Did you love the Hunger Games trilogy? Did it leave you eager to read other books that might speak to you in the same way? Perhaps you are just so eager for the next movie to come out that you need something in the same vein to keep your excitement flowing. Well, have no fear! There have been many fantastic dystopian books, and series written so there is plenty to chose from. Here are five of my top picks for books to read to satisfy whatever reading hungers have risen in you.
Inside Out and Outside In by Maria V. Snyder is a pair of novels, also available in an omnibus version called Inside. Living Inside is simple, you do your job and do not even think about changing your status. Scrubs need to do their jobs keeping everything running smoothly, while living in overcrowded quarters. As far as the scrubs know the uppers, the elite, take them for granted and look down upon them, and some do. However, uppers are quite sure that the scrubs are exaggerating their challenges and being lazy. Trella, a scrub with a vast knowledge of the pipes and in between places, does a friend a favor and discovers that the world is even more complicated than she thought. What might be Outside, and why are things controlled by so few? Revolution comes, and Trella becomes a reluctant leader. But when the mysteries of Inside are uncovered, will she discover that the greatest danger might actually come from Outside? Snyder’s other books have more of a fantasy flavor, but I highly recommend them as well as just lain great reads, starting with Poison Study.
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater is set in a world that hold races every November. These are no ordinary races, they are completed by riders trying to keep a hold of water horses so that they can cross the finish line. Some of the riders live, others die, and some wish they had died. Sean Kendrick is a returning champion that keeps his word, doubts, and fears to himself as much as he can. Puck Connolly is going to be the first girl in the races, although she never meant to get involved. Although circumstances have left her few alternatives. She is going to challenge and break other barriers on her way. While she knows it will not be easy, she is far from prepared for what awaits her.
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan is a story about isolated society and zombies. Mary lives in an isolated village and knows little about history or the world outside, but she has questions. Her village is protected by an archaic religious order called The Sisters, who take charge of Mary and ready her for marriage after her mother is bitten by one of the undead from the surrounding woods. But, the village’s defenses are breached and Mary’s world is forever changed. A small group that goes in search of answers and find both more and less than they expected. The only warnings I give to readers that are considering picking up this novel, there are some scenes with graphic violence, it is a very intense read. Oh, and have the sequels handy because there are many questions that carry over. The second book in the series is The Dead-Tossed Waves, and the third book is The Dark and Hollow Places.
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer highlights the fears about a world-wide catastrophe, which does not seem all that far from reality. The moon is hit by an asteroid and moves to a closer orbit to the Earth. This causes natural disasters and climate changes. The normal concerns of Mirand are buried under the need for survival. Thankfully, Miranda’s mother has made preparations and their family is better off than many others. The are stuck together in close quarters, keeping tabs on the status of the world. The story is brought to us through Miranda’s journal, so most of the violence is not firsthand, but readers will be drawn into the conflicts and concerns of the world, and the group watching their supplies dwindle while their doubts grow. The story does offer some hope, but leaves much for any reader to dwell on and consider for themselves.
The Maze Runner by James Dashner makes readers wonder about what they would do if they woke up somewhere with no memories. Thomas wakes up and is welcomed to the Glade. No one in the Glade knows who they were, or how they got there. All they know is that every morning the stone walls that surround the Glade open into the maze, and every night the doors close. They know that every thirty days a new boy is delivered to the Glade. But the day after Thomas arrives the routine is broken, and the first girl to ever arrives in the Glade. The message she carries is even more shocking than her arrival. Thomas needs to unlock the hidden secrets in his mind to discover the truth, and his own importance.
Other reading recommendations that you might enjoy include Legend by Marie Lu, Ashfall by Mike Mullin, Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi, Above World by Jenn Reese, Divergent by Veronica Roth, Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake, Matched by Ally Condie, City of Bones (starts the Mortal Instruments series and is soon to be a movie) and Clockwork Angel (starts the Infernal Devices series) by Cassandra Clare, and Enclave by Ann Aguirre.