Four by Veronica Roth

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Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian, Science Fiction, Short Stories
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: July 8th, 2014

3 OUT OF 5 STARS

“I am not Tobias Eaton, not anymore, never again. I am Dauntless.”

The mysterious Dauntless boy, love interest to our heroine. His story is finally fully revealed through four short stories and three scenes retelling parts of Divergent from his point of view.

It’s an enjoyable read, but a quick one and I feel like nothing is actually gained from reading it. We know Four’s story already from the series, this reveals it in more detail but really adds nothing important. We know Four and other than his childhood he’s not that much different from Tris. So similar that their POV narrations in Allegiant sort of blurred together. At this point it really feels like the series is beating you over the head with it’s themes.

I enjoyed it, and I can see people becoming absolutely obsessed with this book. It’s the sort of series that will easily find people to love it (read: Hunger Games) but ultimately having finished the series I feel like it has been just that. Enjoyable but not interesting.

BUY THE BOOK

READ THIS IF YOU’RE A FAN OF: DIVERGENT

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Insurgent by Veronica Roth

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Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult, Romance, Sci-fi
Synopsis: Insurgent is a 2012 science fiction young adult novel by American novelist Veronica Roth, the second book in the Divergent trilogy. As the sequel to the 2011 bestseller Divergent, it continues the story of Tris Prior and the dystopian post-apocalyptic version of Chicago. Following the events of the previous novel, a war now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. While trying to save the people that she loves, Tris faces questions of grief, forgiveness, identity, loyalty, politics, and love.

The book was first published on May 1, 2012 by the HarperCollins imprints Katherine Tegen Books in the U.S. and HarperCollins Children’s Books in the U.K, a “Collector’s Edition” was published on October 30 in the United States. Insurgent received mostly positive reviews from critics, with reviewers praising Roth’s writing. (source: Goodreads)

3 OUT OF 5 STARS

The second novel in the Divergent series is a bit of a slow start. It integrates the events of the first book very well, but as consequence it cannot stand alone so make sure to pick up the first novel if you’re interested in the series.

Tris has a lot to deal with after the events of the first book, and guilt rightfully weighs her down. However during the slow first half crawl her relationship with Four seems to take on far too much importance. Even considering everything they’ve been through together it seems like a huge leap. Tris seems a little too reliant on Four, and it feels like a detriment to her character. Their love is incredibly needy and rocky at the same time. Their interactions are almost exclusively making out or arguing when they’re alone together and their blind willingness to sacrifice for each other feels a little unnatural. Apart from these two issues I don’t really have many complaints.

The story picks up as it continues and reintroduces several characters, all different from when we last saw them. Each is refreshingly complex. Allies and friends have darker sides, and some enemies show themselves in a better light. After slogging through the slow bits you’ll be rewarded with a fast paced, action packed storyline full of uncertainty and death. There are quite a few refreshing twists I didn’t see coming.

I absolutely loved how real the consequences of the characters actions are made to feel. Deaths are not simply tossed out to advance the plot and then forgotten, a crime many books commit ( -coughs- Hunger Games). Roth’s attention to each character’s intent, personal goals and losses makes all of them feel believable.

The story does allow for more world building exploring the factions we didn’t get a chance to see in the previous books and this is where Roth really shines. Her novel’s world is so well thought out and explained that it’s easy to get absorbed in. With the popularity of dystopian novels recently it’s hard to find series that really stick out, rest assured that the Divergent series is one of them.

READ THIS IF YOU’RE A FAN OF: HUNGER GAMES

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

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Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: January 1st 2012

5 OUT OF 5 STARS

“Even in the Future the Story Begins with Once Upon a Time.”

There’s a terrible disease plaguing New Bejing, Leutmosis. There is no known cure. Cinder, a gifted mechanic and cyborg belongs to her legal guardian and two step-sisters. When one of them falls ill the blame is cast on Cinder. Dealing with her dying sister, a special request from the prince and forming an escape plan is already overwhelming but Cinder is about to learn something about herself that complicates things further.

An absolutely stunning retelling of a classic fairy-tale. It keeps enough of the original story’s spirit without being boring or predictable. Set in New Beijing there’s plenty of diversity often missing from fairy tale stories. The characters are well enough fleshed out but the most impressive undertaking is a world that promises to thread together at least three more retellings. Cyborgs, androids and the Lunars a species of beautiful magic wielders from the moon all on the edge of possible war. It’s a book that’s genuinely hard to put down and one tha will have you grabbing the next book for more.

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READ THIS IF YOU’RE A FAN OF: THRONE OF GLASS