Cover Beauty Score: 5 out of 10
Goodreads Score: 3 out of 5
Plot Blurb: Picking up where book 2 left off (Divergent - read that review here), it continues the story of Tris Prior and the dystopian post-apocalyptic version of Chicago. Following the events of the previous novel, a war now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. While trying to save the people that she loves, including Four and her brother Caleb, Tris faces some of the toughest trials yet. She and Four make their way through the factions, trying to figure out what plan is behind the Erudite betrayal.
My Reaction: So I read this book a while ago - and I ultimately put the book down about 3/4 the way through it. After watching the movie that came out last year and falling in love with that version, it made me want to pick it up again to prep for the new movie. Perhaps I had been smoking a crazy pipe and just had an off week when I attempted it the first time.
What was my reaction the second time around? Meh. I realized why I stopped reading last time.
After Divergent established Tris so well as a stronger character, I found it hard to swallow that she was so wishy washy in this one. I found myself rolling my eyes at her whining. I mean... the girl really whines in this one. I get that killing one of your best friends' is a bitch, but seriously? Can we lay off the depression and self flagellation? It's degrading and not how I want to see my heroine behave. I mean... she essentially hates herself so much in this one that she willingly steps up to the execution block. She is crazy selfish - talking all the time about wanting to die so she can be free and be with her parents. After establishing this, quite honestly, real and bare relationship with Four, she goes and does something that would hurt him irrevocably. She totally deserved to see him tortured. Ugh - I'm getting preachy.
And then as I began to get weary of Tris' behavior, the writing style started to grate on my nerves. I realized that I really don't find Roth's attempts at sarcasm to be funny. They just feel like she's trying too hard - it's not a real humor that translates. If anything, it makes the characters all seem like total a-holes for being snarky. The bit where she mocks Jeanine to her face in the testing facility? It was gag worthy.
Ultimately I felt like Tris made things too complicated just for the sake of complicating things. She sees herself as this crazy important person that needs to make decisions for other people to "save" them when all she's really doing is fucking shit up irrevocably. She even admits to trying to "emulate [her parents'] self sacrifice" which is completely horrible - she doesn't do anything for real reasons. For me, at least, Tris became this fake person in this book. Even more unbelievable than I found her in Divergent.
And honestly, unless the writing is fabulous, if the writer loses me with the main character then I'm pretty much not going to invest myself in another book. Maybe with Allegiant I'll take the Cliff Notes version. I can only hope that for the movie Insurgent, Shailene will light up the screen and make me love Tris the way she did with the first movie. Sometimes there is something to be said for the movie version.