Summer Reads: Dystopian Action & Adventure Books

We’re continuing our summer reading lists today, with several new or recently released books that will satisfy your craving for all-things-dystopian, especially those with plenty of action & adventure.  Here are our favorites from new or recent releases:

Blood Red Road by Moira Young

Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That’s fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba’s world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.

Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she’s a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.

Blood Red Road has a searing pace, a poetically minimal writing style, violent action, and an epic love story. Moira Young is one of the most promising and startling new voices in teen fiction.

Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky

Maddie lives in a world where everything is done on the computer. Whether it’s to go to school or on a date, people don’t venture out of their home. There’s really no need. For the most part, Maddie’s okay with the solitary, digital life—until she meets Justin. Justin likes being with people. He enjoys the physical closeness of face-to-face interactions. People aren’t meant to be alone, he tells her.

Suddenly, Maddie feels something awakening inside her—a feeling that maybe there is a different, better way to live. But with society and her parents telling her otherwise, Maddie is going to have to learn to stand up for herself if she wants to change the path her life is taking.

In this not-so-brave new world, two young people struggle to carve out their own space.

Everfound by Neil Schusterman

While Mary lies in a glass coffin aboard a ghost train heading west, her minions are awaiting her re-awakening by bringing lots of new souls into Everlost to serve her. Meanwhile Jackin’ Jill has met Jix, a fur-jacker—a skin jacker who can take over the bodies of animals, most notably jaguars. Jix serves a Mayan god who collects Everlost coins, and has his own agenda. In the concluding volume of The Skinjacker Trilogy, Neal Shusterman reveals new sides of the characters of Everlost, who are pitted against each other in a battle that may destroy all life on Earth.

Possession by Elana Johnson

Vi knows the Rule: Girls don’t walk with boys, and they never even think about kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn…and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi’s future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.

But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they’re set on convincing Vi to become one of them….starting by brainwashed Zenn. Vi can’t leave Zenn in the Thinkers’ hands, but she’s wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous: everything Zenn’s not. Vi can’t quite trust Jag and can’t quite resist him, but she also can’t give up on Zenn.

This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.

Elana Johnson wishes she could experience her first kiss again, tell the mean girl where to shove it, and have cool superpowers like reading minds and controlling fire. Using her boring human powers, she graduated from Southern Utah University with Summa Cum Laude honors in Elementary Education with a minor in Mathematics. She started her teaching career as an upper grade music and art specialist. After a four-year stint in 3rd grade, she is currently the technology specialist.

In her world, Oreos and bacon would be the only food groups. Everyone would drive 10 over the speed limit, and winter would be eliminated as a season. As it is, she lives with her husband and two kids in central Utah, gets cited when she drives too fast and eats Oreos only on special occasions.

Divergent by Veronica Roth

In sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions—Abnegation (the selfless), Candor (the honest), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent)—each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue in an attempt to form a “perfect society.” At the age of sixteen, teens must make a dramatic, irrevocable choice: To which faction will they devote their lives?

On her Choosing Day, Beatrice renames herself Tris and makes a choice that surprises everyone—including herself. As she and her fellow initiates undergo an intense initiation into their chosen faction, Tris transforms, finding a new sense of self, friendships like she’s never known, and unexpected romance with a boy who constantly challenges and continually fascinates her—but she also discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society. To survive and save those she loves, Tris must stand up for the person she has become while uncovering powerful truths about her identity, her family, and the order of her society itself.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the YA scene with a dystopian thriller filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, and stunning consequences.

Bumped by Megan McCafferty

When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society.

Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and have never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Until now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract to “bump” for an infertile couple, while Harmony has spent her whole life in a religious community, preparing to be a wife and mother.

When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.

From New York Times bestselling author Megan McCafferty comes a strikingly original look at friendship, love, and sisterhood—in a future that is eerily believable.

Uglies Series by Scott Westerfeld (newly repackaged!)

A few years after rebel Tally Youngblood took down the uglies/pretties/specials regime, a cultural renaissance swept the world. Now popularity rules. Everyone craves fame—and fifteen-year-old Aya Fuse is no exception. But her face rank of 451,396 is so low, she’s a total nobody. An extra. Aya’s only chance to escape extra-land is to find a big story to kick—something wild and unexpected. Then Aya meets a clique of girls who pull crazy tricks. She knows she can propel herself into celebrity; but at what cost? There’s more at stake than Aya realizes in this spectacular conclusion to the Uglies series.

For the comments: What are your favorite dystopian/action & adventure books?

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