Insurgent  - Veronica Roth

Okay, bad first. I had a couple problems with this book. One was completely my issue - this book picks up right after the first one, and Roth didn't include any info reminding you of who was who, so I spent the first good portion of the book not remembering who half the characters were. If you read the books back to back it won't be an issue, but if it has been a while in between prepare to be a bit lost. My other gripe, however, is something that happens in a lot of teen lit. I got tired of the lack of communication between Tris and Tobias resulting in angst and rifts that could have been avoided if they actually communicated. I know, I know, they aren't adults with lots of relationship experience, but this is a trend that drives me nuts. The sole purpose seems to be to create drama and I get annoyed with the characters as a result. I can let it slide somewhat because Tris has no aptitude toward Candor, but seriously, just talk to the guy!

All of that said, I quite enjoyed this book. More than the first one I think. The explorations of grief, trauma, loyalty, what is worth fighting for, and ethics were well thought out and developed. No one was black and white, and I appreciated the moral complexities. There are no easy answers or decisions here, and consequences are often pretty harsh. This isn't a simple book with simple characters and simple linear plot. And I also gotta say, I find the world Roth has created really fascinating. I'm looking forward to the third book.