I’ve always been a big fan of science fiction. Realistic fiction is just so much less fun than something that literally transports you to an alternate world.
The Giver – Lois Lowry
I’m pretty sure everyone’s read at least one book in this series, but in my opinion the first is the best. In a dystopian world, emotions are removed by daily injections, families are created entirely by adoption, and every child is given an assignment in the community at age 12. Jonas, the main character, is assigned to become the new Receiver of Memories, and he becomes the only one to know about the emotional truths his society has suppressed. Now that he knows the truth, can Jonas continue living in this world of “sameness” and suppression?
Across The Universe – Beth Revis
I received this book, and its sequel A Million Suns, as a prize from a giveaway. When I got them, I read both in less than 24 hours. They’re so engrossing, so incredible, and they read so fast. Neither one is particularly short, but you’ll never want to put them down. There is a third book in the trilogy, Shades of Earth, but I haven’t read it yet. Amy, a 16-year-old girl, enters cryogenic stasis on Earth to be woken up 300 years later on a new planet. Skip ahead 250 years, and she’s been woken up early. Why? By whom? And what’s going on with the ship? Across The Universe reminds me of Doctor Who, Star Trek, and Buffy, through the characters, their world, and their reactions to their world.
Feed – M.T. Anderson
This is one of those books that makes me want to hide under a rock. In a futuristic world, 73% of people have the internet fed directly into their brains. The plot opens on the moon, when a group of kids are on Spring Break, and someone hacks their feeds. When they return to Earth, they discover that one friend’s feed is so severely damaged that it’s threatening her life. Throughout the novel, the characters are confronted with the world they live in, and how they should relate to it. Do they continue their lives, knowing how strongly they are controlled by the feeds, or do they begin a revolution?
Bumped – Megan McCafferty
I accidentally started with the sequel, Thumped, but it was pretty easy to follow. The first book is just as good. In the world of this book, everyone over 18 is infertile. This is actually a surprisingly popular topic, but Bumped handles it really well. In the novel identical twins Melody and Harmony have just found each other, after having been separated at birth. One twin was raised on a religious commune, one in a rich home in the secular world. When the religious twin comes to see her sister, and falls for the uber-popular Jondoe, they come into conflict. The novel really examines the cultural consequences of glorification of teenage pregnancy, and the ramifications of religion and early pregnancy.
House of the Scorpion – Nancy Farmer
This is the book that introduced me to cloning, so of course I’m generally against it. It’s a semi-dystopian, futuristic sci fi novel. Matteo, the main character, is a clone of El Patron, the leader of a country called Opium, named after its only export, that lies between the United States and Mexico. El Patron is also, of course, a drug lord, given that his country’s only export is opium. In this world of cloning and high technology, it’s very easy to control people, and to live essentially forever. The opium is farmed by humans who’ve had computer chips placed in their brains which stifle all independent thought, and El Patron has lived 140 years. How? Oh, by taking organs from his clones. Matteo knows he’s next, and this time, it will be a heart. What’s a boy to do? Stay and be harvested, or escape and have a chance at life? This novel is one of those that really makes you think. I read this at least ten years ago, and I still think about it all the time. It’s particularly interesting for fans of Orphan Black.
In celebration of Teen Read Week, I’ll be posting about books all week long! Young Adult lit is a vastly underrated genre by a lot of adults, but for many of us it’s still a great place to find your next read.
5 Types of Books You Read In High School/YA Mysteries/Ethereal YA/YA Series/Audiobooks/YA SciFi/YA Female Friendships
Today’s YA Recommendation is How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff.