Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Icvr9781416912057_9781416912057_hr[1]t’s the near future and the United States has fought a second civil war. This time it was between members of the pro-choice and pro-life movements. They ended it with a compromise. Abortion of fetuses is illegal, but children between the age of 13 and 18 can be “unwound.” You, should your parents or the state decide, because you are out of control or no longer useful, could be sent to a facility and have all of your organs removed and transplanted to a donor who needs replacement organs. You are not technically murdered because you will live on in other people.


Conner is a troubled, rebellious boy whose parents have given up on him. Risa is a ward of the state. She is a talented pianist who is apparently not talented enough to make it past adolescence. And Lev is a tithe, a boy who has grown up knowing that his family’s obligation to God is not money to support a church, but instead the sacrifice of his life.

All three are about to be unwound.


Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

ugliesIn the book Uglies, it is a few hundred years from now. All of our social problems have been taken care of. Not only have the scientists in this future figured out how to use technology to make sure everyone is housed and fed, they have also figured out how to make everyone equal. There is no judging people based on their appearance. No racism. The reason? Everyone looks like this [show slide of actors].

At the age of 16 everyone is required to get an operation that turns from an Ugly (normal) into a pretty. Plastic surgery turns you into the ideal beauty. At least the ideal in Hollywood and fashion magazines.

Tally Youngblood is going to turn in a few months. Like other Uglies, she enjoys riding on her hover board and playing pranks on her teachers and other adults. And of course she is looking forward to the operation that will turn her into a Pretty. They might shape her eyes, extend her legs, and raise her cheekbones. It is the event that every teenager looks forward to (not getting her driver’s license).

When you are turned into a Pretty, you spend the next few years attending parties and living a care-free life. Non-stop parties with the other Pretties in a nice apartment in New Pretty town.

Then she meets Shay who quickly becomes her closest friend. Shay doesn’t plan to get the operation. She tells Tally about a place called The Smoke. In The Smoke, people live without the technologies that have made life so easy and care-free where Tally lives. Smokies prepare their own food and live using the old ways. Most importantly, they don’t get the operation. Shay has offered to take her to the Smoke where she can meet the mysterious David, a boy who has lived his whole life there. Tally is not sure such a place really exists.

But The Smoke is a threat to the Pretties way of life. When the day for Tally’s operation arrives, instead of being going to the operating room, she is taken to the Department of Special Circumstances. She is given a choice: Go with Shay to the Smoke so the Specials can locate the colony or never get the operation.

This is her choice: Betray Shay and live the life she was meant to live or remain an Ugly forever.



Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

ashes17 year Alex is hiking in the mountains when, in the course of a few minutes, civilization as we know it comes to an end. It probably wouldn’t have mattered too much to her anyway. Both of her parents were dead and she had a brain tumor that would kill her in the next few months. What changed everything was an Electromagnetic Pulse that fried all electronics within its reach.

Alex had stopped on the trail to talk to a bratty eight year old girl named Ellie and her grandfather when it happened. The grandfather’s pacemaker was destroyed in the blast, killing him instantly. Alex got a massive nosebleed and, strangely enough, regained her sense of smell, a sense that the brain cancer treatment had taken away from her.

Now on their own, they soon discover something even worse than a world without electronics. The brains of most people, except for children and the elderly, have been altered by  the blast. The change has turned them into mindless cannibals with a single focus — feed on human flesh.

Now Alex and Ellie must find a way to survive the wilderness, avoid being eaten or being killed by other survivors who are only out for themselves.



Legend by Marie Lu

legendIn the distant future, the United States has been split in half. The Western half is called The Republic and it is constantly at war with the other half, The Colonies. This means that most of the wealth and resources are concentrated in the war effort, and if you are a soldier, or otherwise useful to the war effort, then you are probably rich and powerful. If you are not, then you are destined to live in the slums, hungry and without much hope.

One teenager, 15 year old Day, is a kind of Robin Hood, fighting for the poor and causing trouble for the rich and powerful. He is the Republic’s most wanted criminal. One night when Day attempts to steal medicine from a hospital,  he is ambushed by soldiers. One of the soldiers is killed and Day is blamed for the death.

Another teenager, a brilliant 15 year old girl named June, is being groomed to be an officer in the Republic’s army. The soldier who was killed was her older brother. She vows to find Day and get revenge for her brother’s death. She volunteers to go undercover to find Day and bring him to justice.

Of course, nothing is that simple or easy. When she finds Day, she realizes that maybe that the government to which she has sworn her allegiance is not telling the whole truth about this boy or, as it turns out, about a whole lot of other things.



Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

hungergamesIn the not too distant future, the United States has nearly destroyed itself with war, famine, and drought. What remains is a new country called Panem. It is divided into 12 districts, all of which are kept under strict control by the Capitol. The people in the districts are kept poor, hungry and obedient.

Once a year, districts are given a chance to earn some more food for its citizens, as well as some prestige. Each district holds a mandatory lottery where the names of two kids between the ages of 10 and 16 are selected from all the children of age. One boy and one girl are selected to compete in the Hunger Games. The yearly contest is supposed to be an entertaining contest of skill and strength. But it is much worse than that. It is a fight to the death where only one contestant out of the 24 makes it out alive. Everyone in the districts is required to watch the games on television.

Sixteen year old Katniss Everdeen is chosen from District 12. She is a skilled hunter who supports her mother and younger sister by hunting illegally in the woods. The boy, Peeta, is her age as well. In our time, they might have been friends, maybe even more. But in the Hunger Games, there are no friends, only survivors.