Paolo Bacigalupi. This book is a National Book Award finalist and I can now see why. Also, one of our former students came for a visit and highly recommended it.
Honestly, I think the market is pretty saturated with these dystopian reads - Matched, Water Wars, The Uglies series, Hunger Games (which is now a movie) - so I was a skeptic about how good this book would be but it was engaging. I wasn't sure what exactly ship breaking is but lead me to another link - The Ship Breakers of Bangladesh. Nailer, is a teen ship breaker, and the world is pretty much destitute for everyone except for the very rich - the people who own the oil companies, food companies, etc. Regular people are strung out or just surviving. The only way out of the gangs of ship breakers is to get a lucky break, and then hope that no one else kills you to take it from you. Nailer needs to get out, his father is abusive, he's almost at an age where he needs to join the older or "heavy" crew, how is he going to get out of this life?
Another thing about this book that I loved was that it was obviously a multicultural group of characters. Sometimes, when you read these books, it's obvious that they are not colored people. In Ship Breaker, you have Latinos, Caribbeans, Indian (Asia), and of course, the hybrid people. I wonder, if that was why they didn't put a portrait on the cover. That is the trend now, all these portraits on the cover of YA books. I guess, it's what the kids like...
Anyway, you should definitely check this out at your library or pick it up or download it.
Next on my reading table: Invasion (A C.H.A.O.S. Novel) by J.S. Lewis. So far it reminds me of Ender's Game and the movie, MIB and maybe a bit of Alex Rider and Star Wars. All of which I like so I'm pretty into this book.