It's going to be a little while until the next Hunger Games movie, Catching Fire, is due at a cineplex near you. Heck, they haven't even started shooting it yet! And what with the book trilogy complete, what's a rabid Hunger-fan to do in the interim?
Lucky for you, dystopian fiction seems to be the hottest thing on the printed page right now. Here are a few suggestions, in case you find yourself in need of a grim-distant-future fix.
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
Think The Hunger Games except with ZOMBIES. Okay, so they don't try to eat brains, but for these mindless, intensely creepy denizens of the Forest, there is only one goal: to infect healthy people with their virus of the undead. Mary is a teenager who lives in a religious community surrounded by the forest, and all she wants to do is escape. Yes, she understands her responsibilities—she must continue the human bloodline because there is no one else left—but she's a teenager and wants to live and see what's beyond the fences. It's the first book in a series, with two companion novels already published, so you won't have to wait to find out what happens. Ryan might be finished with the series, though she leaves it open-ended.
Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick
If you're looking for something a little more recent, Ashes is the way to go. It's another first in a series (aren't they all these days?), with the sequel releasing this summer. Ashes is unique because the book starts in the world we know now. Then there's this huge, crazy explosion in the sky, and all of a sudden it's a brand new world. It's scary how realistic it is, and the book itself is a bit gruesome. If you avoid books that may give you nightmares, steer clear of this one, but if you're ready to be alternately freaked out and incredibly entertained, pick up this book as soon as possible.
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
The Maze Runner gives us something that seems fresh and new in the dystopian fiction landscape—the perspective of a guy. When Thomas wakes up, he can't remember anything. He discovers he's in a place called The Glade, and the area that they live is surrounded by a maze inhabited by monsters. There is no escape. It's a crazy read, full of twisty secrets, and the trilogy is complete, so you can devour all three books back-to-back. Even better, the author is releasing a prequel to the series this year, so you can get answers to all those lingering questions after you finish the series.
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Love is important, yes? But what if it weren't? Even worse, what if it were considered a disease to be eradicated? That's the world that Lena lives in. She's still vulnerable right now, but soon she will undergo the procedure, one that everyone in her society goes through, which will make her unable to feel any sort of love. Well, you can guess what happens. Lena falls in love, and realizes that everything her society believes is wrong, wrong, wrong. It's really a creative story with a main character who changes drastically over books one and two. We're still waiting on book three, the last in the trilogy, but it should be releasing early next year.
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Under the Never Sky is a bit different from the other books on this list because the world in it is so completely different than the one we live in. It almost feels like fantasy. Aria lives a sheltered life in the city of Reverie, never venturing outside its walls because she knows that going outside, breathing the unfiltered air, will kill her. But when she's banished from the city, she has no choice but to ally with anyone who can help her get back home, and learns the truth behind the lies she's been told her whole life along the way. Only the first book is out right now, which gives you plenty of time to catch up before the second is released next year.
What books have you been reading since The Hunger Games?