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'Hunger Games': Top 10 Awesome Young Adult Dystopian Novels

    First Posted: 12/19/2011 2:46 pm   Updated: 12/22/2011 11:22 am

You've read The Hunger Games nine times, wrote an essay on its major themes, discussed the book in excrutiating detail with your friends, decided which character most clearly captures your personality, and you're counting down the days until the movie comes out in March. So what now? It might be time to branch out and start experimenting with other dystopian YA novels which, like The Hunger Games, spell out a dark and epic alternate future for mankind. And there's certainly no shortage of them -- The Hunger Games is part of a dystopia craze that has led to a number of other great titles that will keep you up reading until 4 a.m. to find out what happens next.

Don't know where to start? Our friends over at Scholastic have hand-picked 10 books to tide you over until the HG movie comes out.

Which novels would you add to the list? Share your top picks in the comments below!

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  • Above By Leah Bobet

    Matthew has loved Ariel from the moment he found her in the tunnels, her bee's wings falling away. They live in Safe, an underground refuge for those fleeing the city Above - like Whisper, who speaks to ghosts, and Jack Flash, who can shoot lightning from his fingers. But one terrifying night, an old enemy invades Safe with an army of shadows, and only Matthew, Ariel, and a few friends escape Above. As Matthew unravels the mystery of Safe's history and the shadows' attack, he realizes he must find a way to remake his home - not just for himself, but for Ariel, who needs him more than ever before.

  • Ashes, Ashes By Jo Treggiari

    For 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. With a touch of romance, adventure and suspense, teen readers will keep turning the pages of this gripping debut.

  • The Bar Code Tattoo By Suzanne Weyn

    The bar code tattoo. Everybody's getting it. It will make your life easier, they say. It will hook you in. It will become your identity. But what if you say no? What if you don't want to become a code? For Kayla, this one choice changes everything. She becomes an outcast in her high school. Dangerous things happen to her family. There's no option but to run... for her life. Individuality vs. conformity. Identity vs. access. Freedom vs. control. The bar code tattoo.

  • The Eleventh Plague By Jeff Hirsch

    Part adventure, part suspense, part romance, The Eleventh Plague explores trust, friendship, survival, and hope in a stark, dystopian world. America is a vast, desolate landscape left ravaged after a brutal war with China. A vicious strain of influenza has left two-thirds of the population dead. People called the sickness the eleventh plague. Fifteen-year-old Stephen Quinn and his family were among they few that survived and became salvagers, roaming the country in search of material to trade for food and other items essential for survival. Stephen finds his way to Settler's Landing, a community that seems too good to be true--where there are real houses, barbecues, a schools, and even baseball games. There Stephen meets strong, defiant, mischievous Jenny, who refuses to accept things as they are. When they play a prank that goes horribly wrong, chaos erupts, and they find themselves in the midst of a battle that will change Settler's Landing--and their lives--forever.

  • Empty By Suzanne Weyn

    Civilization has just run out. It's the future - the very near future - and the fossil fuels are running out. No gas. No oil. Which means no driving. No heat. Supermarkets are empty. Malls have shut down. Life has just become more local than we ever knew it could be. Nobody expected the end to come this fast. And in the small town of Sage Valley, decisions that once seemed easy are quickly becoming matters of life and death. There is hope - there has to be hope - but there are also sacrifices that need to be made, and a society that needs to be rethought. Niki, Tom, and Gwen may find what they need to survive. But their lives are never going to be the same again.

  • Green Heart By Alice Hoffman

    When her family is lost in a terrible disaster, 15-year-old Green is haunted by loss and the past. Struggling to survive in a place where nothing seems to grow and ashes are everywhere, Green retreats into the ruined realm of her garden. But in destroying her feelings, she also begins to destroy herself. It is only through a series of mysterious encounters that Green relearns the lessons of love and begins to heal as she tells her own story. As she heals, Green lives every day with feelings of loss. Her family is gone, the boy she loves is missing, and the world she once knew has been transformed by tragedy. In order to rediscover the truth about love, hope, and magic, she must venture away from her home, collecting the stories of a group of women who have been branded witches for their mysterious powers. Only through their stories will Green find her own heart's desire.

  • Green Angel By Alice Hoffman

    Left on her own when her family dies in a terrible disaster, fifteen-year-old Green is haunted by loss and by the past. Struggling to survive physically and emotionally in a place where nothing seems to grow and ashes are everywhere, Green retreats into the ruined realm of her garden. But in destroying her feelings, she also begins to destroy herself, erasing the girl she'd once been as she inks darkness into her skin. It is only through a series of mysterious encounters that Green can relearn the lessons of love and begin to heal enough to tell her story.

  • Green Witch By Alice Hoffman

    In this powerful, lovely sequel to Green Angel, Green must learn the stories of a number of''witches' and free her true soul mate from a prison as she grapples with life, love, and loss in a post-disaster world.

  • Fever Crumb By Philip Reeve

    Fourteen-year-old Fever Crumb was adopted and raised by Dr. Crumb, a member of the Order of Engineers, where she serves as apprentice. Soon though, she must say good-bye to Dr. Crumb -- nearly the only person she's ever known -- to assist archaeologist Kit Solent on a top-secret project. As her work begins, Fever is plagued by memories that are not her own, and Kit seems to have a particular interest in finding out what they are. Fever has also been singled out by city dwellers, who declare that she is part Scriven. The Scriveners, not human, ruled the city some years ago but were hunted down and killed in a victorious uprising by the people. If there are any remaining Scriven, they are to be eliminated. All Fever knows is what she's been told: that she is an orphan. But is Fever a Scriven? And Scriven or not, whose memories does she hold?

  • The Ellie Chronicles series By John Marsden

    For Ellie Linton, being back on the farm with her parents is what makes the terrible things that happened during the war - the things she, Homer, Lee, Fi, and the others had to do - all worthwhile. It's where she belongs. But the war won't let her go. A devastating tragedy has shattered any hope she ever had to reclaim her life, or herself. It's a new kind of fight. And the enemy isn't always from the other side of the border. A spectacular series of war and its consequences by bestselling author John Marsden.