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Across the Universe Read-Alikes

Now that the Teen Reader’s Choice Award is winding down and you’ve read a few (or all) of the nominated books, you may find yourself wondering what to read next. During the  next two weeks, we will publish a series on Top 10 read-alikes – books that feature similar themes, settings, genres, plots, etc. Today we are featuring five science fiction novels you may want to seek out if you’re a fan of Across the Universe.

CityOfEmber2City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau (2003)

The city of Ember was built as a last refuge for the human race. Two hundred years later, the great lamps that light the city are beginning to flicker. When Lina finds part of an ancient message, she’s sure it holds a secret that will save the city. She and her friend Doon must decipher the message before the lights go out on Ember forever! (Source:


EndersGame2Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (1985)

In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race’s next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin is drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.

Ender’s skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers, Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders.

Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender’s two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives. (Source:

Glow2Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan (2011)

The Empyrean is the only home 15-year-old Waverly has ever known. Part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space, she and her boyfriend Kieran will be pioneers of New Earth. Waverly knows she must marry young in order to have children who can carry on the mission, and Kieran, the handsome captain-to-be, has everything Waverly could want in a husband. Still, there’s a part of Waverly that wants more from life than marriage.

Suddenly, Waverly’s dreams are interrupted by the inconceivable – a violent betrayal by the Empyrean”s sister ship, the New Horizon. The New Horizon’s leaders are desperate to populate the new planet first, and will do anything to get what they need: young girls. In one pivotal moment, Waverly and Kieran are separated, and find themselves at the helm of dangerous missions, where every move has potentially devastating consequences. (Source:

KnifeOfNeverLettingGo2The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (2008)

Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him — something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn’t she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd’s gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is. (Source:

MazeRunnerThe Maze Runner by James Dashner (2009)

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade-a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.

Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every thirty days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.

Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up-the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers. (Source:


Top 10 Sequels & Trilogies

Are you a reader who prefers series to stand-alone novels so you can live in the word of the book as long as possible? Did any of the Top 10 books leave you wanting more? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you’re in luck! Four of the 2013 nominated books are first in a trilogy (or planned trilogy), and one has a sequel in the works.

MillionSunsShadesOfEarthBeth Revis’ Across the Universe trilogy is the only completed series featured in this post. The final installment was just published in January of this year. Be sure to check out A Million Suns and  Shades of Earth.




Blood Red Road is the first book of Moira Young’s planned Dustlands trilogy.  The follow-up, Rebel Heart, was published in October of last year. According to Goodreads, the final installment (titled Raging Star) won’t be released until January 14, 2014. That’s too long to wait!



InsurgentThe other dystopian novel among this year’s Top 10 nominees is also the first in a trilogy. Divergent‘s sequel, Insurgent, was released May 1, 2012 and the series will conclude with Allegiant on October 22, 2013. Mark your calendars, Divergent fans!




MissPeregrine_SequelAs those of you who have read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children know, the ending leaves you hanging. Luckily, Ransom Riggs has written a sequel. It was originally supposed to be released this year, but I was disappointed to learn that it now won’t be released until January 14, 2014 (which is shaping up to be a good day for new books).



SuchWickedIntentKenneth Oppel’s series The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein starts with This Dark Endeavor with continues with Such Wicked Intent. There is no release date or title for the third book in the trilogy, but my guess is the last line of Such Wicked Intent, “Such astonishing power,” will be the title.



Have you read any of these sequels? Are  you planning to? Is there a Top 10 book you wish had a sequel, but doesn’t? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Author Interview – Beth Revis

You’ve met the Top 10 books – now it’s time to meet the Top 10 authors!

In addition to book trailers, many book publishers upload short videos of authors discussing their books. These clips are a great way to meet authors from the comfort of your own home and learn what inspires them to write. Over the next few weeks we will be posting video interviews with each of the Top 10 authors (with the exception of Vera Brosgol and Maggie Steifvater, who have only done print interviews).

To begin, check out this video of Beth Revis talking about Across the Universe. In this 3-minute clip she discusses how she came up with her ideas for the novel and gives us a tour of Godspeed.

Book Trailer – Across the Universe

Need help trying to decide what to read next? Watch a book trailer! Like a movie trailer, a book trailer provides a 1-2 minute preview of a book’s plot and characters. Many publishers upload book trailers, but there are lots of fan-created book trailers on YouTube as well. Over the next two weeks, we will be posting  trailers for each of the Top 10 books (except Between Shades of Gray, as there is no trailer for it). Today’s trailer is for Across the Universe, which features the voice of Lauren Ambrose, the actress who narrates the audio version of the book.

What is your opinion on book trailers? Do you watch them before you check out a book? Do they impact your reading decisions? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Announcing the 2013 Top 10 nominees!


The second CCRSB Teen Reader’s Choice Award kicks off this week! If you are a CCRSB student in grades 7-12, you are invited to read from this year’s list of 10 amazing nominated books and vote for your favourite to be the winner of the CCRSB Teen Reader’s Choice Award. Last year, The Hunger Games won with almost 600 votes.

The 2013 Top 10 books have been carefully selected by CCRSB Library Services staff. They represent a wide range of genres and include some of the best fiction published between January, 2011  and January, 2012. They are (in alphabetical order):

Participating is easy! Just follow these three steps:

1) Read at least one of the Top 10 titles between February 4 and May 3. All 10 nominees are available from your school library. If you’ve already read one of the nominated titles, read another! You never know – you may find your new favourite book.

2) During the reading period,  discuss the books with other CCRSB students on the pages linked at the top of this website. Please remember these rules when submitting comments:

  • Don’t include any identifying information (last name, school, location, etc.).
  • Be respectful of other students’ comments.
  • Use school appropriate language.

3) Vote for your favourite book online or in your school library between April 22 and May 3. The book with the most votes will be announced as the winner on Tuesday, May 14.

Head to your school library, grab a Top 10 book, and let’s start reading!