I generally try to avoid reading whatever the latest YA obsession until the series is completely finished and you can get the first one without waiting 6 months on hold. This approach works well most cases – if the books are bad (Twilight series, anyone?) you don’t feel cheated, and if they are good you can get them easily enough to binge-read the whole series at once (I admit with some shame that I read Libba Bray’s Gemma Doyle trilogy in a weekend, and I’d do it again, shame be damned, though I might skip the last one). So I didn’t read this one at the height of its hype, but since the movie came out and the second is forthcoming, I can’t get the 2nd or third one now. Grumble.
Anyway. I read this for my book club, and while it was an enjoyable read, I was not inclined to go on to read the second or third, though my book club peeps assure me they’re worth it. My mental jury is still out. Good premise, but a little too much teen angst. As for the movie, I’ll probably watch it because the book itself reads like an action movie, so there is plenty of material there to make it exciting. And the fact that it’s set in Chicago made me nostalgic, though I really don’t want to visit this particular future of Chicago (the fate of Lake Michigan actually made me teary). But the part where they climb the abandoned John Hancock tower is pretty entertaining, Swamp Michigan be damned.
Books in a similar vein: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The Gate to Women’s Country by Sheri Tepper, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood… basically any skewed future novel where the common people are being manipulated by forces they don’t understand and when they figure it out all Hell’s gonna break loose.