FOUR: A Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth

“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.”

This isn’t a review so much as a quick note, as the book is ridiculously short, but it felt like a crime not to mention it after all my raving about the Divergent Trilogy, so here goes. I adored this. I didn’t particularly enjoy the foray into Tobias’ perspective in Allegiant – I mentioned that I found it too similar to Tris’ voice – but this book was brilliant. It’s split into four parts. Each are relatively short, with the whole book totaling something like 300 pages – nowhere near the length of Divergent, which (I think) is the shortest of the trilogy.

The book is made up of The Transfer, The Initiate, The Son, and The Traitor,as well as a couple of short excerpts. They show Tobias’ life with Marcus, his transfer to Dauntless, as well as a bit about how he was offered the position of Dauntless leader. The final snippet is about Tris, and it takes place during the Divergent timeline.

Although I really enjoyed them, it felt almost like a draft of a book – even more so when you think about how Roth originally planned for the trilogy to be from Four’s point of view. I felt like she could have done a lot more with it. Otherwise, though, it’s a must-read for fans of the Divergent Trilogy. I think the snippets are also available as separate eBooks – but it’s really satisfying to see all four books together on your bookshelf!

 

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ALLEGIANT by Veronica Roth

…okay, where do I begin for this one? There is so much I want to talk about and so much I can’t give away, no matter how much I’d love to…but for those of you who haven’t read this, considering it’s fairly new, I will warn you where there’s a spoiler alert. But for now, you’re safe 🙂

So, it’s the last in the trilogy by Veronica Roth. I had the date in my (virtual) calendar for months. And, well, I was disappointed.

I can safely say that Divergent is one of my favorite books. I’m not saying that lightly, because I am a huge bookworm, as I’m sure you’ve gathered. Divergent went past The Hunger Games. It was right up there with my all time favorite books, the ones I reread countless times. I got the collector’s edition of Insurgent while I was anticipating Allegiant. I spent all my spare time on Veronica Roth’s blog looking for quotes, hints, anything for Allegiant. On the 22nd, the release date, I went out first thing and dragged my poor mom to six or seven bookstores looking for it. I finally found it and read it all, that night.

I really sympathize with Veronica Roth. She had a deadline. She had all these readers, waiting. But I was reading the Amazon reviews for the book a few minutes ago, and it’s quite sad to see that a lot of people agree with me: the book really isn’t as good as we all hoped. In the couple of days that followed, I tried to convince myself that I loved it. I really, truly did. And I was all set to write a great big load of praise for how amazing the book was, and I wish I could! But I realized, yesterday, that I was trying to convince myself because I spent so much time waiting for it.

*spoiler alert from here onward*

The books were split onto Tris and Tobias’ POV, right? And, well, if you’re reading this bit I’m assuming you’ve read the ending: so it’s safe to say this was needed unless we wanted to end on the note where Tris dies.

But, and this is just my opinion: you couldn’t differentiate between the two. It became confusing. I had to go back to the start of chapters to remember who this was, because it all sounded like Tris! I mean, each character should have it’s own sense of identity, right? If you look at Noughts and Crosses: it’s in different POVs. But you can tell, just by each character’s manner of speech, who it is. But here? I couldn’t tell, and it became irritating(I can tell this is going to be one of my longer posts: there’s so much to say).

And, well, this whole “outside the fence” world…I was hoping for something really different, something that would kick start the real plot. I was hoping for some of the danger, some of the beauty of the other books – some of the perfect moments that make it Divergent. I felt like the whole book was a filler. I was bored, for crying out loud. And I think I was hoping, the whole way through, that this wasn’t all the book was going to be.

Tris is supposed to be from Abnegation. In Divergent, we see her slowly letting go of that in “Somewhere inside me is a merciful, forgiving person. Somewhere there is a girl who tries to understand what people are going through, who accepts that people do evil things and that desperation leads them to darker places than they ever imagined. I swear she exists, and she hurts for the repentant boy I see in front of me.

But if I saw her, I wouldn’t recognize her.”

And really? I was fine with that. She wrote Tris letting go of Abnegation slowly. But still, through Divergent and Insurgent, she is still Abnegation inside. She really is. Not in the asking-questions-is-not-allowed way, but in the forgiving way. In the good way. And if I show you a few more quotes from Divergent:

“Abnegation is what I am. It is what I am when I’m not thinking about what I’m doing. It is what I am when I am put to the test. It is what I am even when I appear to be brave. Am I in the wrong faction?”

“Tori was the only one in the tattoo place, so I felt safe getting the symbol of Abnegation—a pair of hands, palms up as if to help someone stand, bounded by a circle—on my right shoulder. I know it was a risk, especially after all that’s happened. But that symbol is a part of my identity, and it felt important to me that I wear it on my skin.”

She is Abnegation through and through; and in Divergent, there’s so much ‘bravery and selflessness are the same thing’ that the transition from Abnegation to Dauntless is smooth. Come Allegiant, suddenly she’s overbearing and she’s not the Tris I grew to adore. And the book felt boring because when out-of-character-Tris and sounds-the-same-Tobias weren’t arguing, there were more bad rebellion ideas that they still went along with. And Tori: her death felt so…insignificant. I didn’t feel anything until we met her brother.

Deaths…sometimes they’re necessary. They happen. They happen in Noughts and Crosses with Callum. They happen in Harry Potterwith Fred and Tonks and Lupin and so many others. They happen here, but I felt Tori’s was unnecessary. Uriah’s, I think, was the only one that worked for me. Uriah’s death broke my heart.

And that brings me onto the biggest part of this review…Tris.

She is- was our main character. To quote Divergent…”that is death – shifting from is to was.” And, well, I think this was the most horrible way to end the book.

Oh, she wrote it well. The way her mother appeared…and you can finally see why Tobias’ POV was needed. But I don’t think she really needed to die.

Her and Tobias fought so much; it was the kind of relationship that needed to end with ‘We were broken, but we were perfect.’ They had such a broken relationship that it needed redemption. But there never was any.

The rest of it, considering what had happened, was beautiful. That, I think, was the only return to the Divergent I knew and loved. After Tris died.

And I think that’s really quite sad.

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INSURGENT by Veronica Roth

Second book in the Divergent trilogy by Veronica RothInsurgent by Veronica Roth

The inter-faction war has started and the country is in chaos. Tris, Tobias, Marcus and some other members of Abnegation are on their way to Amity Headquarters to try and find refuge from the battle. They soon reach Amity, and are told by their faction leader that they can stay in Amity for as long as they wish, as long as they give up all of their weapons and not start fights. Tris and Tobias agree.

Later, Tris overhears Marcus and the Amity leader, Johanna, discussing something strange, and she corners Marcus and demands to know what they were talking about. Marcus confesses that Abnegation’s leaders died to protect a secret, but he tells her nothing else. This angers Tris.

Meanwhile, Tris is having nightmares about how she killed her friend, Will, while he was under a simulation, always realizing how she could have done something else to stop him killing her. This is made worse because she hasn’t confided in anyone, not even Tobias.

Soon, the Eritude arrive at Amity with the Dauntless traitors. Tris tells everyone to dress like the Amity so they won’t recognize the Abnegation with Tris and Tobias, but Tobias’ tattoo gives them away, and a gunfight starts. In the confusion, Tobias, Tris, Susan and Caleb manage to escape, and they head to Candor. Upon arrival Tris and Tobias are subjected to truth serum, where they have to tell the truth to any question asked. When she goes under, Tris blurts out her darkest secret…

She killed Will.

What happens now?

This book was pretty good, though it did get very confusing at one point, and I had to read it a few times before it made sense. Definitely not as good as Divergent, but it’s worth a read.

 

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DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth

First of the Divergent trilogy by Veronica RothDivergent by Veronica Roth.

Written in POV of sixteen-year-old girl Beatrice Prior, in a dystopian future where everybody is part of one of five factions, each said to believe in a different reason the world is so corrupted, and they try to fix that problem. The factions are:

  1. Candor: Here they believe dishonesty is the main problem, and are all supposed to never tell a lie. Faction Colors: Black and White
  2. Amity: They believe unkindness corrupted the world, and are all very kind. Faction Colors: Red and Yellow.
  3. Eritude: Here they believe that knowledge is the most important thing. Faction Color: Blue.
  4. Dauntless: They believe weakness is the main problem, so they train to be strong. Faction Color: Black.
  5. Abnegation: Here they believe in selflessness being the best quality. Faction Color: Gray.

Beatrice is a part of Abnegation, where she has been raised to be quiet and selfless, always putting others’ needs before her own. Beatrice believes that she is not good at this, and in a week she will have her Choosing Ceremony. The Choosing Ceremony is when the sixteen-year-olds of every faction come together, and they can choose a different faction to stay in for the rest of their lives. To help them decide whether they want to change factions or not, they all have to do an aptitude test to show which factions the sixteen-year-olds have an aptitude for. Beatrice is terrified of going for her aptitude test, and when she completes it, she gets the shock of her life:

She is DIVERGENT.

Her examiner, Tori, tells her this means she has aptitude for three factions, not one: Abnegation, Eritude and Dauntless. Tori explains that this is extremely dangerous and that she shouldn’t tell anybody. Beatrice is confused, but agrees.

Beatrice chooses her faction at the Choosing Ceremony, and her choice shocks everyone, as does her brother, Caleb’s choice- he chose Eritude.

In order to reach her new faction, Beatrice has to do things like get onto a moving train, and also jump into a really deep hole. Beatrice is the first jumper, and when asked what her name is by an instructor,

“A new place, a new name. I can be remade here.

Tris’ 

Tris is soon settled into her new faction, with its exhausting training and tough work. She makes new friends and soon forgets the fact that she is Divergent. But when she learns that her faction leaders are looking for the Divergent and will try to kill them, she realizes how dangerous her Divergence is…

This is one of the best books I have read. It’s amazing, and I read it cover to cover in an hour! It’s good for ages 11-14. The only problem I have with it is the beginning is slightly slow, and the ending is a bit predictable. But otherwise, it’s awesome!!

Next in the trilogy: Insurgent

 

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