I picked up The Roar by Emma Clayton at the Scholastic Book Fairs warehouse sale because I thought the cover looked both familiar and interesting. I thought, after reading the back, that it would be similar to the Hunger Games, except that the children involved were competing for prizes, not their lives and food for their districts. In that respect, the two stories are similar, however, the intensity of the Hunger Games is not replicated in The Roar.
The basic premise of the story is that Mika, one of the protagonists, is searching for his lost twin. Everyone, his parents included, think she is dead but Mika is holding out hope. His therapist-of-sorts tells him he must compete in an arcade tournament and that will help him find his sister. So he does. And eventually he finds her. I’m not going to give too much more of the plot away than that.
What I will say is this book is like Matilda by Roald Dahl meets the X-Men (some of the characters are mutants) meets The Last Star Fighter (check out this link to Wikipedia after you read the book. There are plenty of parallels.)
To my students: If you’re a fan of dystopian fiction (click here for an explanation) and/or science fiction this might be a good read for you.