Of the post-apocalyptic and/or dystopic YA I’ve been reading (and there is so much of it lately!), Divergent is probably the most promising start once the ridiculous premise is forgiven, and Insurgent is mostly also pretty solid— not in the least because it promises that the third book will explain that ridiculous premise, which I was not really expecting an explanation to at all. Kudos for that!
The biggest problem Insurgent suffers from, and to be honest that a lot of novels suffer from, is that the main characters make nonsensical choices or have ridiculous arguments seemingly just to further the plot, rather than because they make the least lick of sense. Tris and Four fall victim to some of this, with Four acting pretty rude (why does Tris always need to be the one who has to understand his side? Why can’t he understand hers more), and it’s unclear what impact this will have in the finale.
The direction the plot is taking is definitely not one I would have guessed, although I have been curious about what the world is like outside of the city in which Divergent takes place. So often these apocalyptic series don’t talk about or pay only lip service to other areas— I recently watched a dystopian anime that focuses on a particular Japanese metropolis that has adopted a remarkable crime-prevention system and does not really talk about whether it is in use elsewhere —that I guess I just didn’t expect it to go there, but go there it apparently will.
So I guess if the biggest weakness of Insurgent is some of those character interactions, its biggest strength is that it makes the third book look quite promising. Can’t wait!