Book Review: Four: A Divergent Story Collection by Veronica Roth
Confession: I still have not read Allegiant.
People have...reacted...to that story in ways that I don't want to react, so I've been putting off reading the conclusion to the Divergent Trilogy.
However, back in December I did watch the movie Divergent and got back into the story. Now I want to read Allegiant, but I don't want to reread the first two books.
Enter this short story collection as a great review for this world. Four stories about Four. Hmmm. Not sure if I find that clever or cliched.
The first three stories "The Transfer," "The Initiate," and "The Son" cover Four's time in Dauntless before Tris transfers in. The last story "The Traitor" takes place during Tris' initiation and training in Dauntless.
So what did I think worked with these stories?
These stories highlighted some interesting minor details.
Actually seeing and hearing various interactions between Four and his father show how complex that relationship was. Four was so conflicted. His dad beat him, but also trained him to hide his divergence.
Then having the rivalry with Eric fleshed out was great. Not that I needed more information to despise Eric; he was awful. But watching Max resist Eric as Jeanine's choice for Dauntless leadership was fairly satisfying.
Being a witness to Four's first tattoo gave some more insight into how important the Dauntless rituals were to this particular group that so heavily relies upon one another. But these stories also allowed us to see how Four decided to get the tattoo of the symbols representing all of the factions.
Why just three stars?
Well, I've heard this story before. And Four's voice didn't actually read much differently to me than Tris' narration did. While these stories served as a nice plot review, I'm glad I grabbed these audiobooks from the public library.
Emotionally, Four just seemed pretty flat to me. His reaction to meeting a certain key person was pretty meh. Meh! And he should have had a reaction. Even a delayed reaction would have been fine by me. He could be shocked initially. He could walk away and process. Then react. But that didn't happen, which just struck me as odd.
And since I am not a teen fangirl, the last story had entirely too much swooning and mooning for me. Reading about Four's feelings about Tris was too much for me. Those scenes just sounded so fake. Cringe-worthy.
Of course, most fans of Divergent will probably like these stories, even love them. Four is a beloved character, so any glimpse into his life is appreciated by many. Personally, I'm glad I didn't spend money on these stories that basically served as a good refresher into the Divergent world.