I have an admitted addiction to YA dystopias. I will come home from the library with more books than I can carry even when I’m so busy with work I can barely find time to sleep. I even listen to audio books as I drive when I can’t find any other time. As a teacher, I decided to dedicate my summer to reading as many books as possible. Over the summer, I read countless books that transported me into diverse and imaginative worlds, though there’s something special about a trilogy. I discovered 3 teen dystopian trilogies that left me racing back to the library desperately hoping the next book was in.
1. The Taken Trilogy by Erin Bowman
The Taken trilogy follows 17 year old Gray Weathersby as he tries to discover the truth about himself and his town, Claysoot. In this dystopian, they live in a town surrounded by a wall and no one can remember a life before the wall. (Reminiscent of Stephen King’s Under the Dome) The original members of the town (all children) just woke up one day not knowing how they got there. There are no adult men in the town and on every boy’s 18th birthday, he is mysteriously “taken” by bright lights in the sky. After Gray’s brother is taken, Gray sets out to discover what is really happening to the residents of Claysoot.
Each novel in the trilogy had its own unique twists and shocks that had me unable to put it down. There were at least a few sleepless nights learning about Gray and his fate. A great balance of action, romance, and corrupt government, this series has something for every fan of YA fiction.
2. The Delirium Trilogy by Lauren Oliver
Imagine a world without love. Crazy, right? Lauren Oliver has written a terrifyingly possible dystopian society where love is considered a deadly disease that must be cured. Romeo and Juliet is required reading by all high school students to warn them of the dangers of love and how it can destroy you. Boys and girls are separated throughout their childhood and taught that the deliria is contagious and can be caught by being around someone of the opposite sex. Once you turn 18 you go through the “procedure” which will “cure” you from the deliria. Lena is 17 and can’t wait to have her procedure when she meets someone who makes her question everything she has ever been taught.
Delirium is a love story mixed with the traditional dystopian characteristics: the main character fighting (almost) alone against the norms of society. Girls will love Lena in her coming-of-age story.
3. The Program Duology by Suzanne Young
The Program is another one that feels very real and kept me up at night. It takes place in a future society where teenage suicide has become an epidemic. Depression seems to be contagious among teenagers, but the rate of adult suicide has remained constant. A program has been developed to “cure” teenage depression and prevent teenage suicide. The program has a 100% success rate, but Sloane (our main character) and her friends fear it. Their classmates who have returned from the program have no memory of their previous lives and friends. Many depressed teens are turning to suicide to prevent being dragged to the program.
Would you be willing to forget friends, ex-boyfriends, ex-girlfriends, everything about your life to be happier? If you want to keep your memories, you have to hide any signs of stress or unhappiness because you never know who will turn you in to the program: your teachers, parents, peers, counselors.
Okay, so not technically a trilogy. There are currently 2 main novels, The Program and The Treatment, with a companion e-book, The Recovery. There are also two “prequels” to the series following different main characters and the third main novel, The Adjustment, is due to be released in 2017.
Which trilogies left you breathless?
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