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Book Review: Four, a Divergent Collection

Okay, so I was pretty pumped to read Veronica Roth’s additional short stories centered on Four in the new compilation set that came out last month.  And, don’t get me wrong – I flew through the book.  It was interesting, and it helped answer a lot of questions that were breezed over in the Divergent Trilogy.  I wasn’t sure how to go about this review, so I just decided to make a list.  It’s how my brain works, after all.Four_A_Divergent_Collection_cover So, these are the four short stories about Four (is that a coincidence?  I’d guess not.  Good work, VR.), and my thoughts on each:

The Transfer

Questions Answered:  How did Four leave his father and Abnegation behind?  What was Four’s actual aptitude test result?  Is Four Divergent?  How does Four meet Eric?  Did the rest of Dauntless ever know his true name and identity?

This was a great first look at Four.  It really allowed us to get inside his head, and showed us what the home life he was leaving behind was like.  I loved that his choosing ceremony was so similar to Tris’s.  He didn’t know what he was going to choose until he was right there doing the choosing.

The Initiate

Questions Answered:  Did anyone ever suspect that Four was Divergent?  Did Four know what happened to Amar?  Does anyone know that he has all five faction symbols tattooed on his back?  How did Four beat Eric for the top spot in Dauntless initiation?

Again, this was such an interesting look inside the mind of Four.  I loved it.  And it also gave us some insight as to what Four was thinking and feeling surrounding Eric, the simulations, and the rankings at the end of Dauntless initiation.

The Son

Questions Answered:  How did Four choose the control room?  Why was Eric chosen to be a Dauntless leader?  How did Four meet his mother?  How did Four turn down the Dauntless leader position?  How did Four get his own apartment?

This was my favorite of the four stories, and the longest, if I remember correctly.  Four not only meets Evelyn in this story, but he also becomes a full-fledged member of Dauntless, apartment and all.  It’s an interesting look at a complex character, and it sets us up for the scenes in his apartment with Tris in Divergent.

The Traitor

Questions Answered:  What did Four think of Tris during training, especially during initiation?  What was he thinking when he saved her from the chasm?  Why did he decide to take her through his fear landscape?  How did he know what Erudite was planning?

This final story answered the only questions I had left after Divergent – all pointing to Four, because I had no idea what he was thinking during certain situations.  I love love love Four’s character, as I’ve previously stated.  And I loved reading this from Four’s perspective, because Tris was so… naïve.  She had no idea what was going on.  So I really appreciated this addition.  It also only made me love him more.

There were also two exclusive scenes written from Four’s perspective at the end, but I thought I’d leave some surprises for those friends who may want to read this (I’m looking at you, K!).  I appreciated this book, and, like I said, I flew through it.  But it almost made me ache more for Four, when I finished.  I already knew he was my favorite, and I already knew that his perspective at the end of Allegiant is one of the most heartbreaking things I will ever read (I hope!).  I also know that I want people to love a character that I’ve created as much as I love Four.  That’s all I really want out of life.  I want to create someone that people love.

I’ll give it four stars.  It seems fitting.

-A.

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