If you’re a fan of Blood Red Road, you’re in luck! It’s pretty easy to find dystopian books on library shelves in our post-Hunger Games world. Blood Red Road’s obvious read-alikes are The Hunger Games and Divergent, but there are many other titles that feature a post-apocalyptic wasteland, a strong heroine, intense action, or a combination of the three. Here is a list of five novels you may want to check out after reading Moira Young’s Dustlands series:
Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari (2011)
Epidemics, floods, droughts – for sixteen-year-old Lucy, the end of the world came and went, taking 99% of the population with it. As the weather continues to rage out of control, and Sweepers clean the streets of plague victims, Lucy survives alone in the wilds of Central Park.
But when she’s rescued from a pack of hunting dogs by a mysterious boy named Aidan, she reluctantly realizes she can’t continue on her own. She joins his band of survivors, yet a new danger awaits her: the Sweepers are looking for her. There’s something special about Lucy, and they will stop at nothing to have her. (Source: Chapters.ca)
Birthmarked by Caragh M. O’Brien (2010)
In the future, in a world baked dry by the harsh sun, there are those who live inside the wall and those, like sixteen-year-old midwife, Gaia Stone, who live outside. Gaia has always believed it is her duty, with her mother, to hand over a small quota of babies to the Enclave. But when Gaia’s mother and father are arrested by the very people they so dutifully serve, Gaia is forced to question everything she has been taught to believe. Gaia’s choice is now simple: enter the world of the Enclave to rescue her parents, or die trying. (Source: Chapters.ca)
Graceling by Kristin Cashore (2008)
Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.
She never expects to fall in love with beautiful Prince Po.
She never expects to learn the truth behind her Grace—or the terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone. (Source: Harcourt Books)
The Road by Cormac McCarthy (2006)
A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don’t know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food-and each other. (Source: Chapters.ca)
Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi (2010)
In America’s Gulf Coast region, grounded oil tankers are being broken down for parts by crews of young people. Nailer, a teenage boy, works the light crew, scavenging for copper wiring just to make quota-and hopefully live to see another day. But when, by luck or by chance, he discovers an exquisite clipper ship beached during a recent hurricane, Nailer faces the most important decision of his life: strip the ship for all it’s worth or rescue its lone survivor, a beautiful and wealthy girl who could lead him to a better life… (Source: Chapters.ca)
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.
Beth 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!
The 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!
As 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).
Kenneth 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.
Adapting novels to the silver screen is nothing new, but the huge success of movies based on teen books (Harry Potter, Hunger Games, and Twilight) is a fairly recent development. Movie producers and studios are now quick to buy the rights to adapt new, exciting young adult books, but this doesn’t always guarantee a movie will actually be made. Of this year’s nominated books, the rights to more than half have been sold to a studio. The Top 10 books you might see on the big screen someday are:
Blood Red Road – According to an interview Moira Young did with Page to Premiere Network a few weeks ago, Blood Red Road was optioned by Ridley Scott (director of Bladerunner and Alien) a year before the book was even published. The first draft of the script is complete and actors are currently reading for the parts. It’s not a guaranteed movie, but it looks promising!
Divergent – This is the movie adaptation furthest along in development – according to IMDB it is currently filming and set to be released in 2014. Shailene Woodley (from The Secret Life of the American Teenager) has been cast as Tris. Check out the IMDB page for move information on the cast, and keep up-to-date with Divergent movie news on Veronica Roth’s blog.
The Fault in Our Stars – John Green’s hit novel was published just over a year ago (it’s the most recent Top 10 book) and casting has already begun for the movie adaptation. Shailene Woodley is going to be busy; in addition to Tris, she’ll be playing Hazel Grace Lancaster. No other characters have been cast, but there is a screenplay and a director attached to the project so I think it’s likely to hit the big screen in the next few years.
The Future of Us – This adaptation is still in the early stages of development. According to Jay Asher’s blog, the film rights were sold to Warner Bros. and a producer and two screenwriters are attached to the project. No word yet on a director or potential cast members. I wouldn’t expect to see this movie for awhile.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – In a blog post dated February of last year, Ransom Riggs shared the news that the legendary Tim Burton was attached to direct and screenwriter Jane Goldman (X-Men: First Class, The Woman in Black ) was adapting the screenplay. There has been no other word on its development. The crew can always change at this stage, so fingers crossed that Tim Burton directs!
The Scorpio Races – The rights to this movie were purchased by Warner Bros. in October, 2011, but there has been no development to speak of since that time. In the FAQ section of her website, Maggie Stiefvater explains that she has had some promising conversations with producers and reminds us that adapting a novel to the big screen takes years (if it happens at all). We’ll have to be patient and see what happens.
This Dark Endeavour – According to a Toronto Star article, the film rights were purchased by the people who created the Twilight movies. There is a screenwriter and a director attached to the project, but as Kenneth Oppel points out in his interview, there’s no guarantee that the movie will be made. He is cautiously optimistic about a film adaptation as he has had books (like Airborn) optioned in the past, but the movies were never made.
Aside from Divergent, and probably The Fault in Our Stars, which Top 10 book do you hope makes it past the development stage and onto the big screen??
In the trailer for Blood Red Road we hear Saba’s voice and get a quick glimpse of our heroine, her pet crow Nero, and the world of Dustlands. What do you think of the use of live-action video and photography in this trailer, compared to the graphics used in the other trailers we’ve seen so far? Does this spark your interest in the book? If you’ve read the book already, does the trailer do it justice?
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):
- Across the Universe by Beth Revis
- Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol
- Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
- Blood Red Road by Moira Young
- Divergent by Veronica Roth
- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
- The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
- Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
- The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
- This Dark Endeavour by Kenneth Oppel
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!