Movie Review: Insurgent (Divergent #2)

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Movie Review: Insurgent (Divergent #2)Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Directed by Robert Schwentke

Written by Brian Duffield (screenplay), Akiva Goldsman (screenplay), Mark Bomback (screenplay), and Veronica Roth (novel)

Starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ansel Elgort, Kate Winslet, Naomi Watts

One choice can transform you-or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves--and herself--while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love. Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable--and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships. Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

I got to see a screening of Insurgent on Monday night and I was so excited! I don’t think I’d ever been to a showing of a movie before it was released. I’ve seen midnight shows before but this was a first. And it was awesome! So many people were there by the time we showed up, I really didn’t think we’d get in. But we did. We were near the end so we didn’t have great seats, but we were in and we got to see it and that’s all that mattered!

Now, I’m not movie critic and I’m absolutely sure that actual movie critics will have more to say about the movie than I do. I’m also not a huge fan of the books like I know some of you are and I’m also sure that you guys will have some other things to say about this movie, but for me as its own thing, I thought the movie was really good. It was much better than Divergent, both the story and the acting, the visuals were stunning, and it was easy to get swept up in the story. I hope you guys will love it and be able to remember to accept the movie as its own thing and not compare it too closely to the book. Because I guarantee that if you do, you will not like it.

Just to get this out of the way because I know a lot of you are going to want to know this, the movie is very different than the book. The overall message of the Divergents and the need to find them and Tris and Four’s desire to take out Jeanine and tell everyone what she did in Divergent and finding a better way to live is still there. But a lot of other stuff is changed. If I were a die-hard Insurgent fan or remembered more of the book, I’m really not sure what I would have thought of the movie. (I’m not ashamed to admit that after coming home I checked the Recaptains Insurgent post to see if I really didn’t remember anything or if things were as different as I thought.) It works really well as a sequel to Divergent and as a movie, but it was definitely different from the book. I won’t go into what was changed because I don’t want to spoil anything but if you’ve seen the trailers than you already probably suspect that it’s different. And that’s probably a good thing. Go into the movie prepared for a different story and a different journey for Tris and Four knowing that the end goal is similar and you should be good. I really hope you’ll all love it. I know how disappointing it can be when a movie of a book you love just isn’t what you had hoped.

One thing I actually really liked in this movie as opposed to the books was the relationship between Tris and Four. While I don’t remember a lot of details from the book, I do remember thinking that I hated the two of them. It felt like they were never really honest with each other and fought a lot. In the movie, they are actually really good together. It was the first time that I really felt like I understood why they were together. It seemed like they loved and supported each other. And it felt totally different from how I felt about them in the book. And even in the Divergent movie, I was told how they felt about each other but I didn’t really believed it or understand why they felt that way. But I definitely believed it on the screen in this movie.

The acting was also really good in this movie. No one’s going to win an Oscar from their performance and not all of the characters are given the chance to really show who they are in the books given that the movie is only two hours but everyone does a really good job with the time they’re given. Both Woodley and James did a great job in all of their scenes, not just the ones together, and seemed so much more natural in this one than the first. And we get to see Uriah in this one! Naomi Watts does a really good job as Evelyn and the scenes between her and Four were really great. I loved the tension between the two of them. I still hate Kate Winslets character, of course, but she’s great as Jeanine and shows how ruthless she can be and Miles Teller had some really great moments as Peter. Caleb showed his true colors and while I know they are acting, seeing him and Tris together as brother and sister was a little distracting after seeing them together as lovers in TFioS. I know I’m suppose to rise above all of that but I’m not that good. I couldn’t help but be reminded of their last movie together.

Besides being very different from the book, there were things that I wasn’t quite sold on in the movie. There were some moments of humor in this one and I was trying to figure out if they were meant to be there or if the actors added in some sarcasm or if I was just reading it all completely wrong. I’m not sure but I did kind of enjoy those moments. It made it seems as if the movie wasn’t taking itself too seriously. Plus, it broke up all of the action and angst a little bit. (And there’s a lot of angst in this movie.)  I did also have some questions during the movie. Mostly just small things that didn’t really matter but if things like that bother you, you will notice them here. Like in that scene near the beginning when they jump the train, where exactly is that train coming from? If there’s nothing beyond the wall, is it just circling the city? And if it is, why? Where did the supplies on the train come from? I don’t know. Also, how did Tris get so good at cutting hair? And I didn’t understand Peter’s motive to help Tris near the end. I get it in the book but the movie changed some things and I didn’t feel like I really understood why he did what he did. There are other moments like this, which is going to happen in almost any movie, but they were just a couple I noticed. And if you are someone who nitpicks about things like that, this movie might drive you crazy.

I’m not sure how most people will feel about this movie. As someone who’s read the books and liked them okay, I’m neither in the huge group of people that are big fans of the book or in the group that hasn’t read the book and is a fan of the movie, I can only guess. And my guess is that fans of the book will be upset that so much has changed and people who haven’t read the book will enjoy it. It was a good movie and did a really good job with what it was given. As far as YA dystopians go, though,  it’s pretty generic. I don’t think there will be a big group of action movie fans falling for the movie. I hope people will enjoy it for what it is. And it was a fun, teen action movie based on a book but telling its own story. The acting is really good, which only proves further that if you want a successful adaptation, you need good actors. Not famous, necessarily, but definitely good acting. And they did a good job making the movie for people who haven’t read the books. I saw it with someone who hadn’t read any of them and she loved the movie. Which is another important part of a successful adaptation, a movie that makes sense without having to read the book. Though, to be fair, I’m not sure reading this book would actually give you an advantage on those who hadn’t. Did I mention the movie is different than the book?

I don’t doubt at all that this movie will be successful. Tons of people are going to see it and enjoy it. I mostly hope fans of the book will love it because they are the ones that want it the most. I’m just not sure that they will. Still, I give it a thumbs up and really enjoyed it. Let me know what you guys think!


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Book Review: Divergent and Insurgent by Veronica Roth

4 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Books

Divergent (Divergent, #1)Insurgent (Divergent, #2)Divergent and Insurgent by Veronica Roth.

Genre: Dystopian

Level: YA

Source: Bought

Rating: 3 stars for Divergent, 4 stars for Insurgent

The Divergent Trilogy is probably the most popular and most anticipated young adult dystopian trilogies since The Hunger Games. I don’t need to write a review of these two books, seeing as there are so many out there and most people have read them at this point, but I wanted to get my feelings about them down anyway. I’m reviewing them together because it’s hard for me to separate them at this point and I think if you are going to read Divergent, you need to read Insurgent.

Divergent follows main character Tris through her life as a teenager in a future Chicago, where the society is divided into five different factions based on one dominating characteristic. The five characteristics and factions are: Honesty (Candor), Bravery (Dauntless), Selflessness (Abnegation), Peaceful (Amity), and Brainy (Erudite). At age 16, each member of the society must choose their faction and, if need be, leave their family to join their new faction. Tris leaves her family’s faction (Abnegation) to join the Dauntless. Divergent follows her struggles through the initiation process and living in her new faction. She finds some new friend, makes some enemies, and meets Four, one of her initiation leaders and the boy she has a crush on. The end of the book brings lots of action and we see the beginning of the fall of their society. Insurgent picks up right after the end of Divergent and follows Tris and Four and the rest of the factions as they come to terms with the direction their society is heading and the chance of a war among the factions.

In all honesty, I was not as taken with Divergent as most people were. I was a little put off by Tris and the fact that most of the book seemed to be the Dauntless beating up on each other. It seemed to me that Tris was a bit too oblivious, both with Four and his feelings and with how the Dauntless (and all of the factions within the society) really lived and coexisted. But she was otherwise a strong female lead, willing to stick up for herself and her friends and loyal to both her new friends and her old faction. The end was exciting when all of the action started happening and we learned more about the society. I wished there had been a better way to end the book rather than having all of those characters die, but I was also glad that it seemed like an actual probable event. Sometimes authors go to crazy lengths making sure no characters die, I’m kind of glad Roth didn’t go there. Overall, I was pretty happy that I read Divergent. It’s no Hunger Games, to me at least, but it is the beginning of what will hopefully be a great dystopian trilogy.

And if Divergent is the beginning of a great story, Insurgent does a fantastic job of leading us right up to the grand finale. There is no second book syndrome here. In fact, I was a much bigger fan of Insurgent than I was of Divergent. We get a bigger look at the society, more information on the rest of the factions, less brooding on Tris’ part about her own situation, and a surprise ending that promises to make the final book incredible. The relationship between Four and Tris experiences some rocky moments and the action in the book is nonstop. I sometimes needed some downtime myself from the book just to process everything that was happening. It was intense. And like any great dystopian, we are left wondering who among our friends and allies can we actually trust? I am still blown away by the ending of this book.

It took me a while to pick up Insurgent because I wasn’t a huge fan of Divergent, but I’m so glad I did. There is a big cliffhanger though, so if you have yet to read any of them, you could save all of them until the last one comes out (sometime in the Fall of 2013). Then you won’t be left hanging. They are long but quick reads and perfect for the YA dystopian genre. Even if you aren’t fans of dystopian books, I recommend you check these out at some point. I hope Veronica Roth will continue to surprise me in the last Divergent book and in whatever else she may write. I gave Divergent 3 stars and Insurgent 4 stars.

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Help Bring a Win to Team Amity!

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#teamAmity ftw

Ok everyone, it’s finally here. The day we’ve been waiting for. Insurgent is released tomorrow!

In less than 24 Insurgent will be in every book store and the competition between factions will be over. Being on Team Amity means that I want a win for Amity! To help us out, all you need to do is click on the two links below.

Every click helps and will bring us closer to a win.

Along the way today, be sure to follow Divergent Lexicon on Twitter and search for #TeamAmity for fun surprises throughout the day. There will be giveaways. But you’ll need to help us out to be entered!

So click the Team Amity links, follow along on Twitter, help us out, and have fun!

As Veronica Roth said, “It’s not just about banjos and apple-picking. It’s about cultivating strong relationships and trying to understand each other.”

Our links:


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I am still pretty new to the book blogging community and am still learning a lot about the way things work around here. One of the interesting things I’ve learned so far is that books get released for review months in advance of their actual release date. As a reader, I was always aware of new books that were coming out from my favorite authors or my favorite series. I’ve even attended a few midnight release parties. But otherwise, I found most of the books I read just browsing the shelves, reading reviews, or as recommendations from friends. Now as a reader of book blogs, I hear about books months in advance of their release. And it’s awesome! My TBR list is stocked with books I can’t wait to get my hands on. And with so much time, it also allows for lots of hype to be built around those books.

But recently I’ve started to wonder: Is so much hype a good thing for new books? Does all the hype within the book blogging community actually reach those who might not already know about the book? Or are we all just going around in circles? Are we all hearing and saying the same things about the same books?

For Insurgent, which isn’t released for another two weeks, there are contests, pre-order campaigns, reviews, and giveaways all going on now. I’m probably the only one, but is anyone else starting to feel a little burned out? Don’t get me wrong, I am definitely excited about Insurgent. I can’t wait to read more about Tris and Four and find out what Veronica Roth has planned for them next. However, I would still be excited and want to buy it without all the hype surrounding it. But I’m almost more excited for the release now so we can all just move on to something else. Am I alone in this?

I don’t want to offend anyone, it’s just a question. I’ve loved reading about Insurgent and think all the bloggers involved in Divergent Nation have done a fantastic job. I myself joined Team Amity! I’m simply posing a question and hoping for some answers or discussion in the comments. It doesn’t even necessarily have to do with books. I remember all the hype before The Hunger Games movie was released and I eventually gave up reading anything about it because it just became too much for me. So does the hype surrounding a new release ever get to be too much? Or is any hype good hype? Has everything that’s been going on with Insurgent increased the likelihood that you will buy the book? Or are you buying it because you loved Divergent and want to read the sequel? I’d love to know what you think!

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Waiting on Wednesday (2)

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that lets us highlight a book we are eagerly awaiting the release of.

Insurgent (Divergent #2)

By: Veronica Roth

Release Date: May 1, 2012

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

I know pretty much everyone has highlighted this already, but I haven’t. And since it comes out in less than a month now, I’m choosing Insurgent for my Waiting on Wednesday post. If you haven’t read Divergent, do so now. Then get Insurgent on May 1. I haven’t been one of the lucky ones who has been able to read it already, but I’m sure it’ll be great. Tris is a strong female lead and I can’t wait to see where Insurgent will take her. And Four. Of course. I liked Four.

What about you? What are you waiting on today?

Were you a lucky one who got to read Insurgent early? Is it worth waiting for? Let me know! And if you want to support Team Amity, just click the button on the far right side of my blog!

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