Part of the fun of my dystopian months is getting to read and review new dystopian lit months ahead of time. I thought a little reminder post was in order...because now you can actually buy these books or borrow them from the library!
First up is a novel for which I have a burning passion - DELIRIUM by Lauren Oliver.
Summary: Lena can’t wait to get the surgery, that at 18, will cure her of the disease that took her mother – the highly contagious delirium nervosa (or in layman’s terms: falling in love). Lena’s main concern is passing the exam that will determine her future status in society. But then she meets Alex and soon becomes “infected”
What I said then: "And DAMN, if I may say so, Lena’s scenes with Alex sizzle, making the novel soar to dizzying heights of emotion." Read entire review. Read my interview with Lauren.
It came out yesterday! Get it!
THE UNIDENTIFIED by Rae Mariz
Summary: 15 year old Kid lives in a dystopian future where corporations run schools, using kids for market research and taking ownership of all of their creations. And if you don’t play by the Game’s rules, it’s GAME OVER for you and your future. Kid’s never really thought about the implications of all this corporate power over her life until one day she witnesses a prank by an anticorporate group called The Unidentified. As her interest in the group grows, she attracts the attention of the corporations, who want to repackage Kid and The Unidentified to fit their own agenda.
What I said then: Though the plot is minimal, the setting and world building shines with perceptive insights into the effects of social media and branding. I thoroughly enjoyed immersing myself in the Game, and following Kid’s journey from introverted wallflower with low scores to empowered, conscientious consumer. Read entire review.
Next we have MATCHED by Ally Condie.
Summary: Cassia lives in a society that decides everything for its citizens for the greatest good of them all – even who you marry. When Cassia is matched with her best friend Xander, she is thrilled. But when viewing her matching card, another face flashes on the screen – that of mysterious classmate Ky. This seeming glitch awakens an awareness of forbidden desires within Cassia, and for the first time she begins to question a society where the individual has no right to choose.
What I said then: "MATCHED is without a doubt a well constructed novel, hitting all the expected beats of a YA dystopian. And while there may be few surprises for avid readers of the genre, there are some genuine discussion-worthy developments." Read entire review. Read my interview with Ally.
And then there's THE WATER WARS by Cameron Stracher.
Summary: Vera lives with her family in the Republic of Illinowa – what’s left of the Midwestern US in a future where the politics of water determine whether you have enough water to thrive…or not. Vera’s family is just getting by. And then she meets Kai, a boy who seems to have a limitless supply of water. When Kai is kidnapped, Vera convinces her brother Will that they need to rescue him, and the two set off on the adventure of their lives.
What I said then: Stracher is able to weave a convincing portrait of how people would adapt to a world where water is the most precious resource around. Read entire review. Read my interview with Cameron.
THE BLENDING TIME by Michael Kinch.
Summary: Jaym , Reya, and D’Shay are all about to turn 17 in the year 2054, and because none of them have any of the right connections, they are at the mercy of a government that can send them anywhere for dangerous work service. When they are sent to Africa to be blenders, at first they think they’ve lucked out – at least they aren’t getting sent to the canal zone and almost certain death. But they are about to find out that Africa doesn’t exactly roll out the welcome mat for blenders…
What I said then: Debut Author Kinch touches on a lot of hot topics – from the terrible conditions of refugee camps, to interracial tensions, to the naivety of global bureaucrats when it comes to local problems – which adds depth to what is essentially a survival/adventure story. Read entire review.
I'll also mention ENCLAVE by Ann Aguirre which I reviewed in August when it was called RAZORLAND. It isn't out until April 12th, but here's the new cover regardless. Read review.