Top Young Adult Dystopian Novels

If you read the news, then you probably know that everyone is fretting about the impending destruction of the earth. There’s the recent Brexit vote, Donald Trump’s win, the never-ending war in Syria, Terrorism. If you’re a Doom Thinker, then you probably like dystopian novels. I’ve read my fair share of Young Adult end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it books, so here’s my round-up of my favorites, and a few selections that I hope to fit into my reading schedule in the near future.

  1. Invitation to the Game by Monica Hughes

I’m sure I’ve written before about my love for Monica Hughes. In my teen years, I read everything by her that I could get my hands on, but Inivtation to the Game remained my favorite book. It’s about a group of teens invited to play a virtual reality game to escape their horrible lives in a world where there are no jobs, and no money. Only the game isn’t everything it seems. It’s a quick, easy read, but well worth it.

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2. The Hunger Games (series) by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games is near the top of almost every book list I make. I love this series, book or movies. If you haven’t heard of The Hunger Games, then you must have spent the past five years living in the middle of the ocean with no connection to the modern world. If you’ve heard about the books but haven’t read them yet, then pick them up. Suzanne Collins has beautiful writing that you don’t want to miss out on.

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3. The Selection (series) by Kiera Cass

This pick might be highly controversial to some, as The Selection series is primarily romance versus dystopian. I was surprised by how much I liked this series, and in truth, I enjoyed it more for the romance aspects than the dystopian ones, but I still think The Selection series is a great read.

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4. The Maze Runner (series) by James Dashner

The world as we know it has been destroyed by disease and teens have been stuck in some kind of weird maze. Yeah. You’ve probably heard of this series or watched the movies. The Maze Runner is a great action book, and makes me think a lot about scientific experimentation, the truth about disease, and what’s really real.

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5. Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

I read this amazing piece of Young Adult fiction and award winner a few years ago, and have yet to post a back dated review for it. But I really enjoyed the story, and when I finished it, I went looking for a second book, which at the time there wasn’t one. There is now, and Drowned Cities is another book on my Want to Read List. Ship Breaker follows Nailer, a young boy who has to scavange for valuable parts on old ships to get by in a world ruined by the melting of the polar ice caps.

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6. Undertow by Michael Buckley

This book is a bit different than the rest on the list, because the dystopian-ness is caused by the rise of sea creatures from the ocean floor (not a virus, corruption, or a collapse in government). But I have a weakness for all things ocean, and I loved the main character, Lyric, and the grimy, gritty feel of this story.

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7. Divergent (series) by Veronica Roth

I know that a lot of lists ove this book at the top, and while I liked, I didn’t find the world as convincing as some of those above, but I still loved the series. The movies are pretty good too, even if they are up in the air regarding whether or not the last movie will go to television or theaters, and whether Shailene Woodley will actually be in the show (you can read more about this here).

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8. Wither (The Chemical Garden Series) by Lauren DeStefano

This series, like The Selection, is more romance driven than dystopian focused. However, the characters were strong and the mystery keep one reading. If you haven’t read this series yet, and you’ve read everything else on my list, you might as well try this one.

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9. Pretties (series) by Scott Westerfeld

If there’s one thing I was obsessed with in this book, it was the hover-boards. I still want one to this day. This dystopian series primarily deals with a world obsessed with looks and social media. If you feel this kind of pressure, then you’ll probably relate to the main character, who realizes that maybe a perfect looking world, isn’t so perfect underneath.

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The following are books I haven’t read yet, but that are on my Want To Read list. Legend has been sitting on my ereader for four years. There just isn’t enough time in the world for books!

10. The 5th Wave (series)

Aliens and the end of the world. Yes Please!

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11. Legend by Marie Lu

I’ve heard such good things about this book, and like I mentioned above, it’s been waiting to be read for four years! That’s probably the longest of any book on my To Be Read shelf. Poor book! Hopefully I’ll find time for you soon!

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12. Cinder by Marissa Meyer

I love Cinderella. I fear for a sad, dystopian future. I’m sure I’ll love this series when I get around to reading it.

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Have you read any of these books? What would you add to this list?

JEH

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