Beatrice “Tris” Prior and her boyfriend Tobias “Four” Eaton have managed to escape a simulated attack hosted by Erudite, one of the five factions that Chicago has been divided into, which honours intelligence. Erudite has brainwashed the Dauntless (bravery) to attack the Abnegation (the selfless) and exterminate their leaders. Tris lost both her mother and her father in the attack, and is still reeling from shock that Erudite leader Jeanine Matthews would declare war so suddenly and openly on another faction. Tobias’s father and Abnegation leader Marcus is with the two, as well as Tris’s brother Caleb and Tris’s nemesis Peter. They are fleeing to Amity (the peaceful) to seek asylum. Tobias is beyond angry that his father is with them, the one who bullied and abused Tobias as a child.
Amity’s peaceful state does not last long, and Tris and some surviving Abnegation members escape the compound when it is attacked by Dauntless traitors (who joined Erudite’s cause even after they awoke from a simulation where they were used as puppets). Tris makes it out with Tobias, Caleb and Susan, and on the train they jump they come across a massive group of the factionless, led by Edward, a boy who trained with Tris at the Dauntless headquarters when they moved factions. Arriving at the safe zone, Tris is shocked to discover that Tobias’s mother, Evelyn, is alive, and that he had knowledge on the matter. The factionless have their own society and are happy, not the unhappy and rejected people that the factions were led to believe. Tobias refuses to forgive his mother, though she wants him to talk the Dauntless into joining with the factionless to fight a war.
Tris and Tobias travel to Candor, where they are arrested for crimes against humanity due to the lies that Jeanine is spreading. It is revealed that Tobias fled the Abnegation to escape the brutality his father subjected him to. Tris reveals that she shot and killed her best friend, Will, during the simulation, and her other close friend Christina, who was dating Will, is furious and crushed to hear the news. Eric, an old Dauntless leader, attacks the Candor compound, and the inhabitants are shot with a newly developed serum that means that the people can be controlled at any time the Erudite like, long distance. They just need to be activated. The Divergent still seem to be safe from the serum (the Divergent have more than one faction aptitude, and their minds are not so shut). The Dauntless fight back and overthrow the traitors. Eric is executed by Tobias when Candor leader Jack Kang agrees to unrealistic terms with Jeanine, and the Dauntless are unhappy. They return to the Dauntless compound, where they take down all the cameras and make it their home. Tris and Tobias fight over the fact that she does not value her life, and Tris is upset when Tobias rallies with his mother to take down the Erudite. Christina finally forgives Tris for executing Will. Jeanine controls a group of Dauntless from within the compound, making a girl commit suicide, threatening that this will continue until the Divergent begin to turn themselves over.
Tris turns herself in to Jeanine, thinking it will all be over, and makes a few terrible discoveries while there. Jeanine starts to administer tests on Tris, intent on working the Divergent out. Tobias gets taken in, and they make an escape later. Peter, of all people, comes to Tris’s aid and assists the couple to escape. Tris and Tobias return to the Abnegation sector, where the factionless have gathered, and Tobias and his mother begin to make plans to overthrow Erudite. Tris argues with Marcus again, demanding to know what he knows that was worth so much to have so many Abnegation members killed. He decides to show her, but Tris is now faced with a difficult decision. Either she can work with Tobias, or go behind his back and work with his hated father.
Tris does not agree that bringing Erudite down the way that it is planned will be a good thing, thus disagreeing with Tobias. Either way, the factionless and remaining Dauntless soldiers are intent on infiltrating and fighting. Will Tris hear Marcus out? What could he possibly know that was worth killing over, and worth Tris risking her relationship with Tobias over? Will the attack on Erudite go down alright, or will the loss of life be extravagant? Is Evelyn being honest about her intentions, or does she plan to screw anyone else over at the end of it all? Will Tobias ever be able to see past the fact that he is her mother, and into the fact that she is not a nice person? Will Tobias and Tris find a way to be together and stop being at odds with one another all the time? What truth were the Abnegation sitting on that carried so much power, and if discovered, how will it change things now?
I will score Insurgent a 6.5/10. This is the second book in the Divergent trilogy. I would have assumed that this book would have more action than its predecessor, but I was evidently wrong. It seems that it was important for all the separate compounds to be revisited and what not. I got pretty edgy pretty quickly what with all the damn kissy kissy storyline the whole time between Tris and Tobias, and the continual hinting at sex. That whole thing was just totally incongruent to the story and the events that were going on around them. As though that was not bad enough, it soon escalated into Tris and Tobias fighting incessantly for absolutely no good reason, and silly childish fights, too. They do have a relationship that ranges from really sweet and intense to absolutely ridiculous, though ultimately I only want them together. They work, if they could just get over all their silly differences. Then there was Tris, who portrayed herself as so strong and invincible and all that, and suddenly a few things go wrong and she is shattered though still faking brilliance. She is whining and selfish and terrified. She is spineless and not brave, whimpering and crying all the time, she is not willing to think about anyone other than herself and that annoyed me endlessly. She had been presented as a character that I could get on board with, but here it was just a nuisance. Veronica Roth’s writing style seemed so limited here, there were repetitive lines about laced fingers and mouths fitting over each other perfectly and what not. Roth does not build up enough rapport with the characters she has here, and they are difficult to identify with and they don’t seem real. This way, when she kills them, it seriously lacks impact. The story in this one is a little weak. It started as something in the first one, but it seemed very scattered in this one. This was not a dreadful book, but it left me wanting a hell of a lot more. There were no real twists and turns, it was not exceptionally gripping and brought nothing particularly new to the table. I am seriously hoping that the third book brings some more fantastic action to the table!