Young adult science fiction is like, so hot right now. If you are a fan of violent future worlds in which teens struggle against corrupt regimes (but still manage to fall in love), there are plenty of titles to choose from. Perhaps you’ve heard of a little book called The Hunger Games? Or Divergent?
But there are also lots of other, lesser known dystopian titles to explore. For something a little quieter and more thoughtful, although every bit as dark, try Of Metal and Wishes. Set in what seems to be a far future China, the action takes place almost entirely within a bleak factory where robotic spiders and evil men prey on the powerless.
In Shipbreaker, Nailer scavenges copper wire from grounded oil tankers on what used to be the Louisiana Gulf Coast. After a brutal hurricane, Nailer and his friend Pima find a “lucky strike”–a wrecked luxury ship that could make them rich. But the girl clinging to life inside complicates everything. This book won lots of awards–it’s gripping and brutal.
Maybe you’re not ready to travel quite so far into the future. Love is the Drug is set a few years from now, when a virulent new strain of flu has put Washington D.C. under quarantine. Bird, the daughter of prominent African American scientists, wakes up eight days after a party to be told that she took designer drugs that didn’t agree with her. But in this exciting bio-thriller, the truth is less simple.
Melvin Burgess explores another near future plagued by strange drugs in The Hit. Things have gotten much worse for the 99%–so much so that when a new drug promises to deliver two glorious weeks of near superhuman existence, followed by death, it doesn’t seem like a bad deal to many.
If alien conspiracies are more your thing, try Malinda Lo’s Adapatation. After birds cause a series of plane crashes, Reese and David receive medical treatment at a secret government facility near the infamous Area 51.
Of course, there are hundreds of other excellent YA science fiction titles out there. What are your favorites?