Today is opening day for the movie adaptation of The Hunger Games, a dystopian trilogy written for teens that has proven equally popular with adults. Fast-paced, action-packed, with a strong and compelling heroin, and just a hint of romance, Ms. Collins has created a real page-turner.
The Hunger Games were already the topic of a read alike post, but with more great Young Adult titles published every month and the excitement surrounding the film, we thought we'd do an update.
You can check out our original Hunger Games read alike post here: carnegiestout.blogspot.com/2011/05/read-alike-hunger-games.html
SH = Strong Heroine
A = Action-Packed
D = Dystopia
2+ = Trilogy/Series
P = Protector
V = Violence
R = Romance
Terrier by Tamora Pierce SH A 3+ P V
Ms. Pierce is well known for writing fantasy novels, often set in the world of Tortall, that always feature a strong heroine. The stories are fast-paced and the settings are full of interesting detail with regional slang and rich history. Start with Terrier, the first of three books featuring the adventures of Beka Cooper, Provost's Guard (a bit like a medieval police officer). Terrier has a suspenseful mystery and some great action scenes.
Legend by Marie Lu SH A D 3+ P V R
Ms. Lu's fast-paced first novel, Legend, is set in a dystopian future where the West and East coasts are at war. June, a military prodigy, is marked for greatness within the Republic. Day comes from the slums and has turned to a life as a Robin Hood-esque criminal. When June is tasked with capturing Day, they both find that their world is not what it seems.
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson SH A 3+ V R
Ms. Carson's first novel a compelling and fast-paced story of a young woman marked for a greatness she doesn't feel capable of. Princess Elisa finds comfort in her studies, her faith, and eating, but when she is married to the king of the neighboring land, she can no longer hide from the dangers of her world.
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater SH P V R
Ms. Stiefvater has found great popularity with her lyrical novels that mix romance and fantasy. Her characters intelligent and independent. Start with The Scorpio Races, which puts a new spin on the old Celtic myth of the Water Horse, a man-eating horse that comes from the ocean. Thisby is a remote island off the British coast known for the deadly yearly race of the capaill uisce, and Kate "Puck" Connolly will be the first woman to enter the races. The audio book is fantastic.
Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder SH A D 3+ V R
Ms. Snyder writes suspenseful fantasy novels with strong heroines and dark settings. Start with Poison Study, Yelena is offered a reprieve from her death sentence for murder if she agrees to become the new poison taster for the repressive leader of her country where anyone with magical talent is killed.
Divergent by Veronica Roth SH A D 3+ V R
This debut novel is also the first in a dystopian trilogy aimed at young adults, but that adult readers who loved The Hunger Games may find compelling as well. Though action-packed, the novel asks larger questions about humanity. Future residents of Chicago are required to choose a faction at age 16, will Beatrice stay with her family in the self-sacrificing Abnegation, or leave her family for adventure with Dauntless?
The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley SH A 2+ P V R
Ms. McKinley has been writing character-driven fantasy novels and variations on fairy tales for teen and adult readers for decades. Her settings are always highly detailed with great attention to the natural elements. Start with The Blue Sword, Harry is the well-bred daughter of colonialists in a desert country, but when she is kidnapped by the Hillfolk, she discovers unexpected strengths.
Ashes by Ilsa Bick SH A D 2+ P V R
Ms. Bick is both a novelist and a child psychiatrist. Her novels are action-packed and dark. Ashes, is the first of a trilogy set in the near future that puts a new spin on zombies. Alex has an incurable brain tumor, survival skills she learned from her father before his death, and a plan behind her visit to a remote park in the U.P. Instead there is an explosion that destroys all modern technology, but Alex can't begin to imagine how much the world has changed.
Blood Red Road by Moira Young SH A D 2+ P V R
An action-packed young adult novel set in a bleak future, where 18-year-old Saba’s parents have died, her beloved twin brother has been kidnapped, and she’s left in the wilderness with her annoying kid sister. Saba sets out across the post-apocalyptic desert in search of her brother, and finds her own strength, in this first of a new trilogy. She narrates the tale in her own Old West-ish dialect.
Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness A D 2+ P V R
The first novel in the dystopian science-fiction series Chaos Walking, The Knife of Never Letting Go. This is a fast-paced tale set in a compelling and richly-developed world, a planet where all the women have been killed and all the men are linked by a mysterious psychic connection. When a young man learns a secret about the colony’s past, he’s forced to flee with the army on his heels.
Delirium by Lauren Oliver SH D 2+ V R
Lauren Oliver's lyrical novels include science fiction elements with their character-driven tragic romances. Her second novel, Delirium, is also the start of a dystopian trilogy set in a future where love (or amor deliria nervosa) is viewed as an illness easily cured with a little brain surgery. But just before Lena is eligible for the cure, she meets a young man who just might be the love of her life.
Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve SH A D 2+ V R
Mr. Reeve has written a number of action-packed science-fiction and fantasy novels for teens and younger readers. Packed with steam punk details and creative world building, his series the Hungry City Chronicles has found fans with readers both young and old. Start with Mortal Engines, in a future where cities are mobile and life depends on mechanical cannibalism Tom is unprepared to be thrown from the relative safety of London into the barren wilderness with a mysterious girl on a deadly mission.
Please stop by the Recommendations Desk on the first floor, check out NoveList Plus on the library's website, or visit W. 11th & Bluff next week for more reading suggestions. Or submit a Personal Recommendations request, and we'll create a reading list just for you!
Thanks go to Amy and her Harry Potter for Adults read alike post!