Friday, November 11, 2011

Trended!

"Be a trend setter, not a trend follower." No one told the publishing industry this. Just look at all the teen vampire novels out there. The Hunger Games sparked a flood of teen novels set in messed up futures, featuring female heroines on the path of self-discovery. The themes focus on being original and rejecting the trend of society. Somewhat ironic. Here I present 5 teen dystopian novels with one word verb titles. Read them, while society will still let you ...

Birthmarked / Caragh M. O'Brien


In a future world baked dry by the sun and divided into those who live inside the wall and those who live outside it, sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone is forced into a difficult choice when her parents are arrested and taken into the city.

Also see sequel Prized, which has just been published.



Matched / Ally Condie


All her life, Cassia has never had a choice. The Society dictates everything: when and how to play, where to work, where to live, what to eat and wear, when to die, and most importantly to Cassia as she turns 17, who to marry. When she is Matched with her best friend Xander, things couldn't be more perfect. But why did her neighbor Ky's face show up on her match disk as well?

Also see sequel Crossed, which has just been published.

Nat: If you enjoy Matched, I'd also recommend reading The Giver by Lois Lowry, a 1994 Newbery Award winner. It features a society similar to the one in Matched.

Bumped / Megan McCafferty

In 2036 New Jersey, when teens are expected to become fanatically religious wives and mothers or high-priced Surrogettes for couples made infertile by a widespread virus, sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony find in one another the courage to believe they have choices.

Nat: Bumped was less dystopian, more satire. It was a darkly humourous take on a world where teen pregnancy is glorified. Watch out for the sequel Thumped next year.

Scored / Lauren McLaughlin


Set in the future when teenagers are monitored via camera and their actions and confessions are given a computerised "score" that determines their future potential. This score has the ability to get kids into colleges, grant scholarships, or destroy all hope for the above. Scored's reluctant heroine is Imani, a girl whose high score is brought down when her best friend's score plummets. Where do you draw the line between doing what feels morally right and what can mean your future? Friendship, romance, loyalty, family, human connection and human value: all are questioned in this fresh and compelling dystopian novel set in the scarily forseeable future.

Nat: I haven't read this one yet, but the premise would have appealed to me as a teen. I remember once receiving a test back with 98%, and the teacher said something like 'let's see about that 2% you missed'.

Awaken / Katie Kacvinsky

In the year 2060, when people hardly ever leave the security of their houses and instead do everything online, Madeline Freeman, the seventeen-year-old daughter of the man who created the national digital school attended by all citizens, falls in love with a boy who wants to meet face to face. She is introduced to a new world, as well as a group of radicals who are trying to get people to "unplug."


Nat: This is at number one, just because it's not called 'Awakened'. But that may be because the Teen Vampire series, House Of Night, has already used that title. (along with Marked, Betrayed, Untamed, Hunted, Tempted, Burned, and Destined).

The only thing missing now is a satire called Rehashed. Happy reading, all. But remember, you're being monitored ...

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