Jul 14, 2014

Four: A Divergent Story Collection by @VeronicaRoth Review

Four: A Divergent Story by Veronica Roth
(Divergent #0.1 - #0.4)
Release Date: July 8, 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books; 285 pages
Two years before Beatrice Prior made her choice, the sixteen-year-old son of Abnegation’s faction leader did the same. Tobias’s transfer to Dauntless is a chance to begin again. Here, he will not be called the name his parents gave him. Here, he will not let fear turn him into a cowering child.

Newly christened “Four,” he discovers during initiation that he will succeed in Dauntless. Initiation is only the beginning, though; Four must claim his place in the Dauntless hierarchy. His decisions will affect future initiates as well as uncover secrets that could threaten his own future—and the future of the entire faction system.

Two years later, Four is poised to take action, but the course is still unclear. The first new initiate who jumps into the net might change all that. With her, the way to righting their world might become clear. With her, it might become possible to be Tobias once again.

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth comes a companion volume to the worldwide bestselling divergent series, told from the per-spective of the immensely popular character Tobias. The four pieces included here—The Transfer, The Initiate, The Son, and The Traitor—plus three additional exclusive scenes, give readers an electrifying glimpse into the history and heart of Tobias, and set the stage for the epic saga of the Divergent trilogy.

I debated how I would review this book.  Since it's a collection of stories, I thought I would review them separately.  I reviewed The Transfer on it's own when it was originally released.  As I was taking notes while reading, I decided that since this is presented as a book I will review this as one book.

When Divergent first came out in 2011, I immediately became hooked on Four.  I admired Tris very much, but lets face it I wanted Four.  And I wanted him badly.  When the Free Four campaign took place before Insurgent's release, I immediately became intrigued.  I read it and I loved it.  And then before Allegiant was released we were told that Four's back story was finally coming.  I don't think I'd ever smiled so hard over a book announcement.  And now that I finally have this book in my hands, and it's been read by yours truly.  I will give you my honest opinion.  I think this book is just okay.

Even though I read The Transfer back when it was first released, I decided to reread it.  I loved the Transfer just as much as I did the first time.  But once I got to the third story, The Son, I realized exactly what my issue was with this book.  This is not a book.  It's a cliff's notes version of Four's life after he chooses Dauntless.  Instead of these being four separate short stories, it tries to read like one full one.  But it doesn't really work.

I want to stress that I don't think this book is bad.  There were parts that I really did love.  I loved the additional character development of the side characters.  I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of Max that was in this story.  And Eric.  Yes, I do love me some Eric.  I get odd looks from people when I tell them that he's one of my favorite characters.  I can watch him and Four go at it all day.  The chemistry between those two is just amazing.  You can just feel the hatred for one another oozing right out of the books.

The friendship between Four, Zeke, and Shauna was something I enjoyed reading, and I desperately wanted more of it.  There is just something about friendships in young adult books.  Whenever I think of my best friend from high school, I usually smile.  I can imagine Four doing that later in life.

In closing, I feel like I could read about Four all day.  But I am not quite so sure if I could be in his mind all day.

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