A Comic-Con Reading List: YA Edition

The annual gathering of geeks known as San Diego Comic-Con officially kicks off today, and while you’ll find your usual collection of capes, crossbows and cosplayers, this year’s festivities—more so than ever before—have a decidedly young-adult bent. Tributes, Shadowhunters, Launchies: they’ll all be storming San Diego in support of their book and big-screen iterations.

And if you’re among those who still think Peeta is a type of baked good, or that a little Raid should take care of those pesky Buggers, we’ve got a recommended reading list that will get you up to speed on all things YA at the Con.

Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins
Whether you devour dystopia or disdain it, you have bestselling author Suzanne Collins to thank (or blame) for the continuing wave of similarly themed novels hitting bookstore shelves. Her The Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire picks up where the first installment left off, with newly returned District 12 tributes Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark touring Panem like a pair of brokedown Miss Americas. But unrest is brewing around the country, forcing Katniss to decide whether she can and will be the symbol of the revolution. The second film, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson, blazes into theaters on November 22.

Panel: Lionsgate — Featuring I, Frankenstein and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Saturday at 1:35 p.m., Hall H

Divergent, by Veronica Roth
The heir apparent to The Hunger Games, Veronica Roth’s 2012 novel paints another bleak portrait of our not-so-distant future. Set in a ruined Chicago, the society of Divergent is divided into five factions, each upholding a different virtue: Abnegation (selflessness), Erudite (intelligence), Dauntless (bravery), Amity (peacefulness), and Candor (honesty). Upon their 16th birthday, each citizen must align with one faction, using a battery of tests as guidance. Though protagonist Beatrice “Tris” Prior was raised in Abnegation, she decides to break from her family and join up with the daring Dauntless when her results come back inconclusive. Shailene Woodley and Theo James will star in the big-screen adaptation due March 21, 2014.

Panel: Ender’s Game and Divergent, Thursday at 3:50 p.m., Hall H

Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card
You’d have to be living in a universe far, far away not to have heard the recent raucous surrounding this 1985 sci-fi novel (and its author’s sentiments regarding gay marriage). The film adaptation—starring Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Hailee Steinfeld, and Ben Kingsley—will hit theaters November 1. The novel follows the titular Ender, a brilliant young boy recruited into an advanced military school, where he trains for the next wave of attacks by an alien race, known colloquially as “Buggers.” It’s kinda like Space Invaders… but in novel form.

Panel: Ender’s Game and Divergent, Thursday at 3:50 p.m., Hall H

City of Bones, by Cassandra Clare
Edward Cullen who?! Vampires take a back seat to an ancient race of half-human, half-angel demon destroyers known as Shadowhunters in this urban fantasy. City of Bones is the first installment in the six-book The Mortal Instruments series, which follows Brooklyn teen Clary Fray, who, after the kidnapping of her mother, turns to the Shadowhunters (including snarky-sexy Jace Wayland) for help. She learns along the way that her roots are more entangled with this secret society than they first appeared—and that she may not be as mundane as she once thought. Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower star in the big-screen adaptation due August 21.

Panel: Sony & Screen Gems, Friday at 4:05 p.m., Hall H

Matched, by Ally Condie
The third dystopia on our list (we told you!), Ally Condie’s trilogy takes place in a world where free will is nearly nonexistent. Here, the government makes all important life decisions for you—including who you will marry (hence the title). On her Matching Day, teen Cassia is paired with neighbor Xander, but it’s the mysterious Ky who may steal her heart. A film version is currently in pre-production, with G.I. Joe: Retaliation helmer Jon Chu set to direct.

Panel: When Grrls Fall in Love, Saturday at 11 a.m., Room 23ABC

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs

Let’s just say you’ll never look at vintage photos the same way after finishing Ransom Rigg’s creepy-cool debut novel. A juxtaposition of text and imagery, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children follows 16-year-old Jacob Portman as he travels to a Welsh island to uncover his recently murdered grandfather’s past. A mysterious orphanage seems to be hiding those secrets—and many more. A film adaptation, set for a July 31, 2015 release date, could potentially be directed by Tim Burton. Fittingly.

Panel: What’s Hot in Young Adult Fiction, Sunday at 11 a.m., Room 24ABC

  • Elizabeth

    Blah. I know I should be happy that most of my favorite series are being recognized and being put on film, but I can’t help but feel so discouraged at picking up a title and being asked if I liked the movie. I miss that feeling of accomplishment at picking up a book and knowing that I picked a gem, instead of now trying to keep up.

    Don’t even get me started on movie covers versus original art work.

    Ah! I just feel overwhelmed.