Archive for the ‘dystopia’ Tag

New Books Highlight: A Wrap-up List for 2013

This will be the last New Books Highlight post for 2013!

Instead of the usual showcase of three new books on one subject or theme, I thought I’d put together a few different themes that have been popular recently and a few books from each.

Fantasy:

Pantomime by Laura Lam

The First Dragon by James Owen - book 7 in the Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica

Historical Mystery:

Little Red Lies by Julie Johnston

Palace of Spies: Being a True, Accurate and Complete Account of the Scandalous and Wholly Remarkable Adventures of Margaret Preston Fitzroy, Counterfeit Lady, Accused Thief, and Confidential Agent at the Court of His Majesty, King George I by Sarah Zettel

Dark Dystopian (with less romance than your average dystopian.):

The Living by Matt de la Pena

The Darkest Path by Jeff Hirsch

Mystery/Thriller:

Find Me by Romily Bernard

The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Torn by David Massey

 

Science + Fiction

There’s a new display in the Teen Space at the library – all about science and science fiction. If you’re into sci fi, you will know that while it is fiction and thus “made up” most of it has as its basis real science. Cold, hard science. Usually, even if the sci fi is based in a far future (which much sci fi is) and thus the author must rely on their imaginations to present the science that will be prevalent at that future time, what happens is not  too different from things we see today. Climate change, natural disasters, pandemics, genetic engineering, computer hacking, cyber-terrorism, and more: sounds like sci fi. And these are things you can hear, see and read in the news every day.

Delve into the science behind science fiction with these lists of non-fiction about real science, coupled with fiction which explores that real science in a made-up world. Whether you’re a bio geek, a hacker, an engineer or just a fan of a good story, you’ll find a book on this list to suit you.

Natural Disasters & Climate Change

 Pandemics

 Genetic Engineering

 Computers

 

New Books Highlight: Seek the Unknown

Next week is Teen READ Week! The theme this year is Seek the Unknown, so think about that when you visit the library in the coming days.Here are some new books that ask you to seek the unknown, too!

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

Sanderson is a reliable author of really cool books. He’s always taking us to unexpected worlds. In Steelheart, it is a world populated by superhumans known as Epics who became that way after a mysterious event everyone calls the Calamity. The most powerful Epic of all, Steelheart, brutally murdered David’s father when he was eight. Now, ten years later, he has joined  group called the Reckoners, bent on destroying Steelheart. Action-packed, mysterious, thrilling sci fi at its best!

All the Truth That’s in Me by Julie Berry

Set in an anonymous town, in an unknown time, with a mute narrator, calling this book a mystery is an understatement. The setting is a village, a close-knit community, but in an undefined place and time. Judith is mute – her tongue was cut out by a madman who held her prisoner for two years. Just to complicate matters, this madman happens to be the father of the boy she pines for from afar. Another girl went missing around the time Judith was being held hostage, and she may know the truth behind her disappearance – if only she can find a way to get it out.

The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda

Pick this up if you loved the Maze Runner series by James Dashner, the Blood of Eden series by Julie Kagawa and/or the Gone series by Michael Grant. It’s the same kind of fast-paced, gritty storytelling. A great take on both the vampire genre and the dystopian genre. Gene is a human in a world where humans are food. But Gene has not let the vampires know the truth about him, carefully keeping it secret through a web of lies. When Gene is chosen to go on the hunt to kill the last remaining humans, the web begins to unwind and Gene must find a way to protect his very humanity without succumbing to the merciless vampires.

Sneak Peek! “There used to be more of us. I’m certain of this. Not enough to fill a sports stadium or even a movie theater, but certainly more than what’s left today. Truth is, I don’t think there’s any of us left. Except me. It’s what happens when you’re a delicacy. When you’re craved. you go extinct.” (Text copyright 2012 ©by Andrew Fukuda)

New Books Highlight: Great Pairs

There are so many books published for adults that have what is called “crossover appeal,” meaning they are recommended for teens, too. It’s hard to find those books, of course, because they are shelved in the adult fiction area and we don’t exactly put shining beacons on them all to let you teens know they’re there! So this week I thought I’d showcase some new-ish books for adults – that also happen to pair well with new-ish YA titles for extra added appeal and ease of entry into the world of books for adults.

 

Books about growing up

…featuring horses. You’re probably saying, “But I stopped reading horse books when I was 11!” Give these two a shot, though, if you still (secretly) like stories involving animals in some way, but also really love great realistic fiction about growing up in an imperfect world.

ADULT: The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafani

In the South during the Great Depression, an elite equestrian boarding school gets a new student: sheltered Thea Atwell is banished from her wealthy family in Florida after her naivete gets her into trouble. Her home-schooled, insular life did not prepare her for what she finds at the Yonahlossee Riding Camp. The Southern belle and debutante students have their own particular social hierarchy into which Thea has trouble understanding at first, but her riding skills allow her to slowly make her way in this new world, coming to terms with who she is and what she needs to learn to grow stronger.

YOUNG ADULT: Catch Rider by Jennifer H. Lyne

Sidney grew up tough, so when she needs to escape her over-protective mother and her mother’s string of abusive boyfriends, she finds a job cleaning stables for a rich woman and drives herself there even though she’s only 14. She loves to ride, so working amongst the horses and riders is thrilling for Sid. The mill town she lives in feels like a dead-end, and probably will be for most of Sid’s classmates and her beloved uncle. But Sid wants so much more from life, and her opportunity to see how the other side lives leads to more opportunities to pursue her dream of riding.

Historical Fiction

ADULT: Blood & Beauty: The Borgias by Sarah Dunant

If you’ve seen any of the award-winning TV show The Borgias, you know that this is some fascinating history. When their father rose to power as the pope, the Borgia children had to learn the ropes of the family business: getting even more power for their family and themselves. Cesare is the cold, manipulative one who thinks nothing of killing those who stand in his way – including his sister’s husbands. Lucrezia’s job is to be beautiful and attract those husbands, until she realizes she is a pawn in a game over which she could have some control, too.

YOUNG ADULT: Still Star-Crossed by Melinda Taub

Love the thrilling real story of the dramatic Borgia family? Methinks the bard did, too. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet takes on Italian family drama, and this novel takes that drama to another level. Still Star-Crossed picks up where Romeo and Juliet leaves off – with the title characters dead. Even though they have died through their love, the Capulets and Montagues are still feuding. A plan to make peace involves another Capulet-Montague match-up, but will it end well this time?

Death & Destruction

ADULT: Red Moon by Benjamin Percy

If you’re a fan of fast-paced thrillers like Michael Crichton or Michael Grant, or literary horror/zombie stories like those of Daniel Kraus and Patrick Ness, then you will love Red Moon. In the world of this book, werewolves are real – they are people disturbingly transformed by a disease – and they are rising up against the rest of humanity. They live in what could be called peace, but an extremist group of lycans is planning deadly attacks on the U.S. (there are major parallels to the 9/11 terrorist attacks), determined to spark a war to end all wars.

YOUNG ADULT: The Lord of Opium by Nancy Farmer

While not as tensely paced as the book to which this is the sequel, House of the Scorpion (2002), this is another riveting and imaginative look at what our world could be in the future. El Patron is dead, and Matteo must step into his position of power.  I paired this with Red Moon because both focus intensely on real-world issues but frame them in an alternate reality.

New Books Highlight: Creepy Fantasy & Fairy Tales

Creepy books! They are not for everyone, that’s for sure. But if you like your fantasy or re-told, re-imagined fairy tales with a little bit of a creep factor – think Libba Bray, Melissa Marr, Kenneth Oppel, etc. – then check these new books out!

Nameless: A Tale of Beauty and Madness by Lili St. Crowcover image for nameless by lili st.crow

This is a new and creeptastic take on the story of Snow White. Camille is an orphan, found abandoned in the snow, who has been raised in the lap of luxury as the ward of the godfather of the Seven. The Seven are the powerful families that rule their magic-infused world of New Haven. Only Camille is not magical – she is mortal, with a past that remains a mystery until she meets Tor. Part fairy tale, part paranormal steampunk.

Sneak Peek! “Of all the cars in New Haven to fall before, I chose Enrico Vultusino’s long black limousine. The Dead Harvest had been dry for once, but Mithrus Eve had brought a cargo of snow, a white Mithrusmas for New Haven after all.” (Text copyright © 2013 by Lili St. Crow)

Faerie After by Janni Lee Simnercover image for faerie after

This is the third book in the Bones of Faerie trilogy, and of course promises much of the same fantastical faerie magic as you saw in the first two books. It’s part postapocalytpic mayhem and all dark fantasy. Liza’s world in Faerie is suddenly disintegrating, seemingly struck by a sickness that is causing living creatures to turn to dust. Liza realizes the fate of her world is linked to that of the human world, and she must risk bridging the two to save both.

Sneak Peek! “He came to me in the rain, as the first maple leaves were surrendering their green. Beyond the path where I waited, their veins burned orange and red beneath a steel-gray sky, and their branches hissed restlessly as they reached for falling water.” (Text copyright © 2013 by Janni Lee Simner)

The Archived by Victoria Schwabcover image for the archived by victoria schwab

Mackenzie is a Keeper with the heavy job of ensuring Histories – like ghosts, only more…complex – return to the Archive where Librarians store their knowledge and stories. As  Keeper, Mackenzie must ensure that wayward Histories don’t escape into the real world to cause havoc. Soon after her family relocates to a creepy new home in an old hotel, Mac meets a fellow Keeper and their previously quiet world begins to fall apart. Histories are on a rampage – and they may be getting help from inside the Archive. Not to be read in the dark if you’re easily scared!

Sneak Peek! “There is nothing fresh about this start. I lean back against the car and stare up at the Coronado, the hotel-turned-apartment building that my mother and father find ‘so charming.’ It stares back, wide-eyed, gaunt.” (Text copyright © 2013 by Victoria Schwab)

 

New Books Highlight: More Apocalypse, Please

Whew! It’s been a busy week. You might have noticed that last week I took a break from the New Books Highlight feature. Just to keep things super fresh, I thought I’d let it lie for a week and then come back full force!

SO many apocalypses and dystopias are happening in YA books, it’s super hard to keep up. But I’m not one to ignore a trend. And I happen to really like this trend! Authors keep doing super awesome, unheard of things with the whole apocalypse – and what comes after – thing. From disease to environmental degradation to techno warfare, there are many, and many hauntingly realistic, ways for the world to end according to YA lit. Here are three new books to check out immediately if you’re a fan of the genre, too!

The Lives We Lost by Megan Crewelives

This one is actually a sequel to The Way We Fall which came out last year. After the deadly virus killed off hundreds in Kaelyn’s island town, spreading beyond the quarantine to send a wave of terror washing over the rest of the world, Kaelyn knows she must do something to stop the destruction. She finds a vaccine for the virus in the remains of her father’s lab and sets out on a quest to the mainland to find someone who can help her by reproducing it.  People on the mainland, though, are dying in droves, and killing for the very vaccine Kaelyn carries. All the thrills of a dystopian/post-apocalyptic story!

Sneak Peek! “This is how the world ends: with the boy who used to be my best friend stepping off the ferry, hair shaggy and tangled, face too thin, looking at me like he isn’t sure who I am. Like he isn’t sure of anything.” (Text copyright © 2013 Megan Crewe)

Doomed by Tracy Deebsdoomed

A dystopian take on the classic Greek myth of Pandora and her infamous box? Yes! In this techno-apocalypse, Pandora is a normal teen who, when her long-lost father sends her some heartwarming childhood photos via email, unwittingly unleashes a super-virus on the world that takes down the grid. Internet, cell phones, everything is gone in the click of Pandora’s mouse. All that is left, once all power in the world is gone and people are plunged into mania, is a game that Pandora’s father created. Pandora’s Box. She must beat the game, with the help of some good friends of course, to save the world. High stakes technology thriller at its best.

Sneak Peek! “My seventeenth birthday starts with betrayal. Lies. Mayhem. Fear. It ends the same way, but that’s a different part of the story. At least for now.” (Text copyright © 2013 Tracy Deebs)

Maggot Moon by Sally Gardnermaggot moon

This is a slightly different take on apocalypse and dystopia. It’s more similar to books that were written closer to the time period in which this story is set, 1956, than to other brand new dystopian novels. In an unnamed country, simply referred to as “the Motherland,” impure and different people are squashed into ghettos, living in poverty, with the threat of torture looming. Standish is unique among the “impure” different people in Zone 7, where he lives. When he gets expelled after witnessing the killing of a student in his school, Standish knows the scary camps are next for him. But Standish knows a very important secret about the Motherland that may end up saving him from the totalitarian empire. Another very unique, and literary, look at dystopia.

Sneak Peek! “I’m wondering what if. What if the football hadn’t gone over the wall. What if Hector had never gone looking for it. What if he hadn’t kept the dark secret to himself. What if…Then I suppose I would be telling myself another story. You see, the what ifs are as boundless as stars.” (Text copyright © Sally Gardner)

 

 

 

Dystopian Romance

Paranormal romance is so last decade…girls and guys finding love despite some serious end of the world scenarios is the latest.  If you’re looking for a  great dystopian romance try these:

Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Matched by Ally Condie
Bumped by Megan McCafferty
Across the Universe by Beth Revis


And a few others :
Exodus by Julie Bertagna
The Declaration by Gemma Malley
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

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