Audiobook Info: Purchased from Audible.com, Audio length: 11 hours, 22 minutes, Read by Emma Galvin
Rating: 4.5 / 5 Stars
Insurgent has been on the top of my most anticipated sequels list for a while now and finally it’s out! I think I own the first book Divergent in every format available, and even though I’ve read it and listened to the audiobook more than once I still could have used a refresher for the sequel. Because I really enjoyed the audiobook narrator for Divergent, I decided to listen to the sequel in audio as well. Emma Galvin just becomes Tris with her narration and happily she’s back for a repeat performance. I thought listening to the audio would help me slow down the pace of reading the book so I could savor it more. But of course I finished this 11-hour audiobook in quick order. If it’s possible Insurgent is even more intense than the first book, and left me feeling the need to read it all again.
First, here’s a little background on the series. The Divergent series takes place in an enclosed future Chicago society divided into five factions by personality type. Aptitude tests administered to sixteen-year-olds determine the faction they are best suited for. The main character, Tris, grew up in Abnegation, the selfless faction, but has the opportunity to choose another faction, and start a new life she’s better suited for. Her choice has big consequences that can change the face of society. She soon connects with Tobias, someone she has a lot in common with. Divergent ends with a lot of turmoil, and Tris has to pick up the pieces of her life in Insurgent.
Insurgent begins right where Divergent left off and the action quickly picks up. Now that they are on their own, Tris and Tobias are on a tour of all of the factions to plot their next move. I’ve been so curious about all the factions and it’s interesting to see how they line up with my expectations. With each faction visit we learn a little more about Tris, Tobias and their other crew, through simulations and other character interactions. Tris is dealing with her past actions and suffers with PTSD but she doesn’t have much time to dwell – there’s too much at stake.
The intensity and relentless heart-wrenching drama reminded me of how I felt reading Mockingjay. The pace doesn’t let up and there are betrayals, surprises and game changing reveals on this journey. There were times I missed the more focused feel of Divergent and felt a little lost amid the fast moving Insurgent. There are so many new characters introduced it is hard to keep them straight and whose sibling they are or what faction they belong to. I recommend re-reading Divergent first or having the author’s cheat sheet handy to refer to, as I did several times.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the relationship drama in the book. Things are a little bumpy for Tris and Tobias, but kudos to Veronica Roth for not resorting to love triangles to add conflict. All of the chaos around them and tough choices tests their bond in interesting ways.
One thing that helped me keep the story straight and “read” it at a reasonable pace is by listening to the audiobook. Emma Galvin nails the tone of the book and most importantly the voice of Tris. She reads with the appropriate intensity and in fact makes the book even more exciting. She makes all of the character voices distinct, both male and female and varying ages, but the voices are not overdone or distracting. The audiobook enhances the book and provides an incredible listening experience. The only downside to listening is that it’s harder to go back and refer to different chapters if you need to, but otherwise give this audio a try.
I think I enjoyed Divergent a little more than the sequel, but still found a lot to enjoy about Insurgent. I like that it’s thought provoking and surprising and keeps opening up new doors to explore. There is character development and the plot is never boring. I can’t wait to see how the series develops with the final chapter. The final book is due out next year, and all we know so far is that it won’t be called Detergent.
Here’s the final word on why you should read Insurgent from my YA daughter. “Read it because it is the sequel to Divergent, it has Tobias in it, and it’s really good.”
Check out the Insurgent book trailer:
This week’s new arrivals:
Insurgent by Veronica Roth – Picked up the book for my daughter & the audio for me. Already listened to Insurgent and it is intense and amazing!
Shine by Jeri Smith-Ready – kindle edition. The last book in the Shade trilogy – can’t wait to see how it all ends.
Storm by Brigid Kemmerer – kindle edition. This was a kindle impulse purchase and it looks like a fun action-filled Summer read.
Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins – book. The reviews make this paranormal romance book about angels sound awfully good.
Rock God by Barnabus Miller. Another music themed YA that looks hilarious and fun.
eGalleys from NetGalley & Edelweiss:
Every Day by David Levithan (Aug. 28) – I’m always excited to see a new book by Levithan and this one sounds really interesting. The main character wakes each day in a different body and has learned to not form attachments since he won’t stay long. However, in this body du jour he falls for someone and now doesn’t want to leave.
Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill (Nov. 13) – This contemporary romance looks so cute and just like my type of book. It takes place over a spring break school trip to London and is about a girl who thinks she’s found her “Meant to be” but is caught off guard when real true love hits her.
Love and Other Perishable Items (Dec. 11) by Laura Buzo – This book was originally released as Good Oil in Australia in 2010 so there are already lots of reviews out there for this one. I wonder if the American release is going to be different at all or if it’s just a title change. Looks like another quirky contemporary romance & I can’t wait to read it.
Insignia by S.J. Kincaid (July 10) – The early reviews make this dystopian sound so good. And it’s even being compared to some of the most popular dystopians out there so it’s hard not to have big expectations for this one.
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick (June 14) – So glad there’s so many contemporary titles coming out & this one looks like one of the better ones. Will be putting this book on top of my kindle reading stack!
What did you receive in your mailbox this week?
May brings an exciting assortment of new releases, from debut authors to established series. I’ve already pre-ordered half the titles on this list & the only problem is finding the time to read them all. These ten books are on sale the first two weeks of May, and with so many great options it was certainly hard to narrow down the list. Here are 10 books I have my eye on in May:
Insurgent by Veronica Roth (May 1) – Finally, right?
Shine by Jeri Smith-Ready (May 1) – The final book in the Shade trilogy
The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Córdova (May 1) – The first book in a series about a merman. Lots of interesting sea creature type books coming out this month, and this one looks like a lot of fun.
Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins (May 1) It’s about angels, but I’m cautiously optimistic.
Until I Die by Amy Plum (May 8) – The sequel to Die for Me – more revenants!
Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson (May 8) Been waiting for this one for a long time- Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour is a big favorite of mine & I hope Matson’s second book is just as great.
In Honor by Jessi Kirby (May 8) – How can I not read this- one of the characters is inspired by FNL’s Tim Riggins. I’ve just started an FNL re-watch too but I’ll have to stop watching to read this one.
Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock (May 8) – I’m a little hesitant because it’s about werewolves, but have heard other good things about it.
Struck by Jennifer Bosworth (May 8) – Religious cults and a lightning addict- I am intrigued.
Gilt by Katherine Longshore (May 15) – A historical fiction debut about the court of King Henry VIII.
What are your May must-reads?
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and features a new top ten list each week.
Happy first day of Spring! It’s Spring Break here and appropriately enough this week’s TTT topic is Top Ten Books On My Spring To-Be-Read list. This Spring I want to read some of the books on my shelves (and kindle) that I haven’t had a chance to check out yet, along with some Spring new releases.
Listed in no particular order, here are are 10 books I can’t wait to read this Spring:
Books I Own:
1. Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally – I’m not really a football fan, but I like Friday Night Lights, and this looks like a light fun contemporary romance.
2. Article 5 by Kristen Simmons – I think I was burned out on dystopia for a little while but Starters jump-started my interest and I’m ready to tackle this one.
3. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare – After finally reading Clockwork Angel, I’m going to keep the momentum going and listen to the sequel.
4. Truth by Julia Karr – Liked XVI last year and haven’t had a chance to read the sequel yet. Hope that I’ll be able to get up to speed quickly since it’s been so long since I read the first book.
5. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi – Got to meet Veronica at WonderCon last weekend, and listening to her speak about the book and seeing the book trailer enhanced my interest in reading it.
New Spring Releases (Apparently I will have a lot of reading to do the first couple weeks of May!)
6. Insurgent by Veronica Roth – The sequel to Divergent, out May 1. I know you all are sick of hearing me talk about this one!
7. Shine by Jeri Smith-Ready – The final book in the Shade trilogy, out May 1. Have enjoyed the series a lot and can’t wait to see how it all ties together.
8. Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson – A Contemporary choice, finally! Loved Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour and can’t wait to check out Matson’s follow-up. Out May 8.
9. Until I Die by Amy Plum -The sequel to Die for Me, also out May 8. More romance and revenants in Paris!
10. Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore - The companion book to Graceling and Fire, out May 1.The long wait is almost over!
What are your must-read books this Spring?
This week’s topic is Top Ten Books I’m Most Excited to Read This Year (or my top 12 in ’12) In no particular order:
1. Insurgent by Veronica Roth – Can’t wait to see what’s next for Tris and Four. I am SO ready to read this one.
6. Until I Die by Amy Plum – Die for Me was a surprise hit for me, and I’m ready to return to the world of the Revenants.
7. Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake – I fell hard for the first book Anna Dressed In Blood and this one looks like another awesome ride.
8. Shine by Jeri Smith-Ready – How exciting that we’ve reached the end of the trilogy already. And wow this cover took me by surprise.
9. Hallowed by Cynthia Hand – I’m envious of so many who have already read this one, but finally the release date is fast approaching.
10. The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead – I’m eager to read more about Adrian, Jill, and the gang.
* Note: Isla and the Happily Ever After has been moved to 2013.
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish featuring a new top ten list each week. Everyone can participate- head on over to their blog and sign up.
This week’s topic is Top Ten Sequels I’m Dying to Read. This is one of the easiest topics for me because there are so many sequels I’m anticipating. The problem is narrowing it down to ten.
In order of publication date, these are my top 10 most anticipated sequels:
2. A Million Suns (Across the Universe #2) by Beth Revis (January 10)
3. Enshadowed (Nevermore #2) by Kelly Creagh (January 17)
4. Truth (XVI #2) by Julia Karr (January 19)
5. Hallowed (Unearthly #2) by Cynthia Hand (January 24)
6. Bloodrose (Nightshade #3) by Andrea Cremer (January 24)
7. Fever (The Chemical Garden #2) by Lauren DeStefano (February 24)
8. Pandemonium (Delirium #2) By Lauren Oliver (March 6)
9. Spell Bound (Hex Hall #3) by Rachel Hawkins (March 13)
10. Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth (May TBD) – cover not available
Shine (Shade #3) By Jeri Smith-Ready (May 1) – cover not available
The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2) by Richelle Mead (June 19)
What sequels are you eager to read?
This year was my fourth Comic-Con and my husband, daughter and I have started to make it an annual tradition / mini San Diego vacation. We each have our own wish lists of panels and events each year. This year my husband wanted to find some comics from his childhood years at the exhibit hall and attend the big movie panels in Hall H. My daughter and I wanted to check out the book panels and meet some favorite authors at signings. For the most part overall we managed to see most of the panels we wanted and had one of our better Comic-Con experiences. I think we were successful this year by planning our schedule in advance, waking up early to score a spot in lines, and focusing in on one must-see a day and scheduling the day around that goal. It helped that we took a more laid back approach and didn’t stress too much about not getting in to certain panels. It made for a more relaxed and fulfilling Comic-Con experience overall. I never take many pictures at Comic-Con and prefer to just enjoy the experience, though I do wish I had pictures once I get home. Luckily there are tons of pictures to be found online of the memorable events and costumes.
Wednesday: Preview night
After getting settled into our hotel and eating an early dinner, we headed to the convention center. On our way in we saw hundreds of fans camped out on the lawn for Thursday’s Breaking Dawn panel, many of whom showed up on Tuesday. Gotta admire their commitment! We lined up to pick up our badges at the convention center. The line moved very quickly and we soon had our badges and swag bag in hand. Then we encountered our first line to wait for the exhibit hall to open. Once inside, my daughter and I made the rounds of several booths, looked at the exhibits and did some people watching. My husband headed up to Ballroom 20 where they were screening the Fall pilots of Alcatraz, Person of Interest, The Secret Circle and Supernatural: The Anime Series. Back on the exhibit floor, my daughter and I purchased Supernaturally and Wolfsbane so we could get those signed later in the week. The crowds weren’t too bad in the exhibit hall, but after awhile we were getting tired and headed up to Ballroom 20 to check out The Secret Circle. We came in late to the screening but I’m intrigued from what I saw to check it out in the Fall. It is a new show based on another L.J. Smith book series, this time about witches, and put together by the folks behind The Vampire Diaries. I think this show will appeal to fans of The Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars, or Gossip Girl. The show Alcatraz also got some good buzz and I look forward to checking it out when it airs. After the screening we headed back to the hotel to get some rest. Thursday would be an early morning!
Woke up early to hit the Breaking Dawn panel line for Hall H. We secured a spot in line on the lawn about halfway in so we knew we would have no problem getting in to the panel. The fans who had camped out were served breakfast by some surprise visitors. Several members of the Twilight cast walked around to chat and take pictures with fans. I thought it was very classy of Nikki Reed, Elizabeth Reaser, Ashley Greene, Julia Jones and Booboo Stewart to surprise the fans like that. Meanwhile, my husband and daughter left to try to secure 2012 Comic-Con badges. These go on sale every morning for a limited amount of time, and by the time they arrived they had unfortunately long sold out for the day.
We finally entered Hall H for the 11:15 Breaking Dawn panel. It didn’t appear to me that Hall H wall filled to capacity, which seemed like a trend this Comic-Con where the TV panels in Ballroom 20 were the place to be. The main cast and director Bill Condon were there to show two clips from the Breaking Dawn, including a steamy scene from the honeymoon. The footage looks good so far.
After that panel we headed to the Magic & Monsters author panel featuring Kim Harrison, Andrea Cremer, Lev Grossman, Diana Rowland and more. They discussed the magic in their books and the magical creatures that they write about. After that lively panel my daughter and I took off for the Summit booth to queue up for Veronica Roth’s signing. Summit is releasing the film adaptation of Divergent and invited the author to sign posters to promote the upcoming film. My daughter and I both loved the book and were excited to meet her. My daughter even wore her “Dauntless” shirt that day. About an hour or two before the signing, dedicated Divergent fans lined up with their books in hand. The author arrived and signed posters for us, and wrote “Be Brave!” in her book much to my daughter’s delight.
Next we circled back to the Magic & Monsters signing where we met a lovely Andrea Cremer who signed our copies of Wolfsbane (she wrote “Keep on the wild hunt”) and Nightshade (she wrote “Dream Wild.”) Finally we ended the day at The Scoop at Simon & Schuster panel where we learned about upcoming book releases. They gave away t-shirts promoting Clockwork Prince and several books. We didn’t end up winning any books, but at least we got the t-shirt. It was S&S first book panel and they did a great job highlighting Fall book releases.
At this point it was 8pm and time to get dinner and get ready for another early morning! Stay tuned to find out if we ever were able to score tickets for 2012 or find the elusive Mockingjay pin at the Lionsgate booth.
The giveaway has ended and winner has been notified. Thanks to all who entered!
- Robert Pattinson on ‘Breaking Dawn’ at Comic-Con: ‘You always forget just how huge it is’ (insidemovies.ew.com)
- Comic-Con 2011: A mom’s diary of her first Con (herocomplex.latimes.com)
- ‘Twilight’ at Comic-Con 2011: Talking to the fans at Camp Breaking Dawn (popwatch.ew.com)