Sunday 20 May 2012

Technology, Dystopia and Young Adults II

This list has been updated: a newer, expanded version can be found at
17 February, 2017
At the end of last October, in response to an enquiry, I blogged with a list of the YA novels I had been reading recently as part of my academic research. A week ago, at the NCRCL conference, I was asked the same question. This is therefore a list of the primary texts I have read in the intervening six months which are connected by the common thread of incorporating technology within their plots. In the main they have all been published in the last two years, so this is - at present - an remarkably up-to-date list of current YA novels in this genre. While my Amazon account has some yet-to-be-published novels listed in the current orders, I will doubtless list these at some point in the future.

The list is in no particular order and I have included only the briefest of descriptions against each title, but each image links to Amazon where fuller descriptions and reviews can be found (along with the obvious ability to do some shopping!)

Soul Beach - Kate Harrison (2011)
When the heroine receives an e-mail from her dead sister she assumes it is a sick practical joke, but then she receives an invitation to join an idyllic virtual reality world where she is able to talk to her sister again but discovers it is only inhabited by the young, the beautiful and the dead.
Starters - Lissa Price (2012)
Callie lost her parents when a virus attacked the Earth and then she lost what to her was home. In desperation she tried to raise money by participating in an illicit scheme whereby teenager bodies are leased to wealthy, but aged, renters. Finally, she loses her body too but she is determined to get it back.
Monster Republic - Ben Horton (2010)
An explosion in a nuclear power plant leads to a class of visiting teenagers being patched up with scavenged body parts and bionic implants to create an army of superhuman soldiers.
The Future of Us - Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler (2011)
Set in 1996, two teenagers access the Internet and discover a site called Facebook which shows them what their life will be like fifteen years in the future; they are duly able to see the implications of their teenage decisions on their adult lives.
Unwind - Neal Shusterman (2008)
Unwinding means the end of a teenager's life, but such unwanted individuals are kept alive for their body parts. Three runaways fight the system and for their right to their life.
Gamerunner B R Collins (2011)
The Maze is a virtual reality game but one game does not allow the player to start again when they lose.
Cinder - Marissa Meyer (2012)
A retelling of the Cinderella story in which the eponymous Cinder is a gifted mechanic and cyborg.
Matched - Ally Condie (2010)
A dystopian society is controlled by technology and people's seventeenth birthday sees them given their perfect partner as dictated by society. Cassia's allotted partner turns out not to be the perfect match that society demands.
0.4 Mike Lancaster (2011)
A teenager's account of a life-changing event has been transcribed from audio tapes and appear to reveal the history of a world in which technological obsolescence becomes personal.
brainjack Brian Falkner (2011)
An extraordinarily skilled teenage hacker becomes involved in a world of espionage, intrigue and cybercrime when a remarkable hack grabs the attention of a secret government agency.

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