‘Hunger Games’ Hangover? Read ‘Blood Red Road’ Next!

All week long we’ve been examining, dissecting and discussing the trend de jour in YA literature: dystopia. Happily, in addition to our own insights, we’ve wrangled several friends in the literary world to weigh-in with their thoughts on all things futuristic. Today, “Hunger Games” Examiner Sara Gundell shares her pick for a worthy follow-up to Suzanne Collins’ dystopian masterpiece.

Anyone who’s read “The Hunger Games” knows how amazing these books are. They are addictive, and they will consume you as you read each one. And, inevitably, when you’ve finished “Mockingjay,” you’ll most likely find yourself suffering from something the folks over at Novel Novice call “Post-Panem Depression.” That is to say, it’s fairly impossible for a short while to read anything else. Instead, you will find yourself mulling over the events that transpired over the course of all three books, the relationships between the characters, what they said and what they did.

And when you have finally laid “Mockingjay” to rest and are ready to pick up something else to read, the thirst for something similar is still there. That’s what’s so great about the explosion of dystopian fiction in YA right now—every day, new titles are coming out to satisfy the cravings of “Hunger Games” fans.

Of course, not all dystopian fiction is created equal—and that’s where “Blood Red Road” by Moira Young comes in. Set to hit store shelves on June 7, this book raises the bar when it comes to the genre. Not only will it satisfy the cravings of “Hunger Games” fans, but it is—dare I say—better than “The Hunger Games.” Yes, blasphemy for a “Hunger Games” fan to say so, but it’s undeniable. This book will blow you away.

That’s because “Blood Red Road” simply delivers. The story, the writing, the characters and the narrative voice are stunning and completely original, setting this book apart from the crowd of dystopian novels.

“Blood Red Road” tells the story of 18-year-old Saba, who sets out across the wasteland of her world to find her twin brother, Lugh, when he is kidnapped by four mysterious men. All their lives, Lugh has been the one to lead, and Saba has been the one to follow. But without Lugh to guide her, Saba learns what she is truly capable of, all while facing brutal violence, a seemingly impossible journey and her own inner demons.

Written in a unique voice, with a beautiful but stark writing style, “Blood Red Road” is chock full of interesting characters worth caring about, a heroine willing to face just about anything, non-stop action and a surprisingly sweet romance. In many ways it’s a simple story told in simple prose—but there is a complexity to this simplicity that makes “Blood Red Road” a truly remarkable reading experience.

So do yourselves a favor on June 7…go pick up a copy and get busy reading!

What are some of your favorite dystopian novels? Tell us in the comments and on Twitter!