Lately, I've been on such a roll, reading great book after great book, several of them ground-breaking coming of age dystopian stories, such as Suzanne Collins The Hunger Games and Beth Revis's terrific Across the Universe.
Here's another genius premise, from MFA graduate Lauren Oliver. In Delirium -- wait. I'm not going to gas on about how great this book is. I'm going to do to you what Oliver did to me by bonking you over the head with this killer first para:
It has been sixty-four years since the president and the Consortium identified love as a disease, and forty-three since the scientists perfected a cure. Everyone else in my family has had the procedure already. My older sister, Rachel, has been disease-free for nine years now. She's been safe from love for so long, she says she can't even remember its symptoms. I'm scheduled to have my procedure in exactly ninety-five days, on September 3rd. My birthday.
From this auspicious opening, Oliver introduces the reader to a creepily-controlled world where security is the only thing that matters, "unsafe" books, music, and speech are banned, and the mere admission that your favorite color is something "suspicious," like the gray of the sky in the moments just before dawn are enough to foul up your entire future. Throw in a Romeo and Juliet-worthy romance that changes everything, and you've got the basis for this finely-crafted page-turner.
Fabulous read. Be sure to check it out. Especially, if you're one of those folks who still occasionally shivers at the unsettling corollaries to Orwell's 1984 in everyday life.