Insurgent - Veronica Roth 4 stars for a sequel that more than tops the first installment of this series.

The ending was such a turn-around from the events of the series so far, that I still don't know quite how to describe my feelings. Knowing how Chicago becomes what it is in Beatrice Prior's time completely changes how I viewed the utterly ridiculous concept of cult-like "factions" and their style of government. The fact that this community was begun as a sort of utopia project turns everything you think you know inside out and suddenly everything makes sense.

I used to get incredibly annoyed at all the commenters with their exclamation points and all caps proclaiming Divergent to be miles better than that now holy trilogy, The Hunger Games. While I still don't believe Divergent deserves that amount of exuberance, I have to say that Insurgent really gives THG a run for its money. Not only is there an incredible game-changing twist, but the depiction of a relationship that comes closer to reality than any other recent ya sci-fi novel has even attempted.

Let me pause on that note to praise the complete exclusion of that reviled of all shit-tastic plotlines, The Love Triangle. The fucking love triangle. I just dropped an f-bomb on Goodreads because love triangles make me Hulk-smash furious. Even in a series I adore, like Delirium, I have to rage at the addition of a love triangle during some girl's fight to survive in a hellish post-apocalyptic nightmare. As if the world weren't improbable enough in these books.

Now that I'm finished gushing/ranting, it must be said that Beatrice Prior, despite having an exceptionally large prefrontal cortex, is as close to an idiot as you can possibly get. She willingly gives herself up to the enemy who plans to study her weaknesses and then execute her and use the knowledge from experimenting on her to capture and control others like her. In her mind she sees this as sacrificing herself so that no one else will get hurt. Even those with normal sized brain parts, like me, will notice her her plan was fundamentally flawed. Or maybe at that point the storytelling just got weak.

I won't lie, I came into this with very low expectations. My review of Divergent isn't exactly glowing, and I was thinking I'd be scoffing my way through the sequel. The pacing was erratic and the information a bit jumbled, but Insurgent caught my attention, had me reading nonstop, left out the threeway, provided actual surprises, a good bit of mystery, and a great twist at the end. I can't wait for the next installment of the series.