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GUEST BOOK REVIEW – Four by Veronica Roth

Guest Reviewer: Ami  (@mama_roach)

If you want answers following ‘Allegiant’, don’t expect them here. What you can expect though is a wonderful retelling of the series, told from Four’s perspective. Roth splits the narrative into the different stages of Tobias Eaton’s life – transferring to Dauntless, becoming Four and meeting Tris, but also includes exclusive ‘never-seen-before’ scenes (which we have, actually, seen before, but not in this way.)

Whilst still being in shock from ‘Allegiant’, this book is a unique way for fans to revisit the series and replenish ‘happy’ levels. I actually enjoyed reading about Four’s transfer, more so than Tris’s. Being a more complex character than I originally thought, Four has an interesting story to tell, before he meets the girl of his dreams. Characterisation is at the heart of this book, with no need to expand the world originally built in the series, but seeing the world from Four’s perspective enables readers to delve deeper into the history of the factions and discover that there was more to Four than being a love-interest.
Having originally wanted to tell the story through Four’s perspective, we can see Roth’s background for Four’s character truly at the forefront, which is never revealed in the Divergent series. It is certainly a worthwhile read, as it changed my perspective of his character completely.

Buy from Waterstones.com
Out now from HarperCollins Publishers
ISBN: 9780007582891

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GUEST BOOK REVIEW – Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Having loved the first book Divergent and thinking the second book Insurgent was average, I dived into the final book ‘Allegiant’ with curiosity and an open mind, as I was hoping to rekindle my love for this series that the first book generated.
Tris has now joined the Allegiant and decides to leave Chicago, the city ruined by rebellion and greed. However, what is outside the fence isn’t much better. I felt that my questions about the world Tris lived in were finally being answered, but then as I read on, I got a little disappointed, as I was left with more unanswered questions.

We finally hear Tobias’ point of view, but it is not what I expected. It changes my view of him into someone who is not as fearless as we first think. The writing style is too similar to when we read from Tris’ viewpoint. I was hoping to find out more about the fearless Four and who he really is, but he just kept making the same silly mistakes he does in ‘Insurgent’. However, having his viewpoint does help the reader to sympathise with him, which is necessary for later events in the novel.

However, I was gripped to the actual story and characters. Allegiant definitely has more action than the second book and is far more interesting now that we know what is outside the ‘fence’, but I have mixed views about the ending. I can’t quite work it out. I can’t quite understand whether it is good or bad. Having read lots of negative reviews for this, I can agree with them to some extent about the ending. I even read Veronica Roth’s blog, hoping to get answers. But the fact remains there are no ‘real’ answers. I can say that the ending was a shock, but whether I have disappointment or admiration for Roth, I do not know. Ask me in a week and I might think differently. This is what is stopping me giving the book full marks.

This book is definitely memorable though and the world outside the fence and the problems in it really open up the readers’ eyes to their own lives. It is quite realistic in a sense and I do admire Roth for not being afraid to write a book about humanity’s faults. For the gripping story itself, the interesting characters in the dystopian-yet-believable world created by Roth and the overall compelling series, I do recommend it. Just read it with a box of tissues and an open mind.

Buy from Waterstones.com
Out now from Harper Collins Children’s Books
ISBN: 9780007524273

GUEST BOOK REVIEW – Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Guest Reviewer: Ami  (@mama_roach)

Following on from the popular ‘Divergent’, the second book in the series picks up just as the last book ended. We already know that the series is set in future Chicago, where society is divided into ‘factions’ of human traits, such as the Abnegation (selflessness), Candor (honesty), Amity (peace), Erudite (knowledge) and Dauntless (bravery). However, in this book, the factions are on the cusp of war, so most of the book is based around Tris, Four and their allies trying to find out the truth about their society.

The story is still gripping, with lots of action scenes and rebellious characters and it was also interesting to read about the other factions and how they live. However, I thought that the romance element was a bit over-exaggerated in this one (TMI!) I didn’t really want to read over-descriptive scenes of kissing and cuddling – not my thing! I found Tris and Four’s relationship to be a little frustrating and feared Tris would turn into a mopey lovesick teenager. When will they actually be honest with each other? However, Roth just about gets away with this, as she provides enough action with the uprising of the factions. The important thing to remember is that Tris and Four don’t just have to contend with their changing relationship, they have to deal with the Factionless and hunt the truth about who they really are, which is really where my interest lies.

After getting over the amount of futile character deaths, I did enjoy the book, despite its predictable ending. Just like Tris, I am on the ‘fence’ with this one, but I do recommend it as a gateway to the final book, which is the one I am most looking forward to reading and hopefully find out what is really on the outside of the ‘fence’.

Buy from Waterstones.com
Out now from Harper Collins Childrens Books
ISBN: 9780007442928