First there was the world of Divergent, full of romance and breath-taking risks. And then came Carve the Mark, a fantastical, re-imagined world. Now, Veronica Roth introduces readers into various new worlds in her anthology The End and Other Beginnings. With disturbing and moving accounts of the effects of technology and life in the future, Roth delivers one of her most profound works yet.
The End and Other Beginnings reads like Black Mirror targeted at young adult audiences. Each story in the anthology challenges our notions of the world and reinvents how we see the future. Telling stories of lost love, friendship, and even murder, Roth shares stories that each bring very unique and interesting teen voices for readers to enjoy—all simultaneously humorous and tragic. Challenging our use of technology and illustrating a world surrounded by distant inventions in worlds that are almost unrecognizable, The End and Other Beginnings poses big questions and challenges readers more than many YA reads dare to.
Veronica Roth has always been questionable for me. I thoroughly enjoyed Divergent; the series was a guilty pleasure that I could not get enough of. And then came her second series, Carve the Mark, which was less than satisfactory—the writing muddled and the characters unlikable and not unique. But this anthology has restored my faith in Roth—the stories challenging and even emotional.
I felt that the author put much more effort into this book and actually interested young readers with big emotions, such as loss and desire, rather than teen angst and cheesy romance. These stories stray from cliche plot lines and actually evoke strong emotions, which I was pleasantly surprised to see. While Roth may have relied heavily on the classic tropes of dystopian YA books, she has renewed herself with more sophistication and intelligence with The End and Other Beginnings, and I am looking forward to what she has to offer readers next.
A world with full control, a world where endless possibilities are attainable and humanity strives to play God. With striking characters, memorable stories of love and loss, and a collection that challenges the ways of society, The End and Other Beginnings is captivating and worth the read. For those looking for the thrill of Divergent and the shock factor of Black Mirror, Roth’s latest could not be a better fit.