5 Must-Reads for Dystopia Fans

Since the hugely successful first Hunger Games movie adaptation hit the screens, the dystopian genre has grown more and more popular. It is my all-time favorite novel genre, and I think I’ve been actually been chain-reading dystopian novels for months now. Lucky for me, my best friend also loves this kind of books and is always recommending new book series to me which I end up loving. So thank you! These five dystopian novel recommendations are actually mostly if not entirely inspired by her.

What is a Dystopian Novel?

So first off, what is a dystopian novel? Well, dystopia is the opposite of utopia. It is a society or community in which a central element or premise is inherently wrong, evil or even scary. In The Hunger Games, this is the Capitol’s abuse of the twelve districts. Dystopian novels are more often than not set in the future, after our modern society has been hit by some giant war or other catastrophe (in The Hunger Games’ case, the uprising). There are no fantastical or magic elements, but the technology is often very advanced.

My Top 5 Dystopian Novel Recommendations

Now most of the dystopian novels I read are intended for girls, and feature a young female hero. I’m sure there are dystopias for men but I haven’t read them! So here goes, my top 5 recommendations for young adult dystopian novels!

1. “Birthright” Trilogy – Gabrielle Zevin

Gabrielle Zevin Birthright Trilogy

Synopsis: In 2083, chocolate and coffee are illegal and New York City is rife with crime and poverty. And yet, for Anya Balanchine, the sixteen-year-old daughter of the city’s most notorious (and dead) crime boss, life is fairly routine. It consists of going to school, taking care of her siblings, trying to avoid falling in love with the new D.A.’s son, and avoiding her loser ex-boyfriend. That is until her ex is accidently poisoned by the chocolate her family manufactures and the police think she’s to blame. Suddenly, Anya finds herself thrust unwillingly into the spotlight–at school, in the news, and most importantly, within her mafia family (Source: Goodreads).

3 things I love about it: Its unique mix of the crime and dystopia genres, Anya’s affection for her brother and sister, and the fact that chocolate is a central theme.

All three books are out.

2. “Shatter Me” Trilogy by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter me Tahereh Mafi Trilogy

Synopsis: Read my full synopsis and review here!

3 things I love about it: The fact that there are three full-fledged novels and two novellas with different characters’ point of view, Tahereh’s writing style and… Warner (read it!).

All three books and two novellas are out.

3. “Reboot” and “Rebel” by Amy Tintera

reboot rebel amy tintera

Synopsis: Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, and less emotional. Now seventeen years old, she serves as a soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation). Wren’s favorite part of the job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie Callum is the worst she’s ever seen, yet there’s something about him she can’t ignore. When Callum refuses to follow an order, Wren is given one last chance to get him in line—or she’ll have to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before and knows if she does, she’ll be eliminated, too. But she has also never felt as alive as she does around Callum. The perfect soldier is done taking orders (Source: Goodreads).

3 things I love about it: Its unique spin on the popular zombie plot, Wren’s bizarre but heartwarming relationship with her roommate Ever and the many, many, many action scenes (unlike Divergent, this isn’t a soapy romance dystopia!).

Both books are out.

4. “Chaos Walking” Trilogy by Patrick Ness

chaos walking patrick ness trilogy

Ah, this one doesn’t (only) feature a young female hero!

Synopsis: Prentisstown isn’t like other towns on the New World. Everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee — whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not — stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden — a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives (Source: Goodreads).

3 things I love about it: The “Noise element” – hearing people’s and even animal’s thoughts added depth and intrigue to the story, Todd’s heart-melting relationship with his dog and the non-stop action from beginning to end.

All three books are out.

5. “The Darkest Minds” Trilogy by Alexandra Bracken

The Darkest Minds Alexandra Bracken Trilogy

Synopsis: When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed, something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control. After escaping Thurmond, she’s on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents (Source: Goodreads).

3 things I love about it: Ruby’s friendship group – four amazing characters, the pretty believable and well thought-out dystopian world and amazingly heart-wrenching and unpredictable plot twists.

The third book is coming out in October 2014.