You finished the entire Hunger Games trilogy in just 48 hours, existing only on Chinese take-out and your Peeta-loving tears. Congratulations! But now you’re stuck in a post-THG depression, craving more dark, dystopian young adult fiction. Maybe you’re even feeling a little embarrassed about this new desire. After all, you’re a high-functioning, stable and successful adult with great hair and a casual but cool wardrobe*. Is it normal to want to read about angst-y teens fighting oppressive future-governments while making out with each other? The answer is YES and I am here to drag you out of the darkness and into the arms of a whole new pile of thick books with giant fonts written for people half your age. Let’s read!
The basic deets: In post-apocalyptic Chicago, society is divided into five factions based on very different and distinct virtues. 16-year-old Beatrice must decide to either stay with her family’s faction or follow her heart to another group and risk being shunned by her parents and peers.
Why you should read it: You’ll root hard for Beatrice, whose transformation from awkward to ass-kicker is nail-bitingly awesome. There is romance (which we are all suckers for, right?) but it’s still action packed and adrenaline filled.
What else: Divergent, the first book in a yet unpublished trilogy, is the most Hunger Games-y of all the books listed here, so it’s a great “transition” read for those of you making the move into the YA world. The movie rights have been sold to Summit, the same peeps responsible for Twilight.(Kinda undecided on whether this a good or bad thing.) And if you want to really be inspired/depressed: Roth, 22, wrote the book during her senior year at Northwestern. But hey, I did laundry today so I’m equally as accomplished, right?
The basic deets: Lena lives within the confines of her society where, at eighteen, all teens are cured by the government of deliria (ie: love) and assigned a spouse and job. This all sounds good to Lena – whose own mother committed suicide after the cure failed her – until she falls in love three months before she’s scheduled to have the procedure.
Why you should read it: Do you want to have the chills, weep like a baby, feel like barfing and shudder from extreme joy all at once? Then this book is for you! The writing is impeccable and the emotional response you’ll feel as you root for Lena will destroy you from the inside out, leaving you whimpering in a bed of tear-soaked tissues. If you can’t tell, it’s my favorite on this list and is still haunting me months later. Sniff.
What else: Fox 2000 has optioned the rights to the book, so if Hollywood likes it, it must be good! A sequel to Delirium is in the works, but while you wait for Oliver to crank that out you should check out her other best-selling YA novel, Before I Fall. It’s equally as enthralling as Delirium and focuses on a high school girl experiencing the last day of her life over and over again.
The basic deets: In Cassia’s world, society leaders decide what citizens do for work, what they eat and wear and whom they marry. Everything is going perfectly when Cassia is matched with her best friend, Xander (who is, duh, dreamy). But then a glitch in the system shows her with a different match, a mysterious boy named Ky (also dreamy!) and she must determine if she’ll let her government or her heart decide whom she loves.
Why you should read it: Matched is a solid future-world read, with a nice dose of romance to keep you swooning. Warning: there is a lot of unresolved sexual tension in this book and it takes characters forrrrrrever to even touch lips. You know, in case that matters to you. (It matters to me.)
What else: Matched is also the first book in a trilogy (with the second coming out this fall) and Disney has bought the film rights. See a trend?