So I have been on a bit of a reading kick lately. Ricky keeps giving me a hard time about it, because I am on Goodreads and they have an annual reading challenge. Last year, my goal was 25 books, and I topped it by 1. This year, my goal is 30, and so far I am already 5 books ahead of schedule. The reason Ricky gives me a hard time is because every time I finish another one, I tell him how many I have read.
Like others I know, ever since reading the Hunger Games a few years ago, I have gotten into YA (young adult) dystopian fiction. You know… Divergent, etc. I actually read both the Hunger Games and Divergent long before any of the movies were released and loved them. Now it’s fun to see all of my friends reading them. There’s been a few more that I’ve read too. Here’s a list of the ones I can remember.
- The Hunger Games series
- The Divergent series
- The Maze Runner series
- The Razorland series
- Life As We Knew It (this one was ok, but since the rest of the series wasn’t about the same characters, I wasn’t too interested in reading them)
- The Legend series
The most recent and the one I’m going to talk about right now is the Legend series. I actually enjoyed these more than I thought I would. The best way to tell what is popular in YA novels is to head to a Barnes & Noble. When I worked there, I would see all the stuff being the most prominently displayed and get ideas for what to read. I need to visit a bookstore to do that again, as I’m running out of ideas!
The Legend series has similarities to the Hunger Games (and other dystopian novels, obviously). It takes place in the U.S., but it’s a U.S. that has been divided into the Republic and the Colonies. The main characters are Day, an outcast that has now become a criminal, and June, the nation’s prodigy. The books tell their stories, both how they got to where they are as well as how their paths end up crossing when June loses someone very close to her.
I don’t want to give too much away, but I really enjoyed these books. This series, as well as most of the other ones listed above, I could easily reread. And all of them are very hard to put down! It’s interesting reading about an imagined America that is broken and has some twisted ideas. The Legend series takes a look at both the Republic and the Colonies, both of which have become something very different from each other as well as very different from the America we see today. I’m not sure how authors like Marie Lu come up with their ideas, but they make for great fiction.
Something else to note is that in a lot of these series, they have very strong female main characters. The Legend series is no exception. June, in addition to being very smart (she got a perfect score in the Trials) is also a fighter and a soldier. As the story plays out, you get to see this more and more. It’s good to have role models like this in the books kids are reading. Is it weird that adults are reading them too? I don’t think so, since honestly, it’s just very entertaining fiction. All of these books are interesting and intelligent reading, in my opinion.
So if you got hooked on Hunger Games, definitely check out some more on the list above, particularly the Legend series. They’ll keep you busy in dystopian America for quite a while.