Jill Hendrix, owner of Fiction Addiction in Greenville, S.C., talks about a spring novel that she expects will be a hit with teens.
My HarperCollins phone rep talked me into reading an advance copy of Divergent despite my despairing thought, “Not another YA dystopian book.” I’m now thrilled that I took the time to read it, since Divergent, the first novel of a planned series, will be the perfect book to handsell to those bemoaning the end of the Hunger Games series.
Set in a future Chicago, the novel features Beatrice (aka Tris) who, at 16, must choose which of the five factions (Erudite, Amity, Abnegation, Dauntless, or Candor) she will belong to for the rest of her life—assuming she survives her initiation. What made me like Beatrice more than Katniss from The Hunger Games was that she seemed more in control of her destiny and more proactive in handling problems, rather than just reacting to the things an all-powerful government throws at her. There’s plenty of action in the book and a touch of romance that I assume will develop further as the series progresses.
I think this series could be the next big thing for YA readers—as well as adults. I have even found myself guiltily rereading chapters of Divergent rather than opening one of the multitudes of other ARCs vying for my attention.
Divergent by Veronica Roth. HarperCollins/Tegen, $17.99 May 2011 ISBN 978-0-06-202402-2