7 of 10
Into the Forest
241 pages; Dial Press
The end of the world doesn't always have to take place in a charred landscape like in The Road or a reality-TV stadium like in The Hunger Games. In Into the Forest, sisters Nell (Ellen Page) and Eva (Evan Rachel Wood) are forced to survive in the dense Northern California wilderness after a catastrophe has zapped the electrical grid and everyone turns dangerously feral when resources get scarce. Director Patricia Rozema says the film adaptation, out July 22, skips to the second half of Jean Hegland's 1998 novel, when the stakes get very high. So, head to the original book for a bracing backstory about the sisters' first struggles to survive off the grid, highlighted by Ellen's poignant narration: "When I think of how we used to live, the casual way we used things, I'm both appalled and filled with longing."
— Mark Athitakis