Insurgent (Divergent)

Insurgent  - Veronica Roth 3 STARSI didn't realize I wore my secrets as armor until they were gone, and now everyone sees me as I really am.Needless to say, spoilers ahoy for Divergent. So if you're planning to start this series, move along now. You're still here? Okay then.I'm writing this after what seems like reading through a near-catatonic haze. It wasn't boring, but it wasn't gripping either. I've had a difficult time picking up where I left off and settling back into Roth's world. There were a lot of things that worked for me but the few that didn't, did impact my attention to the story and therefore my overall enjoyment.This picked up immediately after the end of Divergent where Abnegation was attacked by the Erudite using the simulation-controlled Dauntless and Candor was... I don't know what Candor was doing at that time, any Erudite out there care to enlighten me? Anyway, to simplify this mammoth of a book (500 pages!), Tris and the gang go out hopping from faction to faction, dancing with the politics dealing with the aftermath of Crazy Night with the Erudites (hey, that totally rhymes!) while figuring out the reason behind it. You can't really fault Insurgent much if you look at it from afar. It's chockfull of plot-twists and the action sequences were still pretty good (there's so much running around, I feel like foregoing my actual cardio for the day). The dialogue was surprisingly entertaining with a great deal of amusing exchanges especially since we get to see the different faction members interact with each other. "We had good cake," I tell Caleb."We had fizzy drinks," he says."Ah, but did you have a ledge overlooking an underground river?" says Marlene, wiggling her eyebrows. "Or a room where you faced all your nightmares at once?""No," says Caleb, "and to be honest, I'm kind of okay with that.""Si-ssy," sings Marlene. So yeah, from afar it was kind of a Monet.I think one of the things that worked well in Divergent is how simple the structure of the story was. Which is always a plus for this genre because engaging the reader enough to put them in a world not-so-distant from the present is complex enough that a simple, solid plot would do well to balance things out or a) our brains might explode or b) we'll just stop giving a sh*t. One of my biggest issue with this book are the new characters. I read Divergent in paperback so I couldn't do a search to look who the heck these new people are and what are their allegiances. Which is tough for me because this book was written in such a way that it assumes that I care what happens to these people... when I don't even remember them from the first book. So when somebody gets dead, I mostly end up getting confused. I feel like the guy who went to the wrong funeral. By the way, a lot of people end up getting dead in this book, and your emotional involvement to these moments will be a good measure of how hardcore you are towards this series. The Tris and Four fans will be happy to know that their relationship gets explored towards a particular direction addressing trust issues, while their growth as individuals weren't neglected. I liked seeing Tris coming into terms and accepting the strengths of her divergence while Four's calculating mind and talent for manipulation were pleasant surprises. There were some OTT scenes (you know things are getting intense when someone uses the "hands on the glass" moment) and some honest heart-felt lines that did give me the warm and fuzzies.I think there was a good story somewhere in Insurgent, I just wished the method of delivery was a bit better. I did like the ending, despite it being a cliffhanger. If anything, the sedate to near catatonic state this book induced me into saves me from the desperate, urgent need to read what happens next immediately.