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Learning to trust in Veronica Roth’s “Insurgent”

Worldwide bestselling author Veronica Roth‘s much-anticipated second novel of the dystopian Divergent trilogy, Insurgent, is another intoxicating thrill-ride, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreak, romance and powerful insights about human nature. It’s not the same as the first story – it’s completely different. But it’s a good kind of different. A different that will bring many emotions out of you and will have you hooked from the first chapter to the last page.

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.


After reading Divergent, I was so excited to get my hands on Insurgent. Sometimes when a book generates a lot of hype, people end up disappointment because it can never quite live up to it. This was not one of those times. Insurgent is incredibly fast paced and was far from being a let down. Out of the three novels in the trilogy (and even out of the other novellas from Fours point of view), this one proved to be my favourite.

One of the things that I loved so much about it was the main message that I felt Roth was trying to show us This idea that we need to trust the people that we love, and the people who tell us they love us.

Every one of us has heard it all before: Trust is a fragile thing; trust is everything; trust is like an eraser, it gets smaller with every mistake; and so on. To be honest, the idea of trust is the most basic, yet essential part of every single relationship. It is the spine, the backbone, of what it means to love another person, and to have another person love you.

Yet, it seems that this basic foundation is one of the hardest things in the world to actually do. And it’s the one thing that Tris struggles with throughout Insurgent.

It gets to a point where she doesn’t tell Tobias the things that she is going through, her low points, her pain, because she is afriad that if she does, he will leave her. She doesn’t trust him to love her once he really sees her.

“Tris,” he says, gently this time. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t pretend that I understand. I just meant that…” He struggles for a moment. “I wish you trusted me enough to tell me things like that.”
I do trust you, is what I want to say. But it isn’t true–I didn’t trust him to love me despite the terrible things I had done. I don’t trust anyone to do that, but that isn’t his problem; it’s mine.
— Veronica Roth, Insurgent

When you trust someone, you allow yourself to be vulnverable. You let that person in. You give them your heart, your entire soul, and believe, depiate all the crap in the world, that they will take care of it.

But the thing about trust, is that it relies so much on the unknown. It is a testament of faith, that despite the odds and no matter what the world says, you believe the person you love will do you no harm. That they will love you and respect you even for the things that you hate about yourself.

In today’s world, trust is difficult. It’s either given too freely, or withheld too much. Oftentimes a person gets hurt, thus they put up that don’t-mess-with-me wall.

When we are broken, we are bitter. We don’t want to let someone else in, even if that person looks like an angel because we know about fallen angels. We know about heartbreak. We know how it feels to be crushed, shattered, damaged, betrayed. So we don’t trust. We keep ourselves closed like little roly-poly bugs, folding inside ourselves as soon as we might be close enough to really feel something.

But what Roth teaches us in Insurgent is that we can’t live like that. Being this way in a relationship does nothing but damage it. Not letting ourselves completely trust someone leaves room for doubt and, in turn, creates a fear that everything we hope won’t happen will.

This fear goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unnerving ease. It begins in your mind. So you must fight hard to express it, to begin to trust our loved ones by taking that first step and talking about it. You must fight hard to shine the light of words upon it. Because if you don’t, if your fear becomes a wordless darkness that you avoid, perhaps even manage to forget, you open yourself to further attacks of fear because you never truly fought the opponent who defeated you.

To choose the doubt you created by not being able to trust as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.

Roth shows us Tris’s journey to trusting Tobias, and near the end of the novel she says:

“I don’t know why I didn’t say it when he could hear it.
Maybe I was afraid to trust him with something so personal as my devotion. Or afraid that I did not know what it was to love someone. But now I think the scary thing was not saying it before it was almost too late. Not saying it before it was almost too late for me.”
— Veronica Roth, Insurgent

Like I said, trust relies mostly on the unknown. But Roth teaches us that trust is always going to require a huge leap of faith; a big scary leap over a hot pit of lava, and you might end up heartbroken, but you might be the happiest person on the face of the earth.

We can’t be scared to trust. We need to let the people we love in, and we haveto trust the people who say they love us to actually love us, despite the things we do not and can not love about ourselves.

As Roth wrote:

“People, I have 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.”
— Veronica Roth, Insurgent

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