It's YA Book Club time again! As always, thanks to Tracey for founding the club and organizing the blogosphere meetings. This month we read Insurgent.
From Goodreads, some spoiler-free jacket copy:
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.
New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.
I'm feeling kind of paranoid about revealing too much, plot-wise. This is the kind of book you want to surprise you (and it does, and when it does it is deliciously shocking/heartwrenching/pulse-raising). So I'm only going to talk about one thing, which happens to be one of my favorite aspects of the Divergent trilogy: the Big Questions.
I have a soft spot for MG/YA literature that delves into philosophy/psychology/theology/etc.-ology. All books do, to a degree--you can't write about people with touching on aspects of human nature, although it can stay a light touch. But there's something so powerful about books for young readers that bring up meaty philosophical issues--Who am I? What is important to me? Would I chose love over politics? What about family over community? etc.--while still being wildly satisfying entertainment. Divergent and Insurgent do this so well--the pacing is excellent, the characters are intriguing (and sometimes crushworthy), the setting is evocative. You could devour both books purely on an entertainment level, and they'd be satisfying, but they offer much more.
Maybe I spend too much time working on literature textbooks (affirmative), but I can imagine teens having so many great conversations stemming from the themes and plot in Insurgent. It takes a special book to balance fun and philosophy; Insurgent is definitely one.
Have you read Insurgent (or Divergent)? What are your thoughts?