Welcome to another edition of Fine Wine Fridays!
Did Suzanne Collin’s dystopian Hunger Games trilogy keep you on the edge of your seat? Were you captivated by strong characters who must rely on their wits, courage, and friendships to survive?
If you enjoy high octane stories featuring youthful (mostly) protagonists who battle oppressive regimes, read these next (as always, I only recommend books that I’ve actually read myself. Personally):
13 Books to Read if You Loved The Hunger Games:
- 1. The City of Ember, by Jeanne DuPrau
The underground City of Ember was built as a last refuge for the human race. Two hundred years later, the city is threatened by aging infrastructure and corruption. They’re running out of food and energy.
When Lina finds part of an ancient message, she’s sure it holds a secret that will save the city. Now she and her friend Doon must race to figure out the clues to keep the lights on. If they succeed, they will have to convince everyone to follow them into danger. But if they fail? The lights will burn out and the darkness will close in forever.
2. Red Rising, by Pierce Brown
Set on a future planet Mars, inhabitants fall into a caste system based on birth. A hierarchy of “colors” represents their ranking within society. The novel follows lowborn miner Darrow as he infiltrates the ranks of the elite Golds. The first book in the Red Rising trilogy.
3. Matched, by Ally Condie
In the Society, officials decide everything. Where you work. Who you love. When you die. Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s a small price to pay for a long life. The perfect job. The ideal mate. When she turns 17 and attends her Matching ball, she expects society to pair her with her optimal partner. But then…
4. Delirium, by Lauren Oliver
A potent blend of romance, drama and danger in a world where falling in love isn’t just forbidden, it’s impossible. Right?
5. The Maze Runner, by James Dashner
When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone. Outside the surrounding stone walls s a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive. Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying: Remember. Survive. Run.
I read this cover-to-cover in one sitting. A taut, thrilling ride about teens who are pawns of evil adults. High octane action from start to finish. (The subsequent novels, not so much.)
6. Cinder –The Lunar Chronicles, Book 1, by Marissa Meyer
New Beijing is filled with humans and androids. But a deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when she meets the handsome Prince Kai’s, Cinder is suddenly plunged into an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.
7. Life As We Knew It, by Susan Beth Pfeffer
When an asteroid knocks the moon closer to Earth, high school sophomore Miranda’s whole world gets turned upside down. Worldwide tsunamis and earthquakes hit. Volcanic ash blocks out the sun. During winter in northeastern Pennsylvania, Miranda and her family retreat to the unexpected safe haven of their sunroom, where they subsist on stockpiled food and limited water in the warmth of a wood-burning stove.
Told in a year’s worth of journal entries, this heart-pounding story chronicles Miranda’s struggle to hold on to the most important resource of all—hope—in an increasingly desperate and unfamiliar world. I’d bring a sweater ‘fize you.
7. Gone, by Michael Grant
In the blink of an eye, everyone is gone. Poof. Except for the young. There are teens, but not one single adult. Just as suddenly, there are no phones, no internet, no television. No way to get help. And no way to figure out what’s happened.
Hunger threatens. Bullies rule. A sinister creature lurks. Animals are mutating. And the teens themselves are changing, developing new talents—unimaginable, dangerous, deadly powers—that grow stronger by the day.
It’s a terrifying new world. Sides are being chosen. A fight is shaping up. And time is running out: on your birthday, you disappear just like everyone else.
9. Legend, by Marie Lu
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem. From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths – until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect…
10. Unwind, by Neal Shusterman
In America after the Second Civil War, the Pro-Choice and Pro-Life armies came to an agreement: The Bill of Life states that human life may not be touched from the moment of conception until a child reaches the age of thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, a parent may choose to retroactively get rid of a child through a process called “unwinding.” Unwinding ensures that the child’s life doesn’t “technically” end by transplanting all the organs in the child’s body to various recipients. Now a common and accepted practice in society, troublesome or unwanted teens are able to easily be unwound.
Unwind follows three teen runaway Unwinds: Connor, a rebel whose parents have ordered his unwinding; Risa, a ward of the state who is to be unwound due to cost-cutting; and Lev, his parents’ tenth child whose unwinding has been planned since birth as a religious tithing.
Gripping. Brilliant. And chilling. I couldn’t put down!
11. Red Queen, by Victoria Aveyard
A sweeping tale of power, intrigue, and betrayal. Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood—those with common, Red blood serve the Silver-blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. This sweeping tale where romance and revolution collide. first book in the Red Queen series.
12. The Darkest Minds, by Alexandra Bracken
When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” Ruby might have survived the mysterious disease that killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerge with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.
This taut thriller packs a punch! Another one I couldn’t put down!
13. Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand
No list of dystopian novels would be complete without this classic.
Perhaps the “grandparent” of all dystopian novels (along with Orwell’s 1984, the World’s Most Depressing Book, so let’s not go there).
The fourth and final novel of Ayn Rand’s novels, Atlas Shrugged is sprawling epic that combines economics, science fiction, philosophy, and intrigue. It’s set in a dystopian United States in which private business struggles under increasingly onerous laws and regulations. Railroad executive Dagny Taggart and her lover, steel magnate Hank Rearden, match wits with those who want to exploit their productivity and entrepreneurialism. But they’re scotched at every step. Can they keep their heads above water – and for how long?
And who is John Galt?
What would you add to the list?