Where Divergent felt coherent and driven, it's sequel, Insurgent, felt like reading about the Israelites in the book of Exodus: numerous semi-disconnected mini-stories, lacking a definitive destination. On the other hand though, and also like Exodus, sometimes it's nice reading chaotic, my-world's-falling-apart-around-me stories like this, because I'm reminded just how little I actually have to worry about in my life, and how even my most-distressing problems pale in comparison to what these characters face. I mean, yes, of course it's fiction, but still it's a nice reminder.
On the positive-feedback side: something that stood out to me in particular were the occasional references to God, and even a couple prayers. Hundreds of years in the future, faith still exists.
And I have a new favorite insult I hope I get to use in real life: "pansy-cake."
Lastly, I'm sure you've noticed every author has a favorite word or two that they overuse? Veronica's favorite (and overused) word is "breaths". Odd, but there it is.
My favorite quotes
"We have before us today an urgent question... how will we conduct ourselves in this time of conflict, as people who pursue peace?"
Every Amity in the room turns to the person next to him or her, and starts talking.
"How do they get anything done?" I say as the minutes of chatter wear on.
"They don't care about efficiency," Tobias says. "They care about agreement. Watch."
Two women in yellow dresses a few feet away rise, and join a trio of men. A young man shifts so that his small circle becomes a large one with the group next to him. All around the room, the smaller crowds grow and expand, and fewer and fewer voices fill the room, until there are only three or four. I can only hear pieces of what they say. "Peace." "Dauntless." "Erudite." "Safehouse." "Involvement."
"This is bizarre," I say.
"I think it's beautiful," he says.
I give him a look.
"What?" He laughs a little. "They each have an equal role in government. They each feel equally responsible. And it makes them care. It makes them kind. I think that's beautiful." - 26:45
The truth has a way of changing a person's plans. - 43:03
"It's wrong," he says [referring to Tris's parents' deaths]. "It doesn't matter if your parents are in a better place. They aren't here with you, and that's wrong, Tris. It shouldn't have happened. It shouldn't have happened to you. And anyone who tells you it's okay is a liar." - Tobias, 1:06:27
I read somewhere once that crying defies scientific explanation. Tears are only meant to lubricate the eyes, there's no real reason for tear glands to overproduce tears at the behest of emotion. I think we cry to release the animal parts of us without losing our humanity... - 7:28:11
"Spoken like a true Dauntless... It's either one way or the other. No nuances. The world doesn't work like that, Beatrice. Evil depends on where you're standing." - Caleb, 8:04:12
...it occurs to me that I might be meeting Tobias's true faction. They are not characterized by a particular virtue. They claim all colors, all activities, all virtues, and all flaws as their own. I don't know what binds them together, the only common ground they have as far as I know is failure. Whatever it is, it seems to be enough. I feel as I look at him that I am finally seeing him as he is, instead of how he is in relation to me. So how well do I really know him if I have not seen this before? - 8:58:51
All I can do is decide if I trust Marcus or not. And while he has done cruel, evil things, our society is not divided into good and bad. Cruelty does not make a person dishonest, the same way bravery does not make a person kind. Marcus is not good or bad, but both. Well, he is probably more bad than good, but that doesn't mean he's lying. - 9:08:31
I was worried she wouldn't want to come with me, but I forgot where Christina came from. Candor, where the pursuit of Truth is more important than anything else. She may be Dauntless now, but if there's one thing I've learned through all this, it's that we never leave our old factions behind. - 9:21:58
"When you are entrusted with all the information you have to decide how much other people should know." - Marcus, 9:29:33
"May the peace of God be with you," she says, her voice low. "Even in the midst of trouble."
"Why would it?" I say softly, so no one else can hear. "After all I've done."
"It isn't about you," she says. "It is a gift. You cannot earn it, or it ceases to be a gift." - 9:36:37
People, I've discovered, are layers and layers of secrets. You believe you know them, that you understand them, but their motives are always hidden from you, buried in their own hearts. You will never know them, but sometimes you decide to trust them. - 11:01:33
"Do remember, though, that sometimes the people you oppress become mightier than you would like." - Johanna Reyes, 11:10:50