Dystopias are all the rage, as a way to both exercise creativity and comment on the world around us. What do you think would happen if abortion was outlawed, or guns were taken from the citizens, or the Bill of Rights was repealed? What if the government just got bigger and bigger? What is the unemployment rate continued to rise? What if we told people who they had to love? These are some of the scenarios that dystopian writers deal with in their novels, sixteen of which I have highlighted below. Some of the most beloved classics in American literature are dystopias: 1984, The Handmaid’s Tale, Brave New World, but there are also countless YA dystopias out there, ranging from the famous Hunger Games series to the less well-know Jewel Series.
Some of my favorite binge-reads are on this list, including The Selection series and Bumped and Thumped, and Perfected. Check them out when you’re in the mood for a good dystonia!
What is your favorite dystopian novel or series?
In 1984, London is a grim city in the totalitarian state of Oceania where Big Brother is always watching you and the Thought Police can practically read your mind.
Brave New World is a searching vision of an unequal, technologically-advanced future where humans are genetically bred, socially indoctrinated, and pharmaceutically anesthetized to passively uphold an authoritarian ruling order–all at the cost of our freedom, full humanity, and perhaps also our souls.
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts.The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.
For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape a rigid caste system, live in a palace, and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon. But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare
When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society.
Set in the near future, it describes life in what was once the United States and is now called the Republic of Gilead, a monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans. The regime takes the Book of Genesis absolutely at its word, with bizarre consequences for the women and men in its population.
Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander’s face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.
The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes. There are no more police—instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior—instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested usually don’t come back.Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren’t always this way.
Beatrice must choose between staying with her Abnegation family and transferring factions. Her choice will shock her community and herself. But the newly christened Tris also has a secret, one she’s determined to keep hidden, because in this world, what makes you different makes you dangerous.
The United States of America is no more. Broken into warring territories, its center has become a wasteland DMZ known as “the Tropic of Kansas.” Though this gaping geographic hole has no clear boundaries, everyone knows it’s out there—that once-bountiful part of the heartland, broken by greed and exploitation, where neglect now breeds unrest.
Stan and Charmaine are a married couple trying to stay afloat in the midst of an economic and social collapse. The Positron Project in the town of Consilience seems to be the answer to their prayers. No one is unemployed and everyone gets a comfortable, clean house to live in . . . for six months out of the year. On alternating months, residents of Consilience must leave their homes and function as inmates in the Positron prison system.
In the blink of an eye, everyone disappears. Gone. Except for the young. There are teens, but not one single adult. Just as suddenly, there are no phones, no internet, no television. No way to get help. And no way to figure out what’s happened. Hunger threatens. Bullies rule. A sinister creature lurks. Animals are mutating. And the teens themselves are changing, developing new talents—unimaginable, dangerous, deadly powers—that grow stronger by the day
Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait. In just a few weeks she’ll have the operation that will turn her from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty. And as a pretty, she’ll be catapulted into a high-tech paradise where her only job is to have fun.
As soon as the government passed legislation allowing humans to be genetically engineered and sold as pets, the rich and powerful rushed to own beautiful girls like Ella. Trained from birth to be graceful, demure, and above all, perfect, these “family companions” enter their masters’ homes prepared to live a life of idle luxury.
In an alternate United States, love has been declared a dangerous disease, and the government forces everyone who reaches eighteen to have a procedure called the Cure.
When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone. Outside the towering stone walls that surround them is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive.