Our FIVE Most Anticipated YA Titles of 2011

The “five” challenge was created by the gracious Persnickety Snark.  I’m posting Saturday’s topic a bit late because I really wanted to get in on it.  Hopefully next year I’ll be a bit more organized and manage to take part in more. That said, this is actually a difficult one, because I’m discovering new titles every day and there are exponentially more than 5 on my list at the moment, but here {drumroll} are (in no particular order) My Current FIVE Most Anticipated YA Titles of 2011.

1.  Delirium by Lauren Oliver

(February 1, 2011;  Harper Collins)

The first title in a new series by Lauren Oliver (author of Before I Fall), Delirium looks to be a delicious teen take on one of my favorite dystopian themes.

“Ninety-five days, and then I’ll be safe. I wonder whether the procedure will hurt. I want to get it over with. It’s hard to be patient. It’s hard not to be afraid while I’m still uncured, though so far the deliria hasn’t touched me yet. Still, I worry. They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness. The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don’t.”

Lauren Oliver astonished readers with her stunning debut, Before I Fall. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly called it “raw, emotional, and, at times, beautiful. An end as brave as it is heartbreaking.” Her much-awaited second novel fulfills her promise as an exceptionally talented and versatile writer. (Harper Collins)

2. Across the Universe by Beth Revis

(January 11, 2011;  Razorbill)

A spaceship the size of a county, romance, sabotage and yes, more dystopia.  It’s been a while since I’ve read anything set purely in outer space, but this is one title I simply can’t resist.

“Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone–one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship–tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn’t do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there’s only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.” (Goodreads)

3. Divergent by Veronica Roth

(May 3, 2011;  Katherine Tegen Books)

This debut series by twenty-two-year-old author Roth, promises  a mind-bending read.  Yes, more dystopia.  (I am sensing a theme here.) But this book is such a creative take on it, with a concept I just can’t wait to get my hands on.  I’m predicting to see this title on my list of Top Ten Reads of 2011 as well.

“In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.” (HarperCollins)

4. Wither by Lauren DeStefano

(March 22, 2011; Simon & Schuster Children’s)

Another cool new trilogy (Chemical Garden), another absolutely stunning, complex and creepy alternate society, and another must read for the coming year.

“What if you knew exactly when you would die?

Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.

When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden’s genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home.

But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden’s eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limted time she has left.” (Goodreads)

5. Outside In by Maria V. Snyder

(March 1, 2011;  Harlequin Teen)

I first fell in love with author Maria V. Snyder’s work with her 2004 Poison Study (and heart and magic of her Study series).  Last year’s Inside Out introduced us to the fascinating and utterly lovable Trella, who works as a scrub in her oppressed society and manages to accidentally start a revolution while trying to find some space to herself.  Outside In picks up the series, with the promise of even more fabulous twists and characters to fall in love with.

“Me? A Leader? Okay, I did prove that there’s more to Inside than we knew. That a whole world exists beyond this cube we live in. And finding that led to a major rebellion – between worker scrubs like me and the snobby uppers who rule our world. Make that ruled. Because of me, we’re free. I thought that meant I was off the hook, and could go off on my own again – while still touching base with Riley, of course. He’s the one upper I think I can trust. But then we learned that there’s outside and then there is Outside. And something from Outside wants In.” (Goodreads)

So, that’s my list folks.  I’d love to hear what you are looking forward to reading this year!  And apologies that I didn’t just call it my FIVE Most Anticipated Dystopian Titles… sometimes things just work out that way.  But trust me there will be lots of other interesting reads going down here in the coming year in all genres.  If you have something you want me to review, or just a suggestion for my reading list, I’d love to hear about that as well.

Happy Reading, Kids.

And if you need more inspiration jump over to PS and read the top FIVE from other challenge participants:

Persnickety Snark: Persnickety Snark’s FIVE Challenge for 2010.

4 Replies to “Our FIVE Most Anticipated YA Titles of 2011”

  1. I agree with each of these book choices! Across the Universe happens to be one of my favorite books for 2011, and Delirium is hopefully going to be on it as well. Some of the worlds which are created in these books are terrifyingly real. I think that we sometimes are a step away from realizing the cruel potential of all the scientific development we as a society have.

    Of course I’m also a pessimistic person by nature, so when I read dystopia novels I get even more pessimistic…vicious cycle.

    One book which I would add is XVI. It is a really great start to an intense series. Sex-teens, Verts, Cinderella girls, are all things that could happen. I really think it is a YA 1984.

    1. Yes, there’s so much to learn from dystopia, it’s fascinating in that regard!

      XVI is on my list too, I think I need to be “prepared” to read that one though! 🙂

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