1. Matched by Ally Condie
Set in the future, where there is a completely totalitarian/socialist society, the government or Society controls everything – from when you die to who you marry. This novel starts during the match banquet of a young women named Cassia. Matching is the practice of uploading the data of seventeen year olds into a system that matches them to the girl or boy they are calculated to be most compatible with and therefore will marry. Cassia is happy to receive the statistically improbable match of her childhood best friend, Xander. However, when she loads the data given to her about her match, she’s shocked to see Xander’s face blink out and be replaced with the picture of another boy she knows, Ky. The novel deals with her struggle between understanding her feelings for Xander, the boy her officials tell her is her real match, and Ky – a boy who isn’t even allowed to be matched because of his inferior citizen status. For the first time in her life, she starts doubting the system and wanting more and more than the officials allow for her or her family to have.
2. Night of the Purple Moon – Scott Cramer
This is a novel in which Earth is devastatingly affected by a comet that brings a virus into the world. The virus, which tints everything purple, kills humans who have reached adolescence. Only the children seem to have survived. A couple of neighboring kids try to round up the rest of the kids on the island that they live on. By hacking into what is left of the internet and finding the only radio station still broadcasting, which happens to be CDC scientists who have managed to survive in isolation from the virus, the kids try to keep on living until a cure is found. In the meanwhile, they have to go through the horror of watching their older friends die, one by one, as they reach puberty.
3. Selection by Keira Cass
This is another story about a Dystopian world that exists where there was once the United States of America. In the current world, there are seven castes. The fifth caste belongs to artists and performers, and the main character, America, is from a family of fives. Her family encourages her to enter the Selection – a televised process to find a wife for the Prince who is of marrying age. It’s a process in which girl’s who are the Prince’s age from the different towns compete for his love (a dystopian version of the show the Bachelor???). Participating not only changes your caste to a three but winning the competition could mean elevating your entire family to one status. America doesn’t want to enter because she is already in love with a six in town. He insists that she joins for the good of her constantly struggling family and also because he would not want to be responsible for her missing her opportunity. In the end, she enters, and is chosen. She is forced to leave and enter the competition with a broken heart. Of course, the Princes turns out to be much more interesting that she ever expected. And initially, she only offers him her friendship.
4. Elite by Keira Cass
I usually don’t like sequels as much as the original, but this series just gets more inspiring as the story continues. America learns more about what being a leader means. The politics in the palace and as part of the selection become more complicated. The prince turns out to be an interesting and dynamic character with weaknesses and strengths. The king turns out to be a dark and manipulative person. The palace sees more and more violence as a war situation intensifies.
5. Crossed by Ally Condie
This is the sequel to Matched. After the events of the first book, Cassia and Ky are separated because Cassia basically sorted him, as part of her job, to be sent away to do a job in the outer provinces. So most of this book is Cassia trying to find him – which really seems like it should be impossible because he’s basically in a war zone that a citizen like Cassia would never be sent to. Nonetheless, about 1/2-3/4 of the way through they meet up in a setting that reminds me of Grand Canyon – some Canyons based on the ones in Utah apparently. They are there because they both happen to have run away from Society and are moving in the direction of a rebel colony. When Cassia and Ky reunite, the books get fairly more interesting. The blind love in the first book is replaced by a more desperate one complete with jealousy and distrust. Ky doesn’t really want to join the rebels and Cassia does – etc. Xander’s name comes up a lot but I think he will be a bigger part in the next book. I actually think the third book will be significantly better than this one because Cassia will be back in Society territory but as a secret rebel member and Xander should be present.
6. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
I had doubts about liking this book when I bought it since I didn’t think that young adult fiction writers in the U.S. could pull off steam punk. But I loved this book. The beginning is a bit slow to develop, but once the action starts it’s so exciting and gripping. I was genuinely stressed out reading this book. The characters are extremely intriguing. This book is about a girl named Tessa who thinks she is going to London to live with her brother, after her caretaker aunt dies. Instead, she gets kidnapped by two witches who basically torture her into using this crazy power that she has – transmuting into other people (dead or alive!) and gaining their thoughts. Apparently, they appear to be training her for some guy named the Magister who wants to marry her and use her powers. Lucky for her, she gets rescued sort of incidentally when a shadowhunter comes investigating the murder of a girl he found dead. Shadowhunters are a kind of police or enforcement group that make sure that underworld creatures like vampires, warlocks, demons and the lot are following the laws. Tessa kind of ends up at their Institute or school, and the shadowhunters let her stay for bit while they investigate the disappearance of her brother and this plot with the Magister. They are not sure who he is, but apparently, he is building an army of automations to start a war with the shadowhunters(hence the steampunk). By the way, shadowhunters apparently are decendents of angels. And they are also in Cassandra Clare’s other books, the Mortal Intruments. The first book, City of Bones, is coming out as a movie soon. Hence, I kind of want to read this entire Infernal Devices series now and then the Mortal Instruments one, and then go watch the movie.
7. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
The sequel to Clockwork Angel. Pretty good, lots of emotional conflict. I like the deeper look into one of my favorite characters.
8. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
The minor characters are hidden treasures. Something happens at the end which seems like total fan service – I did not enjoy it. So overall, the best book in the series is probably the first one.
This is the final book in the matched Trilogy. In my opinion, these three books are quite from different from one another. The first book is a romance with a dystopian setting. The second is an adventure tale through some desolate canyons. This book is an apocalyptic tale with a Pandemic terrorizing everyone. Weirdly, and unscientifically enough, the cure for the evolved virus turns out to be a flower and I think that’s what makes me dislike this book. It’s not very believable. There is a concept of sorting in this series, and apparently a talented “sorter” who has zero medical training can figure out the cure to a dangerous virus by sorting through some data (although I admit, it isn’t necessarily an easy thing to do). I think it is supposed to be like mathematics, but math itself is not mentioned. Reached has some small ties to the first book which were interesting. My other complaint is that I feel like the covers of the novels make you think that Cassia is going to have a more important role in the revolution than she actually does. The covers make me think that she is going to be this kick ass female revolutionary (like Katniss in Hunger Games with her bow and arrow). In fact, her suitors Xander and Ky have far more important roles in the future of their world than Cassia does. While they are saving lives, Cassia ends up hanging out at a museum writing poems… which, if you have read the book, is kind of a revolutionary thing to do in some sense, but it just doesn’t correspond to the covers of the novels.
10. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
This was a light and easy read about a young man named Colin. Colin has been raised knowing he is a prodigy but fearing he is not a genius. He does not have the best social behavior, but nonetheless he has managed to date and be dumped by 19 Katherines. In this novel, he and his best friend go on a road trip to help him cope with his latest Katherine break up. They get a part time job in Tennessee interviewing the local residents of a small town. Colin is also spending his free time working on a thereom to predict and describe how long relationships between two people will last based on factors like whether they tend to be a dumpee or dumper. He has a difficult time trying to get his model to fit all of the Katherine relationships he has already had. He has some revelations at the end of the book. Typical coming of age story. Great voice and tone. The characters are really realistic. The dialogue is hilarious. It’s so nerdy, I liked it.
Delirium is a dystopian fiction set in a future United States. In the future, American’s have determined that Love is a disease that must be cured by a neurosurgical procedure. Adolescents usually have the procedure as they turn 18 and graduate high school. Soon after, they are given a few possible matches for spouses based on their results from an interview examination. Lena initially counts down the days until her procedure with anticipation. However, after the series of events in the novel, she starts to doubt whether love is really a deadly disease or if its something greater.