A concept in fiction that seems popular - maybe more so lately - is that of "dystopian" situations. A "utopia" was first envisioned back in the early 1500s as an ideal society where order prevails and there are no conflicts or inequalities, so a dystopia is the anti-utopia - and it seems to work well in literature as a way to point out flaws in ourselves and society. Books like George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty Four or Aldous Huxley's Brave New World are good examples. Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 is one of my favorites, and recently The Hunger Games was a very popular dystopian series.
This is the kind of series that sucks you right in. I found myself reading every available moment, staying up late at night, taking long lunch breaks, and unable to put it down until the end. Right from the beginning the story was tense and gripping with likeable characters you find yourself cheering for. But the FAYZ is a pretty scary place, and in my opinion these books are definitely for the teenagers (and older teenagers like me). In book 2, Hunger, the kids are paying the price for the free-for-all they enjoyed three months earlier. Food is running out and kids are becoming desperate. More kids are starting to develop strange powers - and the animals, too - but there's tension between the "normals" and the "freaks." There’s also the problem of the "Darkness" underground, who wants to be fed, too.
Unfortunately it seems to be about a year between each new book coming out (book 4, Plague, just came out this Spring) which feels like an eternity with an exciting series like this. I just got caught up with Lies and Plague, and I think there will be at least 2 more in the series. It's also a little frustrating as these likeable kids (well, some are likeable - some are downright despicable) seem to continually go from the frying pan into the fire. In book 2 there was some bad language, and in book 4 sexual tensions cause some issues (although that's a realistic issue for teenagers, especially in a situation where the grownups are all gone). But overall, Mr. Grant seems to handle the situations in an appropriate way - all the while keeping the excitement level at a fever pitch. I got book 1 from Amazon Vine, but I've bought all the rest - and I might just wait until the rest of the books are out before I finish the series. It's a little too much fever pitch for me, sometimes.