Who doesn’t love a good lineup of action-packed, swoon-worthy young adult science fiction stories? Whether it’s the creepy comparisons we can make to our own society and new, creepy technology (seriously–GPS devices that track your every move and ads that seem to know every website you’ve visited since you were five years old? That’s not creepy at all!) or just the fact that we can travel to other planets, science fiction isn’t going away anytime soon. And it’s even better when you throw some romance in the mix, because face it, there’s a reason the young adult science fiction novels that are the most popular have this element.
1: The Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld. Okay, so this series seems to be based, in part, on a creepy Twilight Zone episode that aired decades before this series even came out, but that doesn’t detract from its creepiness and the fact that we can look at our own society and Photoshopped magazine models and say, “Geez. A government that forces its citizens to have surgery to make them all look perfect, and that same surgery also makes them complacent and stupid? What a good way to control people by body-shaming them! Wait…” Of course, the main character has some flaws, but a story (or movie) just isn’t good without those. And of course, unfortunately, we can all relate to that body shaming thing.
2: Influence by David R. Bernstein. A genetic mutation or something similar creates teenagers who have strange mental abilities, such as the ability to cause fear in other people, control animals, or even control the thoughts of others. Cool! (Kind of sounds like politics and government, doesn’t it?) Of course, that means rival groups are going to seek out these kids and force them to control others and defend their territories. Action-packed and full of dystopian and post-apocalyptic tension, this is one we can’t wait to see on the big screen.
3: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi. For those of us who like romance sprinkled into a post-apocalyptic world, this one is a movie we wouldn’t miss, and better yet, it’s possible Warner Brothers will make this one into a film! Aria is banished from her domed city and into a deadly wasteland where even the air is dangerous, but somehow she’s able to survive the toxic atmosphere. And better yet, she meets a hot Outsider who is her key to survival. Of course, it’s their job to learn to tolerate each other if they’re going to survive. Lots of tension here! Sign us up for tickets.
4: Modified by Harper North. With lots of new genetic technology coming out these days (in real life) such as cloning, gene editing, etc, we’re bound to have some sci fi stories that touch on these subjects, and some good dystopian ones at that. Modified centers around a society with different classes. Those who modified their genes to survive a post-apocalyptic surface get to live (somewhat normal) lives in cities, while those who got gypped out of modification are stuck underground working as slaves in mines.
5: Across the Universe by Beth Revis. Unlike the others in this list, this novel is set on a multi-generation ship in space that happens to be heading to another earth-like planet. Amy, who has been cryogenically frozen, is woken up early by an unknown person on the ship and finds herself in a bizarre society that’s developed on board over hundreds of years. Elder, being the only other teenager on board who is actually awake, has to help her navigate this society and survive. Oh, and there’s a murderer loose on the ship they have to worry about. And of course, a romance blooms between them and there’s a juicy secret that Elder is keeping from Amy. Sci-fi romance thriller? We can’t wait!
6: Living Hell by Catherine Jinks. This one’s somewhat like Across the Universe in that our main characters are on a ship, heading to a new world. Only there’s a twist: the ship passes through a force field that turns it into a living creature that our characters have the joy of being trapped inside. Can’t get worse, right? Oh, yes it can. The living ship’s new immune system sees the passengers as threats and tries to eliminate them. We’d like to see this movie based on that principle alone.
Are you listening, major movie studios? We’re waiting and hoping that you catch wind of these great stories and don’t butcher them too badly. (We all know how that goes.) Make these movies, and you’ll help our local theaters make a killing on popcorn sales.