Sunday, June 16, 2013

Beneath The Surface: Dystopian Round-Up


This year's teen summer reading program is themed Beneath the Surface! The best thing about reading is getting to learn about new ideas and realities that are unfamiliar to us. In dystopias, the characters are very often placed in situations that are just as alien, and they must search "beneath the surface" to discover what the truth is about their post-apocalyptic world. Come and kick your summer reading adventure off with these great dystopian titles!

 In Suzanne Young's The Program, teen suicide is an international epidemic. Sloane has already lost a brother to the disease, and her parents are desperate to keep her alive. She can't cry or express any honest emotion, because at the first sign of depression she will be shipped off to the Program and return stripped of her memories. When her boyfriend, James, begins to spiral into the illness, Sloane must find a way to keep him alive or risk him losing all memories of her forever.

 Incarceron by Catherine Fisher introduces a society where criminals and their descendents are sentenced to live in Incarceron, a living prison that enacts its own punishments. Finn has spent his entire life in the prison with no hope of escape. All that changes when one day he finds a key that allows him to speak to the warden's daughter outside Incarceron, and plan an impossile escape.
  

 
Ashfall by Mike Mullin follows Alex, a teenaged boy who's excited to have the weekend at home without parental supervision. Everything changes when the supervolcano under Yellowstone National Park erupts, plunging his hometown into darkness and terror. He must set out into this newly violent reality to find his parents.

T. Michael Martin's The End Games begins on Halloween night, when the apocalypse sends seventeen-year-old Michael and his five-year-old brother Patrick on the run from Bellows, terrifying zombies that scream your words back at you. Michael and Patrick are following the directions of the mysterious Game Master, who promises that if they can play the game and make it to the safe zone, they will be spared from the horrors that await them every time night falls.


In The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey, aliens known only as Them have come to Earth and destroyed most of the population through four waves of attacks, including pestilence and electromagnetic pulses. Cassie is one of the survivors, and she is determined to find her little brother before the fifth wave hits. In a world where the killers look like humans and trusting the wrong person could mean your death, Cassie must make the right choices, or else she'll be another victim of the 5th wave.

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