I read this book months ago and always put off writing a review because I wanted it to be a good one, a detailed one. Going through my notes just now I realized that I don’t want to anymore. Even those scenes I noted as being particularly interesting or contradictory don’t interest me that much anymore. I remember being entertained reading the book, but also put out by the love story parts, Tris’ underlying anxiety and some rather stupid generalizations and observation (for example, cigarettes are closely tied to vanity in the novel’s world – I would understand if they saw a connection to self-destruction, but how is it vain to smoke? There were a number of things that didn’t make sense to me even though I managed to easily suspend my disbelief regarding the bigger issues.). The questions relating to how the world arrived at the current circumstances interested me most but were never satisfactorily answered.
I liked the novel for its occasional violence and desperation, but I could never quite warm to Tris. Instead of being the strong character I had hoped for she tended to be whiny and self-righteous at the same time. I occasionally conceived her as being conceited and delusional and that really ruined any of her subsequent heroic acts for me. I guess that I was supposed to see her humanity, her insecurity and sensitivity, but I was made to distrust her instead. It was okay while I read it, but it didn’t really stick with me and I’m afraid that I remember much less from its sequel. While I wasn’t as disappointed with it as many other reviewers, I’m not saying that it was stronger than these reviewers suggest. It’s just that I wasn’t as enthusiastic about Divergent and so couldn’t be as disappointed by Insurgent.