THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE DIVERGENT TRILOGY
IF YOU HAVE NOT READ ALL THREE BOOKS IN THE DIVERGENT TRILOGY, PLEASE STOP READING NOW
I wasn’t sure if I wanted to pick this book up when I first heard that it was being published. After being greatly disappointed by ALLEGIANT, and NO I was not disappointed that Tris died, I was disappointed by the overall writing style of ALLEGIANT in comparison to DIVERGENT and INSURGENT, I just wasn’t sure if I wanted to give Veronica Roth another chance at writing from Four’s perspective without making me feel like I was reading from Tris’ perspective. However, while grocery shopping at my local Costco, I saw the book in hardcover for $10 and said, “Eh! What the heck, right?” Unfortunately, I passed up buying SON by Lois Lowry in the process, but I’m hoping to buy that the next time I go. Anyway, back to the review.
I was pleasantly surprised by FOUR. I loved getting to see a little more of Four’s childhood and backstory, because it made me understand his decisions in the Divergent Trilogy a little more. I also loved that we got to see a little more of his relationship with Marcus, and how his opinion of his father develops after he leaves Abnegation for Dauntless. He begins to realize that, even though Marcus was a horribly abusive father, he still tried to protect his son from the dangers of Erudite and the other factions.
One of my favorite aspects of this book is that we got to see some of the initial interactions between Tris and Four from Four’s perspective. One of my favorite scenes in the Divergent series is when Tris goes into Four’s fear landscape and figures out who he is, and why they call him Four. Seeing this scene from Four’s perspective was fascinating, particularly the part where Tris blocks Marcus’ belt from hitting Four. This is really the first time that Four has allowed anyone to see the way he has to be around his father, cowering and frightened, just like his mother was. However, this is also the first time that Four sees anyone react with anything other than fear towards his father. Tris reacts to Marcus with anger and strength, something Four didn’t think was possible. I think this is the first moment when Four really falls in love with Tris, because she showed him that he doesn’t have to be afraid, and he can fight back.
It was also intriguing to see Four’s relationship with his mother. I felt that the way he handled seeing his mother for the first time since she “died” was very realistic. Evelyn left him, a helpless little boy, alone with an abusive father, just because SHE wanted out. It is only natural that the first reaction to the realization that he was abandoned by her with Marcus would be anger. He hates her for leaving him to be beaten to a pulp repeatedly for no good reason. After a while, he realizes that there can be some mutual gain from maintaining a relationship with his mother. He sends a message to her, saying that he will join her soon enough, because he knows that’s what must be done. He knows what going to happen in the factions, and he wants no part of it.
I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was a wonderful addition to the trilogy, and Veronica Roth definitely redeemed herself after ALLEGIANT. Four’s voice was uniquely Four, and he had his own personality and his own “style” that definitely carried onto the page. I look forward to any more writing done by Veronica Roth. I hope she continues on as an author and writes another series, or even stand-alones.
I gave FOUR by Veronica Roth 5 out of 5 stars.