Have you read The Hunger Games yet? Maybe you’re still on that mile-long waiting list. Either way, here are a few similar series-starters to hold you over until the first movie comes out in March 2012.
- Divergent by Veronica Roth. Society is divided into five factions; when you choose your faction at age 16, you leave behind everyone in your old life. Tris was raised in the selfless faction of Abnegation, but she chooses the Dauntless, who leap on and off of moving trains for fun. But being fearless isn’t as easy as it looks, especially when you have a deadly secret to keep.
- Chaos Walking: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. On a dusty outer-space colony, a germ called the Noise has made everyone’s thoughts audible. Todd, on the run from a crazy preacher with only his talking dog for company, faces secrets that make him question everything he’s ever been taught.
- Wither by Lauren DeStefano. A virus has infected the population: Now girls die at the age of 20, and boys at 25. To keep the human race alive, girls are often kidnapped and married off—sometimes as young as 13. Rhine finds herself married to Linden along with two other girls, and she never stops plotting her escape. But is it worth it to run away when you’ve only got a few more years to live?
- Matched by Allie Condie. Cassia is happy to be Matched to her best friend, Xander, when she turns 17. But an error in her Match file shows the face of another teenager before suddenly being deleted. Ky is an Aberration who can never be Matched, so why would his face be in her file? Suddenly Cassia has questions that no one will answer—what do those pills do? Why does her grandfather have to die? And what does the Society have planned for them all?
Nimira, a trouser girl is brought to the Hollin Parry’s estate to perform alongside his automaton. Right away Nimira feels the sinister secrets surrounding the sorcerer. While performing with the automaton, she learns that there is a fairy prince trapped inside the machine. She begins to find a way to free him but at what cost? As Nimira quickly evolves into a strong heroine, her feelings for the prince become obvious. Dolamore has set the stage for a world of intriguing fairy and mortal politics that endanger those who try to change it for the better. There is a thread of similarity between the Bronte’s Jane Eyre and Magic under Glass. This is a dark fantasy that will engage readers from the beginning and a sequel is sure to follow. This is a must for fans of Tiffany Trent’s Hallowmere series.
Check it out.
Yet another title that might help if you are suffering from the inevitable Twilight withdraw.
Need is an action packed tale of supernatural proportions. Romance, adventure and suspense vie for room in this great title.
Zara White is dead inside. Every since her father, her step-father really, died she has been stuck in the same loop of terrible despair; none of the things she used to love, running, Amnesty International, learning new phobias can help. Trying to get her to react to anything, Zara’s mother sends her to live with her grandmother Betty in Maine (not a single Betty White joke in the whole book!) Zara doesn’t know what’s worse; the snow, the cold or being sent away.
A new car and a new school start to perk Zara up, as does the ‘hunky’ yet mysterious Nick who keeps showing up to help her. But things quickly go from new-school-stressful to down right horrible when Zara notices a dark stranger following her from Charleston to Maine and all around town; A stranger that leaves behind no footprints and a trail of gold dust. At the same time young boys are disappearing one by one from the area. With the help of her quirky new friends and hot new crush, Zara is determined to figure what strange and terrible things are happening in her new small town. Never in a million years would Zara have predicted that their research would lead to the supernatural. Faced with the existence of pixies, weres and other things she’s never believed in before, Zara is determined to stop the abductions at all costs.
Zara’s adventure continue in her second book, Captivate.
Check out Need.
Penny Lane (daughter of hard-core Beatles fans) is crushed when Nate, her childhood-friend-turned-boyfriend, cheats on her, so she starts a Lonely Hearts Club at school, for all the girls who are tired of boys and the drama involved with dating. The club is a huge hit, but some people—namely, the boys at school, as well as the principal—aren’t happy about it.
To further complicate matters, Nate is desperate to win Penny back, and Penny’s fighting feelings for Ryan, a close friend’s ex. Penny slowly comes to realize that not all guys are jerks, and the important thing is not necessarily banning boyfriends, but staying true to your friends. In the end, she realizes that though Nate really is a creep, Ryan’s a great guy, and she can enjoy both close friends and dating.
Check it out.
Where the Lilies Bloom is about a family of five who are just getting by, moneywise. The main character and narrator of this story is Mary Call. Even though she is fourteen years old and the second child, (the oldest, Devola, is eighteen)she is the head of the household. The four children’s father, Roy Luther, has been sick for some time, and the author never reveals what happened to the children’s mother.
In the first one hundred pages, Roy Luther dies. Just pages prior to his death, Mary Call had gone to their land-owner (Kiser)’s home to negotiate, for she knew Roy Luther was near the end even then. Walking into Kiser’s house, finding him sprawled on the floor in a catatonic state, Mary Call finds this to be a strategy in her favor. She agrees to nurse Kiser back to health if he signs a document, giving the Luthers ownership of their land.
A week later, Kiser shows up to ask for the eldest daughter, Devola’s, hand in marriage. This is a matter Kiser has been pursuing for s ome time. Just prior to her father’s death, Mary Call had to promise Roy Luther that she would not let Kiser marry Devola, no matter what. With Roy Luther dead, the four children are forced to “lay low” form social services and become wildcroppers to earn a living.
I read this book for school and it is one of my favorite books I’ve read this year. I think any kid would enjoy it just for the struggle this family goes through.
~CC from Union Twp. Branch