four) and other Dauntless make their way to Amity where they will be safe for a short while. It was interesting to get a closer look at that faction. Tobias’s horrible father, Marcus, has a secret that could save or destroy the faction system. During much of the book Tris has to decide whether to trust Marcus and risk her relationship with Tobias to learn the truth about what is beyond the fence. Dauntless splits in two, some following Erudite while others, like Tobias, want to form an alliance with the factionless. We learn a lot about Tobias’s family, specifically his mother which gives us plenty of insight into him as a character. We also learn more about Tris’s family, specifically her brother, Caleb. The action really picks up for me when Tris allows herself to be captured in order for Jeanine to stop killing people. They want to study her brain and find a way to defeat the Divergent who keep overpowering their simulations. I love the way Tris is able to fight back against the serums. At the end of the book we get a glimpse of the big secret Marcus has been hiding throughout the story. I can’t wait until book 3 to find out what happens!
Some ideas for discussing with teens:
Would you rather be Divergent or fit comfortably inside a faction?
Tris must choose whether to find the truth or help her friends carry out an attack. Which would you chose and why?
Discuss whether it is better to withhold the truth from people to keep them safe or is knowledge more important?
Talk about which faction you would want to be in.
Which is better, a society with factions and order or a chaotic society?
Talk about Tris’s guilt over killing Will.
Discuss Caleb’s betrayal. Why do you think he did what he did?
Talk about the Amity discusses problems. Why do you think this would work or not work?
Discuss when Tris opts for a stunner instead of a gun during the invasion.
How do you feel about keeping secrets that could keep others safe? Or is it better to always tell the truth no matter what?