Marie Lu's debut young-adult novel is a gripping, gritty, dystopian story of two teenagers, wealthy prodigy June and wanted criminal Day. The author's sharp eye for detail makes the militaristic "Republic" (once the western U.S.) they live in seem all too real, and with fearless command of plot and pace she delivers a smashing opener of a new series. Perfect for readers who have devoured Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games.

April 24: "[The HST] lifted a curtain from our view of the universe, changing it so profoundly that no human can look at the stars in the same way..."

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysley Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.