If the wait list at your local library seems especially long lately, it may have something to do with Teen Read Week, the Young Adult Library Service Association's annual initiative to encourage high-schoolers to devour books, which runs October 14-20.
It probably goes without saying that the writer of this here "Hunger Games" column, Hobnobbing, is a big proponent of cozying up to an unputdownable tome. But perhaps you've read (and loved) Suzanne Collins' dystopian series and are in the market for something new( yet equally riveting). Well, look no further. No matter which aspect of "The Hunger Games" you liked best, we have a recommendation for you. Check them out below!
Dystopia Does It For You
Take a trip down to your local bookstore's young-adult aisle, and you may be hard-pressed to find a novel that isn't a frightful imagining of our near future. But there are still a number of standouts in this category, including Marie Lu's "Legend," about a young military officer in training who goes on a mission to find her brother's killer — and the suspect is only the most notorious criminal in her town! The follow-up, "Prodigy," is due in January 2013.
A Strong Heroine Is a Must
Much like dystopia, there is no shortage of fierce females in young-adult literature. But if we had to ally with just one butt-kicking babe (besides Katniss Everdeen, of course), we'd pick Tris Prior, the 16-year-old heroine of "Divergent." Girl jumps from moving trains, for goodness' sake! And with two books already published in author Veronica Roth's dystopian series — and a film in the works — there's plenty of Tris to go around.
You Swoon Over Sensitive Boys
Peeta who? Let us introduce you to Augustus Waters, the cute, kind boyfriend of terminal cancer patient Hazel Lancaster in John Green's novel "The Fault in Our Stars." The two meet in their cancer support group (Augustus' cancer is in remission), and without giving away the whole darn thing, let's just say Augustus uses his charms to make Hazel's dreams come true. Best Fictional Boyfriend of 2012? We think so.
Well, not really. But if random lotteries get your heart racing — in a good way — Kiera Cass' "The Selection" should rule your reading list. Consider it a teen dystopian version of "The Bachelor"... with a prince!
Crazy Costumes Are Critical
Effie Trinket has nothing on 17-year-old Lola, the protagonist of Stephanie Perkins' infinitely readable "Lola and the Boy Next Door." When not trying to decode her relationship with next-door neighbor Cricket, the budding fashion designer — who's never met a kaleidoscopic wig or over-the-top outfit she didn't like — toils away at her grandiose winter formal costume. Two words: Marie Antoinette.
Have you read any of these books? Which novels would you recommend? Sound off in the comments below and tweet me @amymwilk with your thoughts and suggestions for future columns!
Earlier "Hunger Games" columns: