If you like the Hunger Games...

Candor / Pam Bachorz

In the model community of Candor, Florida, every teen wants to be like Oscar Banks. But Oscar has a secret. He knows that parents bring their teens to Candor to make them respectful, compliant–perfect–through subliminal Messages that carefully correct and control their behavior. Then he meets Nia, the girl he can't stand to see changed. Saving Nia means losing her forever.

Ender's game / Orson Scott Card

In a futuristic world under attack child prodigy Ender is trained in war games in the Battle Room.  As his skills grow, he is increasingly tested both physically and psychologically.  First of a longish series, this is one of my favorite books to recommend to kids who just need a good read.  Followup: Speaker for the Dead

Matched / Allyson Condie

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her, so when Xander appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows he is her ideal mate--until Ky Markham's face appears for an instant before the screen fades to black. First of a trilogy, followed by Crossed

The maze runner / James Dashner

When Thomas wakes up, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he's not alone. When the lift's doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade---a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls. Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind. First of a trilogy, followed by The Scorch Trials, & Death Cure.

Wither / Lauren DeStefano

Rhine Ellery has four years to live. Thanks to a botched effort to create a perfect race, all females live to be twenty, and males live to age twenty-five. After Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she is desperate to escape from her husband’s strange world, which includes a sinister father-in-law in search of the antidote and a slew of sister wives who are not to be trusted. First of a trilogy, followed by Fever

Little brother / Cory Doctorow

After being interrogated for days by the Department of Homeland Security in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco, California, Marcus, released into what is now a police state, decides to use his expertise in computer hacking to set things right.  Cory Doctorow, reknown blogger, activist and frequent contributor to nerdy BoingBoing.net pens an unforgettable boy against the system tour de force.

Incarceron / Catherine Fisher

To free herself from an upcoming arranged marriage, Claudia, the daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, a futuristic prison with a mind of its own, decides to help a young prisoner escape. Only a two book series, but oh so worth it!  Claudia on the outside and Finn on the inside have no idea what they're dealing with, or how to get in . . .  or out.  Second (& final book) Sapphique

Black hole sun / by David Macinnis Gill

On the planet Mars, sixteen-year-old Durango and his crew of mercenaries are hired by the settlers of a mining community to protect their most valuable resource from a feral band of marauders.  Sounds easy -- it's not.

Gone / by Michael Grant

In an instant, everyone over the age of 15 disappears leaving those behind to figure out how to survive.  OK, not a problem . . . except that some of the remaining kids seem to have odd powers, and not everyone wants to work for the greater good.  One of Ellen's favorite YA series.  First of a series followed by Hunger, Lies, Plague, Fear (due out 4/3/12) & final volume Light (due ???) 

Girl in the arena  / by Lise Haines

In Massachusetts, eighteen-year-old Lyn, who has grown up in the public eye as the daughter of seven gladiators, wants nothing less than to follow her mother's path, but her only way of avoiding marriage to the warrior who killed her last stepfather may be to face him in the arena.

Epic / Conor Kostick

On New Earth, society is governed and conflicts are resolved in the arena of a fantasy computer game, Epic. If you win, you have the chance to fulfill your dreams; if you lose, your life both in and out of the game is worth nothing. First of a trilogy, followed by Saga & Edda

Legend / Marie Lu

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths--until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. Only when it's too late do Day & June realize their mistakes. One of those books that's best in the last pages, and then it's just hard to put down!

Rot & Ruin / Jonathan Maberry

In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn’t want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash—but what he gets is something quite different.  A bit gory, but well worth a read!  Followup:  Dust & Decay

Cinder / Marissa Meyer

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She's a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world's future.

Birthmarked / Caragh M. O'Brien

In the Enclave, Gaia and her mother faithfully deliver their quota of three infants every month. But when Gaia's mother is brutally taken away by the very people she serves, Gaia must question whether the Enclave deserves such loyalty.  Leon has never questioned the harsh rules he lives by within the Enclave, until he meets Gaia and in spite of himself is tempted to make a difference.  First of a trilogy, followed by Prized, & Promised (pub date: 10/12)

Delirium / Lauren Oliver

Lena looks forward to receiving the government-mandated cure that prevents the delirium of love and leads to a safe, predictable, and happy life, until ninety-five days before her eighteenth birthday and her treatment, she meets Alex.  It only gets better with the followup in the trilogy Pandemonium.

Across the universe / Beth Revis

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. Maybe a bit slow to start, but worth the investment. Followup:  A Million Suns

Under the never sky / Veronica Rossi

Aria lives in a domed, protected world, safe from an outside environment with deadly aether storms.  Peregrine, Perry, has never known anything but the hardscrabble fight for survival that is the outside. Inevitably, they meet and join on a mutually beneficial quest. That's the basic plot, but in the course of their adventures, Rossi creates an unusally well-realized world with characters that live beyond the pages of this slim volume.  Not to be missed!

Divergent / Veronica Roth

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.  One of the hottest reads in recent years! Sequel due out May 1, 2012: Insurgent

Unwind / Neal Shusterman

In a future world, kids have a right to be born, but can be recycled or "unwound" between the ages of 13 & 18.  There are many reason for doing so, all sanctioned by a very rational society.  In this world three very different teens find themselves fighting for their very existence as they try to figure out what they can offer each other, and possibly, the world. Both an adventure story of survival, and a heartbreaking quest for individualism, this is an unforgettable read!

The Scorpio Races / Maggie Stiefvater

The Scorpio Races is the story of Sean Kendrick, taciturn water-horse whisperer, and Puck/Kate Connelly, plucky local orphaned heroine trying to keep her family together.  They both have a lot to gain, and lose, from entering their respective mounts in a death-defying race on an isolated island where fairy-tale blood-thirsty water horses are the ride of choice. Rivetting!

Uglies / Scott Westerfeld

One of the first YA dystopian works, and still one of the best!  Tally Youngblood has always dreamed of turning "pretty" on her 16th birthday, what could be wrong with being supermodel gorgeous?  As it turns out . . . a lot!  First of a trilogy, followed by Pretties, & Specials Do yourself a favor, and get all the volumes before starting this one.