So, I may have lied just a little when I said Under the Udala Trees would be my first book this year – really, it’s the first book that will fulfill my “read from new places!” goal.
I went to B&N on Sunday to give my puppy some needed nap time and me some freedom, and ended up grabbing Veronica Roth’s companion to the Divergent series, Four.
So, I had started doing a normal review for this with all of my categories, etc. But I got about halfway done and realized, honestly, that that just wasn’t the way I wanted to talk about this little collection. So here’s to throwing self-imposed rules out the window!
This book, if I’m being honest, was everything I’d hoped the Divergent series would be. The original novel, Divergent, was far superior to its sequels. This book felt like it was actually a new story in the same universe, rather than a tired rehash of the same plot from the first one. And that’s ironic, because this book actually deals with the same exact things as the original – Four’s initiation (compared to Tris’).
I wish that each of these stories was part of a larger, complete novel. THAT is what I wish I had been able to read after Divergent.
Four is also a brilliant character. He’s really the best one Roth created in her entire series, in my opinion. In the intro to this collection, she wrote that Four was originally the character she started with when writing, but realized his story wasn’t the right one she was trying to tell. That’s such a shame, because I loved these glimpses into his story far more than the story that continued in Insurgent and Allegiant.
Really, this book was the perfect gift to her fans. It was simple, quick, and gave us the best parts of a character virtually everyone loved. It was everything her fans needed after such a disappointing series end in Allegiant.
It suffered from the same little flaws that all of the books did – the writing. It felt like it was written by a younger person who didn’t necessarily have all of her writing chops yet. But it was way, way better than the second two original books.
Four: A Divergent Collection, Veronica Roth