Red Rising

Red Rising

“Darrow is a Helldiver, one of a thousand men and women who live in the vast caves beneath the surface of Mars, generations of people who spend their lives toiling to mine the precious elements that will allow the planet to be terraformed. Just knowing that, one day, people will be able to walk the surface of the planet is enough to justify their sacrifice. The Earth is dying, and Darrow and his people are the only hope humanity has left. Until the day Darrow learns that it is all a lie. That Mars has been habitable – and inhabited – for generations, by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. A class of people who look down at Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought. Until the day Darrow, with the help of a mysterious group of rebels, disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside. But the command school is a battlefield – and Darrow isn’t the only student with an agenda.

This is book is “gorydamn” good. The best teen-fiction I have ready in a long time! First there was Ender then there was Katniss – now there is Darrow to stand upon their sholders.

5stars

M

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Divergent

Divergent-UK

“For sixteen-year-old Tris, the world changes in a heartbeat when she is forced to make a terrible choice. Turning her back on her family, Tris ventures out, alone, determined to find out where she truly belongs. Shocked by the brutality of her new life, Tris can trust no one. And yet she is drawn to a boy who seems to both threaten and protect her. The hardest choices may yet lie ahead…A debut novel by Veronica Roth that will leave you breathless.”

If you loved The Hunger Games then Divergent is for you! This book explores friendship under pressure, teenage love and the challenge of living in a world of dystopic government control.

4stars

PG

Uglies

Uglies - Scott Westerfeld

“Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait. Not for her license – for turning pretty. In Tally’s world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there.
But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to be pretty. She’d rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world – and it isn’t very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.”

This is the first book in Scott Westerfeld’s 2005 series (4 books in total: Uglies, Pretties, Species, Extras). Don’t let the 425 pages scare you, it is a quick read – both gripping and easy to understand. It’s probably too cliche or young for upper high school, especially if you’ve read a bit of dystopian fiction in the past, but it is a thrilling introduction to the genre. If you didn’t like The Giver, give this series a try. It’s got danger, action, intrigue and of course, love. Westerfeld’s dystopian society, where everyone is ‘pretty’ provides for discussion on some important and poignant issues; self-image, true beauty, loyalty, friendship, integrity, corruption and oppression, and what it really means to ‘grow up.’

Great fast paced book for younger readers. Recommended for ages 11 – 14.    4 stars.