As you know, we’re now less than two weeks from The Hunger Games movie release. While that may seem like forever if you’re a fan, it does give you just enough time to devour one of these recently published dystopian novels, all recommended by The Horn Book Magazine.
Day is one of the totalitarian Republic’s most wanted criminals; June has a personal vendetta against him. When their paths cross by chance, June — unaware of Day’s true identity — is attracted to his good looks, charm, and courage. In trilogy opener Legend, Marie Lu crafts a dystopian world rife with inequality and rebellion, with personal dynamics complicated by romance and betrayal. 13 years and up. (Putnam, 2011)
In Mike Mullin‘s Ashfall, the end begins with an exploding supervolcano — followed by fire, power outages, and blanketing ash. Rains turn the ash to muck, over which protagonist Alex skis in search of his parents a hundred miles away. Carefully researched and vividly imagined, this intense tale offers adventure, a believable narrator, and a dystopia that could actually happen. 13 years and up. (Tanglewood, 2011)
Willo tires of stories of “the old time” before the snows; all he has ever known is the future ice-age world of S.D. Crockett’s After the Snow. One day he returns home from trapping to find his family gone, stranding him alone in the frozen mountains. Willo’s distinctive voice and the carefully delineated dystopian world make this an absorbing first novel. 13 years and up. (Feiwel, 2012)
In Megan Crewe’s The Way We Fall, Kaelyn’s island community is hit with a mysterious virus. While her microbiologist father frantically works to diagnose the illness, Kaelyn takes on a leadership role, distributing information and food to her panicky neighbors. Crewe builds an ominous mood where a tickle in your throat signals approaching death. Kaelyn’s growth as she takes on adult responsibility is compelling, as is her tender romance with a former schoolmate. 11 years and up. (Hyperion, 2012)