I love a good retelling of a story from a different view. I wasn’t crazy about the Divergent series. I loved book one and it went downhill from there. Four was my favorite character and I was happy to get a chance to hear the story from his perspective. The story starts while he is still in Abnegation as he takes the aptitude test that will tell him which faction he should choose at the upcoming ceremony. If you’ve read the series you already know he chooses Dauntless. However, the events leading up to that decision are new. We see how terrified he is of Marcus, his abusive father. Four looks at each of the factions during the choosing ceremony to make his decision sort of on the fly, rationalizing how he would do in each faction before settling on Dauntless. The stories are divided into sections with Tris making an appearance in the later ones. It is a quick read and one that will only make sense if you have read the first book at least. It makes me want to give book three another try.
Some ideas for discussing with teens:
What would your fear landscape look like? Discuss your top four fears. How could you confront them?
Discuss how Tobais rationalizes his decisions about how he would fit in each faction before choosing Dauntless. Where would you fit in?
Discuss how Tobais took on his new name quickly. What new name would you want? How does taking this name change him?
Discuss this passage, “I left that place our of fear and defiance, and that will make it harder to assimilate than anyone knows, harder than if I had actually chosen Dauntless for the right reason. (pg. 133)
Discuss his reaction to his mother. What would you do if you were in his shoes?
Do you look at Tris any differently after seeing her from Four’s point of view?