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'Allegiant' by Veronica Roth poised to be the next 'Hunger Games'

“Allegiant,” the last book in Veronica Roth's “Divergent” series for young adult readers, is winning the Hunger Games. Or rather, against them; the 25-year-old author's still-unreleased finale for the trilogy is outselling the “Hunger Games” finale in its first month of preorders by a factor of five to one at Amazon, the company announced this week.

The dystopic YA trend shows no signs of slowing down, and Veronica Roth seems to have caught it at the right moment. Her heroine, Tris, is poised to overtake both “Twilight” star Bella Swan and “Hunger Games'" Katniss in a contest for readers' hearts.

Even though “Allegiant” has yet to be released, the title is No. 5 on Amazon's bestseller rankings, and No. 3 on Barnes & Noble's rankings.

The trilogy began with "Divergent," a novel that Roth first wrote while still in college, and continued with "Insurgent." It follows a headstrong young woman through a decaying future Chicago where people are split into four warring factions. Like the Hogwarts houses, each faction is given a name and stands in for a moral attitude or characteristic—the factions were imposed on the kids by an unknown authority to teach them the virtues of courage, selflessness, peace, and intelligence.

Previous books in the series have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list for children's books. Roth, profiled recently by New York magazine, has said that “Divergent” was inspired by the reading for her college psychology class. After first learning about exposure therapy, Roth wondered “what would happen if there was a group of people who tried to create fearlessness using the technique.” 

Roth, for her part, is afraid of spoilers. Due to an Amazon shipping error, some readers in Canada already have copies of the final, otherwise embargoed book in the series. On her blog, Roth implored these readers to consider waiting until the book's official release before cracking the covers. She's more worried about plot spoilers and quotes making their way around the forums where many of her readers spend time online.

“Allegiant” will be released on Oct. 22. The first film adaptation of the series, "Divergent," is coming in spring 2014.

ALSO:

Lois Duncan on reaching a new generation of teen readers

Celebrating the endangered world of print for a good cause

American adults have low (and declining) reading proficiency

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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