Cinder. Oh, the Lunar Chronicles series is so, so cool. Re-imagined fairy tales set in a plague-stricken world! A half-human, half-robot heroine! What's not to love? This series has been super popular with our patrons ever since its publication in 2012; Scarlet, its sequel, continues the adventures. Cress, the third story, was released this year.
Crash is an intense science fiction read with a Romeo and Juliet twist. Jules constantly has a vision of a horrific car crash, but the identity of the victim is never clear. To her horror, she discovers that the son of a rival pizza parlor family may be involved. This is a trilogy; Bang (#2) was published last year. Fans will have to wait until June for the conclusion, Book #3 (titled Gasp).
Okay, so Dust Girl probably won't be on most Divergent read alike lists. It's fantasy--and historical fantasy at that. In my defense, the patron emphasized "page turners." But if you like trilogies with a strong heroine with intense story lines, the American Fairy trilogy should be on your list. As a biracial teen living in Dust Bowl era Kansas, Callie has always felt different. How different wasn't fully apparent until she learned that she was half fairy. When her mother suddenly disappears, she embarks on a madcap quest to find her and to fight her father's fairy people. Golden Girl (#2) finds Callie in 1930s Hollywood; Bad Luck Girl, which concludes the series, is set in Jazz Age Chicago (to be published in late May).
Life As We Knew It was written several years before the onslaught of Hunger-Games inspired YA dystopian novels featuring brave heroines, so I hope it's not been forgotten. I try to recommend it whenever I can. After Miranda and her family survive a catastrophic meteor hit, she keeps a diary in which she chronicles the chaos and devastation caused by the hit (which includes tsunamis and earthquakes). This is #1 in the Last Survivors series; The Dead and the Gone (book #2) features a boy living through the same events in New York City (#1 takes place in the country); Miranda's story continues in #3 (This World We Live In), with #4 (The Shade of the Moon) is from the perspective of Miranda's brother, Jon, after they leave their home.
Matched includes the theme of government dictatorship, but with more romance than other similar stories. As a member of the Society, Cassia has always known that her husband would be chosen for her. As an obedient member, she's never questioned this, until the dramatic on-screen reveal of her intended briefly changes to that of a former member of the Society (and now an outcast). Crossed continues Cassia's adventures; Reached concludes the trilogy.
Want more titles? If you're a Divergent fan, the titles on our Hunger Games read alikes list may interest you as well.
Jennifer Schultz, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library