Posted by: houwr | 03/16/2012

The Odds Were Ever In My Favor…So Now What?

Do you enjoy having a novel in your hands at all times? I don’t. In fact, I usually avoid having my nose stuck in a book if possible since life begs for my attention in so many other ways. However, The Hunger Games… well, that was bit different for me. I decided to hop onto the bandwagon and see what all the hype was about. And of course I was taken into Katniss’ adventure from Chapter 1, and now I can’t wait to read the rest of the trilogy. Okay, now I know what you’re thinking – you’ve already read them all and I’m way behind! Yes, I know this is a travesty… however, I am going to stop and think about you for a moment – now that life in the arena is over and the government issues have been resolved, let me introduce you to some similar titles that will likely have you on the edge of your seat… again!

 First up, we have The Uglies Series by Scott Westerfeld. Our Reader’s Advisory database suggests these works because, if you like fast-paced, suspenseful, and compelling sci-fi, you would most definitely become engrossed with the life of Ms. Youngblood. The School Library Journal published the following review of this work:

 Tally Youngblood lives in a futuristic society that acculturates its citizens to believe that they are ugly until age 16 when they’ll undergo an operation that will change them into pleasure-seeking “pretties.” Anticipating this happy transformation, Tally meets Shay, another female ugly, who shares her enjoyment of hoverboarding and risky pranks. But Shay also disdains the false values and programmed conformity of the society and urges Tally to defect with her to the Smoke, a distant settlement of simple-living conscientious objectors. Tally declines, yet when Shay is found missing by the authorities, Tally is coerced by the cruel Dr. Cable to find her and her compatriots–or remain forever “ugly.” Tally’s adventuresome spirit helps her locate Shay and the Smoke. It also attracts the eye of David, the aptly named youthful rebel leader to whose attentions Tally warms. However, she knows she is living a lie, for she is a spy who wears an eye-activated locator pendant that threatens to blow the rebels’ cover. Fortunately, the cliff-hanger ending promises a sequel.–Susan W. Hunter, Riverside Middle School, Springfield, VT

I realize that The Uglies has been very popular, so if you are even further ahead of me in exciting reads, then I have yet another suggestion: How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff. Publishers Weekly incorporates the following review of this book:

This riveting first novel paints a frighteningly realistic picture of a world war breaking out in the 21st century. Told from the point of view of 15-year-old Manhattan native Daisy, the novel follows her arrival and her stay with cousins on a remote farm in England. Soon after Daisy settles into their farmhouse, her Aunt Penn becomes stranded in Oslo and terrorists invade and occupy England. Daisy’s candid, intelligent narrative draws readers into her very private world, which appears almost utopian at first with no adult supervision (especially by contrast with her home life with her widowed father and his new wife). The heroine finds herself falling in love with cousin Edmond, and the author credibly creates a world in which social taboos are temporarily erased. When soldiers usurp the farm, they send the girls off separately from the boys, and Daisy becomes determined to keep herself and her youngest cousin, Piper, alive. follow the life of this disgruntled teen as she becomes a courageous survivor motivated by love and compassion.

While I can’t promise that these books will be as good as The Hunger Games, I can say that they have been very popular within our library system, and teens have reported a great reading experience because of them.  Oh, and did I mention that I retrieved these titles from our NoveList library database? While it will at times state the obvious (I searched Catching Fire read-alikes and received Mockingjay as a suggestion…of course!), it unearths some works that may have been previously unknown to you. It can be super helpful, so try it out!

Here are quick links to read-alikes for The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay

The Uglies series can be found under Dewey number YA F WES

How I Live Now can be found under Dewey number YA F ROS

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