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27 August 2010


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Life as We Knew It -- I still think about that book. Didn't like the second one as much and haven't read the third but LAWKI? Loved it.


Same here. Though Dead and the Gone has grown on me with distance. At the time I read it, though, I was frustrated with the similarites of plotting between the two. I have the third one here at the house, but still haven't read it.


What a great list! I had no idea there was so much out there, having only read the King shorts and BR... thanks again..


How I Live Now was the apocalyptic YA book that led me down the road of obsession in this genre. Nice recommendation! I disliked The Maze Runner intensely for some reason. Michael Grant also has a trilogy that starts with the book "Gone." That one was pretty good.

April (Books&Wine)

Now this is how the HuffPo list should have looked!

Great job, I've read and enjoyed a whole lot of these books, and you've got me intrigued with the Long Walk. I will have to find an audio of that!


Somewhat dystopian which I would add to this list is _The Repossession Mambo_, the basis of the recent movie _Repo Men_. In the future, all body organs can be artificially manufactured. If you need one, you can get it replaced, but it is not cheap. Not to worry, the Credit Union will be happy to give you credit, if you qualify of course. However, fail to make the payments, and the CU will send out their repo agents after you to retrieve CU property. This is basically, in a nutshell, a dystopia where health care for profit and the current trend of profiting off the poor (RTO's, Payday Loans, etc) go the extreme.

Best, and keep on blogging.


That is a pretty accurate synopsis of Knife. I loved loved loved the first two books, and am eagerly awaiting the third, but holy Hannah, they make the Hunger Games books look like happy fluffy little books, full of sunshine and lollipops. I cried, a lot, but DAMN they're good.


Okay, Knife of Never Letting Go: you've got to read it. It went like this with me. Page 1: "How can I read a book with a talking dog? HATE book with any kind of dog." Page 496: "I can't believe that book had a talking dog, and it was GOOD. SO GOOD." The second book blew me away. Agree with previous commenter about Hunger Games/sunshine/lollipops. Chaos Walking is awesome.

You must read Marsden's Tomorrow series. It gets a grip on you like just about nothing else. As I was reading Mockingjay I was reminded of that series. (Hunger Games trilogy is pretty good; Marsden is better.)


Also, to add to your list. Lockdown: Escape from Furnace by Alexander Gordon Smith. Teenage boys locked up in scary underground prison for crimes they didn't commit. And, while it seems like a stretch, I think Bamboo People by Mitali Perkins is a great next read after Mockingjay. It's also about young people forced to battle each other to the death for no good reason. But it's real. I just finished Bamboo People and thought it was excellent.


This is a great list! I nice antidote to that ridiculous HuffPo list, ugh. How I Live Now is one of my favorite books... and I have been putting off Knife of Never Letting Go because of the talking dog, too, but I will get to it eventually.


Great list. I love LIfe As We Knew It. I think you have a typo with Tomorrow When the War Began. Or maybe there's an alternate title that I don't know about?


Thanks for this awesome (and much more accurate and useful) list. Now I have another list I can add to the read-alikes/readers advisory file that I am compiling.


The HuffPo list was SO WEIRD, I'm glad you did your own. I'm going to be checking these out ASAP.


ALSO: Knife Of Never Letting Go MUST happen in your life.


I just heard about Girl in the Arena today and I am too excited about it. She is a female gladiator - how could this book not be awesome? Fantastic list here (although I haven't read nearly any of them, they're all on my big long list). I would love to see a YA showdown battle/Hunger Games battle written where you battle hipsters :)


Ditto the Chaos Walking recs. VERY STRONG and SUBTLE books and VERY DARK in a compelling way. The Monsters of Men comes out in a month!! You have time to read the first two before then!

Equip yourself with hankies.


Dude, I love this list. I've read most of 'em (apparently I have a penchant for this theme) but there are a few major ones I still need to locate.

I think The Running Man is the only Stephen King novel I really LOVED. (Haven't read the other one you mentioned.) Definitely a good one for this list. Someone just recently recommended Fever Crumb (by Philip Reeve) for readers of Mockingjay, and I just started it myself and I'm enjoying it--takes place in a London that's 1000 years in the future and full of dead technology. It would probably be somewhere with Incarceron on the "books that are a bit of a stretch" list.

YOU MUST READ CHAOS WALKING. I agree with Floating Lush's assessment. And the Marsden books are great, especially the first few in the series.

Brooke Shirts

Isn't Tomorrow, When the War Began begin made into a film, too? So, y'know, a good excuse to read that one up:



Love _Graceling_. And it is sorta dystopian: tyrannical overlord who forces people to use their gifts to do things they don't want to do, and at the end, King Leck, who can manipulate everyone's consciousness. It may not be a recognizable world like most dystopias, but it's definitely a pretty crappy place to live.

This bumps _How I Live Now_ up several notches on my TBR list--thanks!


I found Girl in the Arena to be disappointing. I think the cover is misleading (not to give too much away) and the whole plot is more emotion than action.


THIS is the list that HuffPo should have run. Great picks, all.
You are brilliant.

Farley Drexel indeed! What were they thinking??

Judith Van Alstyne

You must read the _Tomorrow_ series! Although #5 has been out of print and I have no idea why and Scholastic better fix that what with the MOVIE and all and boy, they also better do the movie right!


I never could jump aboard onto the Hunger Games ship despite trying (I OWN the first book, I was so excited to try it). I even skimmed Mockingjay last night and it just didn't do it for me. Concept is nice and all but the language severely lacked for me in providing any emotional kick. And I think it's just me, since everyone (a lot of whom whose opinion I usually regard) is all, omg it is the best thing evaaa.

In full admission I love Battle Royale (both film and book) A WHOLE DAMN LOT in a cracktastic kind of way. Its writing ain't so great so at least it proves I'm not a snob - I can bypass just-okay writing if other elements pull me in. But for some reason, I just never clicked with Hunger Games.

I liked Unwind a whole lot as well. I think I'd consider Never Let You Go to involve the dystopian thematic points as well (and that was a quiet kind of book I loved).


Great list! I've read some but there are a few that I'm interested in now based on your recommendations. Btw, I agree with you about UNWIND. Such a fantastic book, and I just found out yesterday that there's going to be a sequel in 2012 called Unwholly, I think. Should be interesting.


Great recommendations! I've read quite a few on your list, but hadn't heard of How I Live Now. I have added it to my wish list.


Another really good dystopian - Birthmarked by O'Brien. It's about a girl living in a future society after we've gone and destroyed the world. Here's the official summary: IN THE ENCLAVE, YOUR SCARS SET YOU APART, and the newly born will change the future. Sixteen-year-old Gaia Stone and her mother faithfully deliver their quota of three infants every month. But when Gaia’s mother is brutally taken away by the very people she serves, Gaia must question whether the Enclave deserves such loyalty. A stunning adventure brought to life by a memorable heroine, this dystopian debut will have readers racing all the way to the dramatic finish.

Also, the Gone series by Michael Grant is pretty gripping.

Finally, and I can't say this enough, SKIP GIRL IN THE ARENA. It was nothing like the cover and description promised, had a whiny narrator, unbelievable love triangles, and an incomplete world. The one good thing (imho) was the main character's relationship with her autistic brother.


Thank you for this.


Thank you for this list! Everything sounds terrific and I've only read a couple of the books on it. I actually just finished HOW I LIVE NOW late last night in bed--oh.my.word. What a book. My mind is still processing all of that beautiful, terrifying story.

Margaret S.

I read LAWKI and “How I Live Now” on your recommendation. Thank you, thank you! They are so perfectly excellent that I hesitate to start on the rest of the list in case everything else a letdown.

In return for those two books (plus the other two of the LAWKI trilogy), I urge you to get to reading John Marsden’s “Tomorrow.” There are 10 books in all; first the original 7 Tomorrow series, followed by the 3-book series, “The Ellie Chronicles.” (This is meant to be encouraging, not daunting.) I first laid hands on them a year and a half ago, and have read them 3 times already (so far).


Oh jeez, I just realized the above comment was combined from this post and your Mockingjay post and has SPOILERS IN IT. Feel free to delete and I'll repost with it split between the posts.


Will do, notemily! (And thanks!)


GREAT LIST! I really wanna read the Mocking Jay so bad! :) Thanks for sharing!


Yes, you can get SSD whether you are mraired or not, and whether your husband is working or not. It is based on your own ability to work.

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