I have only participated in a few of these, so I am going to make my own Top Ten for this week and hope that it is a topic that has appeared in the past.
I am going with dystopia. It’s hot right now in YA—and seems to continue to gain steam, more so than the vampire trend. I am curious to see what will come of it because these novels open a lot of ideas of conversation that need to happen with today’s youth.
You may notice that ‘The Hunger Games’ is missing, but it is not because it doesn’t make my list. I heart Katniss. It’s because it is an absolute given. So, here are my ten dystopian reads beyond ‘THG.'
1. ‘Enclave’ series (A. Aguirre)
I did this novel and its sequel as an audio-swoon. Loved it! What happens when society moves underground to protect itself from “the freaks?” And what exactly are the freaks? Welcome to Deuce’s world, one full of honor and survival. This Huntress has properly trained to help her people survive, but what happens when protecting those she loves leads to a moment that changes her life forever? What really happens above ground—and how can society continue with the status quo?
2. ‘Eve’ series (A. Carey)
Love, love, love this series. I invested in Eve the moment she appeared on the page, and I am curious to see where the author leads her character. Her name is a metaphor for a greater good, and when she discovers the truth of her upbringing, her entire world is turned upside down and she flees. What happens when she flees—and how does society move forward after suffering such disease?
3. ‘The Way We Fall’ series (M. Crewe)
I read this novel and cringed because it is so topical—and it is the most realistic of all the dystopian reads. The plot moves fast, and so did my heart. Disease and dwindling supplies? Check. The downfall of what happens in a town when disease and dwindling supplies hits? Check. Enjoyed Kaelyn as a character, and I cannot wait to continue with this series.
4. ‘Wither’ series (L. DeStefano)
If you have not discovered the awesomeness that is this series, you need to ASAP. All three novels make the heart pump. Absolutely loved Rhine as a character, and her journey is a harrowing one. Kidnapping, forced marriage, medical tests, etc. And while her father-in-law gives President Snow a run for his money, her husband Linden is more than he appears.
5. ‘Awaken’ series (K. Kacvinsky)
This novel. Guys…my high school juniors are already living this life (up to a point). Imagine not having to ever leave your home because everything is virtual—your entire life. After a series of mass attacks on public school, Maddie’s father creates virtual school. But as all utopian ideas/societies experience in these novels, there is a revolution coming. How does Maddie fit into it, and does she want to live a life behind a screen or with human contact?
6. ‘Delirium’ series (L. Oliver)
Love as a virus that needs to be eradicated? Yes, please! No, I’m kidding…but for any teenager who has been in the middle of heartache, it sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? I did this as an audio and loved every moment of it—the storytelling, the reader, the characters, the plot, etc.
7. ‘Life As We Knew It’ series (S.B. Pfeffer)
This is one I hand off to a lot of my students because it is an interesting idea: what would happen if a meteor knocked the moon closer to Earth? Well…read this three-book series and find out. It is interesting to see how fast society breaks down. This novel follows two characters, one in one novel, one in the second, and the two meet in the third. Clever Pfeffer. Clever.
8. ‘Divergent’ series (V. Roth)
Do I need to justify the awesomeness of this series that is on my list?! I mean, I think I enjoy this series more than ‘The Hunger Games.’ But one advantage that ‘THG’ has over this is that the series is shorter and faster-paced. Here, Roth makes us work for it as readers—and I love it. Team Tris all the way! I want to be as badass as her character.
9. ‘The Forsaken’ (L. Stasse)
I bought this book because of the book cover, and I wasn’t too sure if I would like it. Let me tell you, I couldn’t put it down. Loved Alenna as a character, and if you teach ‘Lord of the Flies,’ you should pair it with passages from this dystopian tale. Civil War between children? Yikes! But man did I love reading this novel.
10. ‘Partials’ (D. Wells)
I had this as an ARC, and I had my husband read it first because it seemed a little too sci-fi for me. He loved it and said I would too—and he was right. I did, in fact, enjoy this tale. Enjoyed Kira as a character, and I enjoyed the nice twist within the plot. I like it when authors surprise me, especially in dystopia, and Wells did.
So…that’s my list. What’s on yours?
- The Hodgenator