If you enjoyed reading Suzanne Collins’ the Hunger Games trilogy, try reading one of the following similar books:
10. The Host: Stephenie Meyer
Stephenie Meyer is better known for her Twilight series, the sparkling Edward Cullen and his beautiful eventual bride Bella (the pair upon which the sexy Fifty Shades trilogy was originally based, in case you were not already aware!). In The Host, the earth has been taken over by a race of aliens who use human bodies as hosts. The aliens are polite, careful and tend to obey rules, regulations and speed limits – but they also tend to resent the few remaining humans, and hunt them down with unrelenting vigour. One of the human refugees, Melanie Stryder, refuses to be colonised, even attempting to kill herself rather than succumb to the ministrations of the aliens. However, she does not die and the aliens save her and make her the host to one of their own, an ancient being known as Wanderer. Melanie’s mind is robust and fights against Wanderer’s take-over, filling Wanderer with love for a man she has never met, Melanie’s lover, Jared. Reluctantly, Wanderer allows Melanie to lead them to him. The Host has been made into a movie and is great entertainment for action lovers and romantics alike. A good great, gently paced but with plenty of interest and a great, sci-fi storyline.
9. Unwind: Neal Shusterman
The first of a trilogy, Unwind starts with a bang and continues at the same hectic pace throughout. The shocking premise is revealed quickly: the fact that unwanted children (only those aged between 13 and 18 (does Shusterman struggle with his teenagers, one wonders?)) can be ‘unwound’ essentially stored in a dormant state and used by organ donation organisations for spare parts as needed. Naysayers are soothed by promises that no child dies, but needless to say, few children are keen to have their young lives reversed before they have even begun. Unwind joins the lives of three children: ward-of-the-state Rita, unruly Connor and Lev who was to be a religious ‘donation’ from his parents as a way of finding God – and leads us through their adventures and scrapes. The moral and ethical dilemmas presented in this gripping tale will keep you up at nights for weeks after you have finished reading it!
8. Shatter Me: Tahereh Mafi
Mafi’s skilful plotting will pick you up from the first page and run with you, leaving you unable to put this book down – so do not begin it when the baby is in the bath or the dinner in the oven! Mafi sacrifices description for the speed, portraying characters and settings with few words and sparing phrases, but uses metaphors with a lavish hand. It can be tricky to adapt to her writing style, and the first few pages may be hard work, but once you pick up her flow, you will race through the pages, finishing breathless and exhausted, yet wanting more! This dystopian tale will carry you away into a fantasy land, with believable characters (both the good and the bad), with just enough touches of heart-warming romance to lighten the tale.
7. Legend: Marie Lu
Modern and sharply cutting edge, Legend calls up a hint of Les Miserables with a dash of excitement and heaps of adventure. June and Day team up, seeking her brother’s killer as they trek across a less than appealing background. They meet while on the run and are drawn to each other: but neither realises that he is the person she seeks… Sharply and realistically written, with poignant moments woven into the beautifully plotted tale you will be glad to learn the Legend is the first of a trilogy!
6. Uglies: Scott Westerfeld
Westerfeld takes a clear look at the beauty-obsessed world that we live in and, in this book, magnifies and holds up to the light, the dangers of such a world. Uglies are children under the age of 16, at which point they undergo plastic surgery that transforms them into ‘Pretties’ – supermodel lookalikes who party, play and enjoy themselves all the time. Our heroine, Tally is almost 16 and cannot wait to be transformed, like a butterfly into a Pretty, anticipating the good times and hedonism to come. But then her best friend, Shay, runs away to live with rebel Uglies, leaving Tally to face the authorities. Instructed to follow her friend’s cryptic instructions, in order to reveal the location of the rebel base before being transformed into a Pretty, Tally slowly comes to realise that the surgery is not only skin deep and that to undergo the knife is to risk losing so much more than her ‘Ugliness’.
5. Delirium: Lauren Oliver
We all do daft things when we are in love and Lauren Oliver explores this concept to its most extreme point in Delirium, the first of a trilogy. In the not so distant future, love is diagnosed as an illness, one preventable by surgery. The surgery, essentially an emotional lobotomy, is given to every 18 year old. But there are some who would rather feel love for an instant, than live forever in a chilled and sanitised environment. Do not expect a fast paced action adventure here; Oliver takes her time, meandering along the storyline, investing a great deal of effort into portraying the characters, complete with backstories and motivations, for even relatively minor players.
4. The Mortal Instruments: Cassandra Clare
Against the backdrop of the life of a normal teenager, our heroine Clary, witnesses what she thinks is a murder, committed by teenagers dressed in medieval garb. She discovers that they are the Shadowhunters, a secret force committed to keeping our world safe from demons and other monsters that would wreak havoc and take over this dimension. Clary finds herself being pulled into their world as she slowly uncovers the truth about her family… and herself. A series, the Mortal Instruments starts with City of Bones, which establishes the back story and characters in a tight, well-paced tale.
3. The Maze Runner: James Dashner
Imagine finding yourself locked up, unable to remember who you are and how you got there; in fact everything is gone except your first name. That is exactly what happens to Thomas and all the other boys penned in The Glade, an encampment at the heart of an immense and perilous maze. Thomas and his new friends have no idea what is waiting for them on the other side of the maze, but nothing will stop them trying to find out…
2. Matched (trilogy): Ally Condie
Society and the authorities of the future dictate who you should marry and when; how many children you may have and when; and where you work and how you die… and when. Matched with an unsuitable boy (coincidentally a childhood friend), Cassia rebels – her heart belongs to another boy, also a friend. Anxious to make her own decisions Cassia’s world starts to unravel as she begins to question the authority of Society over her life and those of her friends.
1. Divergent Trilogy: Veronica Roth
In the future status is decided by aptitude and personal choice. While most youngsters opt for their home turf, young Beatrice chooses a different path, styling herself Tris as she joins the Dauntless. Faced with training, rules and regulations that are unfamiliar to her, will Tris survive without her family’s love and affection, or will she thrive and find love in her chosen but harsh new world? Veronica Roth’s debut novel is the first of a trilogy and readers will glory in her tight plotting, beautiful prose and believable and sympathetic characters. An excellent read that is set to be turned into a movie this year.