Four by Veronica Roth Review

Monday, June 30, 2014

Title: Four
Author: Veronica Roth (Twitter)
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publish Date: July 8, 2014
Genre: YA, Dystopian
Pages: 208
Source: Publisher

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.
Fans of the Divergent trilogy know, love and appreciate what a fantastic hero Four, or Tobias, is throughout the series. However, we also know that Divergent is Tris's story, and it's her path to her destiny. While we're privy to plenty of Four's story, there were countless times through the series that I wanted more from his perspective. I wanted to know, to feel and to fully comprehend what he had to face to become the person he is today. Finally, Veronica Roth has given us what I'm sure many others hope for, as well; a deeper glimpse inside the mind of our hero, Four.

The beauty and curse of Four is a bit of a double-edged sword. Reading the story through his eyes made me wish that we could see the entire series all over again through the same perspective. There is something wholeheartedly refreshing about his journey to personal freedom and integrity that speaks to my soul, and reading the novel really clarified exactly why he because such a beloved character for many. His strength of person, his crisp, clear and passionate point of view shine through these four installments, and it's something I wish I could have read much more of.

It's always a bit difficult to analyze novellas, simply because they're such small snippets of the larger overall picture. Four is no exception to the rule and, in fact, pretty much epitomizes why I want so much more from novellas and tend to steer clear of them. All of that said though, Ms. Roth does a beautiful job of painting four of the main parts of the Divergent story from Four's point of view. While I worried it might feel a bit too familiar and commonplace after having read the full series, the beauty of this collection is that it feels so separate and singular - meaning that Four shines, while when we see Tris, she's clearly a secondary character.

The true talent of this collection, however, is how beautifully Ms. Roth has managed to string avid fans like myself into her incredible world, yet again. Through the eyes of Four, I got to see how he truly because a member of Dauntless, how he met and fell for Tris and how he coped with the incredible changes and challenges that dominated his life. And, while these four novellas definitely tied whatever those missing elements from the series might have been back together, Four stands alone in its raw power and insight into our beloved character's heart.

It's rare for me to read a novella and come away feeling satisfied, but while I wasn't entirely fulfilled (because hey, who doesn't want more), I loved reading every bit of these novellas from Four's eyes. Fans of the series will fall hard for Four all over again, I'm sure. I give this collection a 4.5 out of 5, and I highly recommend it to all fans of YA, especially those who are fans of the Divergent series and love dystopian novels.

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.


  1. I don't have a whole lot of luck with novellas either, so the fact that you gave this such a high rating speaks volumes. I definitely need to get to this installment, though, because it might be the push I need to finish up this trilogy. All the mixed reviews over Allegiant made me decide not to read it after all, but my crush on Theo James is slowly pushing away my resistance. ;) Fantastic review, Melissa!

  2. Awesome review Melissa, I've read the first novella and wasn't sure how I felt about it because that was back when Allegiant wasn't out yet, and I wasn't used to his perspective. Hope the rest of the novella turns out though, sounds like you enjoyed it!

  3. Can you believe I still have yet to read Allegiant? I have it in my bedside table as a reminder how awful I am. It's just that I've been spoiled already. :(

    This is a novella, though, so I do think I could skip to this if ever or would I spoil myself even further? Nevertheless, I like Four as a character so I'd surely check this out.

  4. I don't read novellas for the same reason you noted, but I think I'll have to make an exception on this one. I'm so glad to heae you enjoyed reading Four's view on the story we know so well. Fabulous review, Melissa! :)

  5. I'm always on the lookout for novellas that will go that extra inch and give us something different from the original books, so I'm thrilled that Four was able to do so. I had a really up and down relationship with his character, but I'm certainly interested in getting to know his character that bit more. Lovely review Melissa!

  6. I am not a fan of reading novellas so I dunno if I'll read this, but you definitely have me considering it!

    Lovely review, Melissa! <33

  7. I'm usually a big of novellas, the ones that give you a necessary second perspective onto a story, those who are prequels or sequels even if they're not 100% necessary to the whole of the story.
    And these novellas really seemed that they would be able to make me love the Divergent series again! Insurgent was a bit blah for me and I still haven't read Allegiant (even if and probably because I was spoiled for the ending and all...).
    Great review, Melissa! Btw, do you think I can read these before reading Allegiant??

  8. I avoid novellas as much as possible and this is a series that I have honestly lost all my interest in, but I'm glad to hear that you got a better understanding of Four's character through this book, Melissa. It sounds like it was satisfying to you in every way.
    Great review! :)

  9. We were just talking about this one! Can't wait to read it and finally get Four's perspective (since I didn't read Allegiant for reasons)!!! Even though I couldn't bring myself to finish this series, I so loved Divergent and Tris and Four, so I think I'll be a big fan of this one:) Thanks for the fantastic review!

  10. Gosh! I so need to start reading this series. Wonderful review. I can envision everything through your thoughts :)

  11. Novellas are a hit or a miss with me, but it sounds like this is a collection worth checking out! Very curious to see more of Roth's world through Four's eyes.

    Lovely review, Melissa!

  12. I'm glad you enjoyed this one! Four might just be my favorite character in this series, and I'm sure it's interesting reading the events of Divergent from his POV. Even though I'm not usually a fan of novellas, there have been exceptions before, and I might just have to check these out. Now I just need to read these and also finish this series. I don't know what's keeping me from reading Allegiant. Lovely review! :D

  13. Gah! My comment's been eaten! It's been a morning filled with that, for some reason. ANYWAY, I have a love-hate relationship with novellas because I always seem to want more...but I still want to read this collection!

  14. I'm nervous. I feel the same way you do about novellas. I feel like it's either going to be good and I'm going to want more, or it's not going to give me enough because it's a novella. I'm so curious still, even though I technically know how it all ends.

  15. I am kind of interested to see Four's perspective on this. At the same time, though, I'm reluctant just because I felt his characterization was so poorly constructed in Allegiant. His inner voice was literally no different from Tris', from observations to spoken words to the situations he found himself in. That was definitely one of the more frustrating aspects of Allegiant for me, so I'm not sure I'm willing to try this one out. But - and this is a big one - the emotional/mental journey you say Four goes through here sounds like it's well done.
    I'm not sure now. I may end up reading this after all haha. Glad you enjoyed this one so much!

  16. I agree. Four is a wonderful collection that reminded me why I love Four so much and why I wish we could have another novel written entirely from his perspective. I feel like the world has expanded a lot for me with this book. Though for me the stories actually didn't work as standalones but more as a supplement to the Divergent trilogy. Great review, Melissa!


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