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Ash & Fern: Next On Your YA To-Read List…

The Giver Series…Check
Hunger Games Series…Check
Divergent Series…Check
Dustlands Series…wait, what?





In the world of young adult dystopian literature, there have been many options emerging lately for readers of all ages and levels to enjoy, especially those with strong female characters at the helm. For those of you who are feeling like a piece of you is missing until Mockingjay’s cinematic release in November, I’ve got a way for you to fill your time for the next few months.

Moira Young’s Dustlands Series starts in Blood Red Road by introducing Saba, the introverted main character who identifies with no one save her twin brother, Lugh. When Lugh gets stolen away by a group of Tonton riders on day, Saba is shoved into new roles and new places as she tries to save him.  Of course, along the way, other characters are brought along to help, hinder, and even love her. It’s in those side characters that the true power of this story lies. Each side character gets just as much development over the series as Saba herself, which strengthens the story as it goes. You don’t just feel for Saba; In fact, sometimes you find yourself completely frustrated with her and her decisions. You end up identifying with different characters throughout, which I didn’t necessarily find true in some of the other popular series in this genre such as Divergent.

Dustland Books

As with the Hunger Games and Divergent, the second book, Rebel Heart, and the third, Raging Star, find the story developing out of a personal story into a rebel movement against the powers that be.While the formula being followed throughout the series isn’t necessarily creative, Young gets credit for keeping the story fresh throughout the entire series up until the very last page. While Mockingjay rushed through the revolution, not giving it the attention to detail it deserved, and Allegiant seemed to lag in the relationship woes of Tris and Four until the final chapters that left many dissatisfied and even slightly angry, Raging Star was still providing page-turning suspense throughout and finished with an ending that is sure to satisfy most fans. There are still heartbreaks and moments along the way that you’ll wish went another way, but each event has its place in the story and serves to be a catalyst for another event, not just a point where the author needed some emotion.

The movie rights to the Dustlands series have been picked up and all we know so far is that Ridley Scott is working on getting the film adaptation going.  Depending on the rest of the cast and crew that gets on board, I think that this could be a great cinematic adventure as well. The story provides enough action, romance, and drama to fill theaters in the same way as the others. I’m just hoping that enough people start picking up the books to put some momentum behind it.



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