Four: A Divergent Story Collection (Divergent #0.1 - 0.4)
Ever since I saw Divergent in theaters, I've wanted to get back into this world. Four is my favorite character of the series, so I was excited at the chance to explore his backstory.
With the first story, we begin to understand just how hard Four's life was before becoming Dauntless. Four not only suffers physical abuse at the hands of his father, but he is also estranged from his entire faction. Lonely, desperate, and at his breaking point, he makes a choice in the Choosing Ceremony that changes his whole life.
Each novella blends seamlessly into the next, so they read as one entire story. Each novella represents a layer of Four's character and as he tells each story, you see how he grows into the person Tris meets in Divergent. He struggles against every aspect of himself, trying to figure out who he is and who he wants to become. He isn't just a transfer or an initiate or a son or a traitor; he's all of these things and all of his choices. Four is an incredible character.
What Left Me Wanting More:
After finishing the book, I was left with the feeling that it wasn't entirely necessary. I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about Four and it certainly added an extra depth to the Divergent story, but I don't believe I would've liked the series any less without these novellas.
The Final Verdict:
Fans of the Divergent series won't want to miss out on these companion stories that give a greater look into the choices that made Four the character many have grown to love.
(Warning: Review may contain spoilers!)
There really isn't much that I have to say about this book since it's merely a compilation of short stories told from Four—or Tobias's—point of view, but there are a couple of things that I really admire this Veronica Roth's Four.
Tobias's character is the first. I really like the fact that I finally understand who he is as an individual. In the Divergent books, I could not really grasp his persona because his actions and words are interlaced with Tris. So to speak, the Tobias that I read in those books are defined by Tris. However, in this compilation, I learn Tobias's voice, how his mind functions, what he thinks of everything that is happening around him. I learn about his beliefs, his virtues, what he values—what he truly fears. I hear his opinions sans the involvement of Tris's character, or her own input about a certain matter.
READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE: http://theroundtheclockperuser.blogspot.com/2015/07/book-review-four-divergent-story.html
Even though this was a collection of short stories, it still read, at least to me, like a complete book. Four went through the ups and downs, the growth, the self-discovery I would expect from a full novel. Four’s backstory was hinted at throughout the series but getting to read it gave a lot more insight into his character.
The stories all took place before or during Divergent so this book was a prequel and there were no spoilers for Insurgent or Allegiant. It did make me want to re-read those books now that I feel like I have a new view on Four and see if my reaction to some of his actions have changed.
Four’s voice in this collection felt a lot stronger than it did in Allegiant, maybe because the POV wasn’t shared or because this was 100% his story, his journey. There were appearances from a lot of favourite characters, Zeke and Shauna, and(not a favourite) Eric. It was nice to get the chance to see Four making friends and I loved the chance of getting to see Four from his own perspective again as opposed to solely through Tris’s eyes.