We Can Be Mended (Divergent, #3.5) by Veronica Roth
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on January 17, 2017
Genres: young adult science fiction, post-apocalyptic, dystopian, romance, short story
Amazon | Goodreads | Audible
Rating: ★ (but I’d give it zero stars if I could)
I was okay with the ending of Allegiant. I didn’t want the series to end the way it did, and I didn’t like the decisions Roth made regarding some big series/world-building reveals because they didn’t make scientific sense to me, but the ending of the book, to me, was powerful. It was emotional, it was gripping, it was well-written, and I felt it did justice to Tris and Four, even if it could have been avoided. Given their characters and their flaws, that ending just made sense to me.
This “epilogue,” however, does not.
We don’t need an epilogue. I don’t need to know how Four is feeling five years later; that was already hinted at in the last pages of Allegiant. By adding on more story after the supposed end of the series–going in and retying what was already resolved–Roth runs the risk of ruining the effect of Allegiant‘s twist.
Which she did with this epilogue. Royally.
I was so excited for more from Four (I loved the short stories from his point of view, and he’s my favorite character in the series) that I pre-ordered Carve the Mark (which I’d had plans to read eventually, anyway, so this seemed like a win-win) just to have the opportunity to read this short story. But I didn’t realize until later what the ramifications of revisiting this world in a narrative occurring after the main series ends would be.
I won’t spoil anything for you, but I will say this: If FourTris is your OTP in every sense of the term, DO NOT READ THIS. Not only will it ruin the powerful ending of Allegiant by needlessly drawing out the narrative; it will shatter your already-wounded shipping heart.
“But I want to know how Four’s doing!” you say. “I want some closure for him!”
Yeah, I did, too. But this short story doesn’t give it. The whole thing–no longer than 40 pages half the size of a Vanity Fair napkin–serves only one purpose: to introduce another development in the story that you will not appreciate if you loved Tris and Four.
Yes, I want him to be happy and to heal and to move on. But the decisions he makes in this short story don’t correlate with the character we’ve known for three books and over 1,000 pages. Roth already showed him accepting his circumstances at the end of Allegiant. We didn’t need to see more of that here, and the things that happen in this short story don’t just disregard what occurred in the original series; these developments nullify what was, in my opinion, the strongest part of this series, the component that kept me reading because it was so unlike anything I’d ever read in YA literature. And now I can’t view the rest of the series the same way, because I know that component–my favorite part of it–is no longer canon.
Recovery is good. Healing is good. But the developments used in this short story to facilitate that process were pointless and discouraging. I wish I’d never read this short story. I wish I could forget its contents and the fact that it exists.
I have never said that about a book before. And I’m sorry that, if I had to say it about a book, it had to be this one.