Welcome back, Scribes! Today we’re reviewing Insurgent (both book and movie), the second book in the Divergent trilogy. The movie came out in March and we recently read the book before seeing it in theatres. Though the movie was quite different, we both thought the changes were necessary for the viewers to understand the plot movement.
Divergent was an exciting, action-packed read (and watch) that really resonated with fans of dystopia (like the blockbuster Hunger Games movies!). Insurgent, however, was a bit of a confusing read as the plot was jumpy (literally–the characters kept moving from faction to faction) and not everything was clear all the time until the ending, where everything was explained. This book was still a satisfying sequel to Divergent, and we rated it 3/5 stars on Goodreads. Tris and Four were compelling characters, however their communication issues got in the way of the real conflict against Jeanine, the antagonist of the novel. In the movie, though, this communication problem was completely eliminated, and there was barely any conflict between Tris and Four, which we liked. It was a definite change from the source material.
In the movie Insurgent, the plot centres around Jeanine testing Divergents to open up a box filled with secrets. Only a Divergent can open it, and so she has to search for a strong Divergent who can complete all five faction tests to finally open the box and reveal what is inside (whether it’s good or bad, she doesn’t know). In the book, there is no “box,” only a hard-drive with secret information that Jeanine wants. We think the movie did a good job of using the box to include many scenes from the book (and add a few of its own) but it definitely made the movie very different in terms of plot. So as a book-to-movie adaptation, it was just okay, but looking at it from a movie-viewer’s perspective (or someone who hadn’t read the book), it was quite good. We wouldn’t say the book was necessarily better than the movie, because they both still had their faults, but they were both so different it’s kind of hard to compare them equally.
One thing we didn’t really enjoy while reading the book was the amount of characters. It seemed that EVERY CHARACTER EVER was plopped into the book with hardly any need, and keeping track all of their names was just plain hard. The movie did a good job of scrapping the unnecessary characters and making it easier for the audience (who hadn’t read the books) to understand them.
Overall, it was an exciting read/watch, though sometimes the plot/characters got in the way of our enjoyment. Divergent was tightly-plotted, which we felt was a little lacking from Insurgent.
What did you think of the book and/or adaptation? Let us know!