Top 10 Dystopians, from a teen point of view
Today, the TLT Teen Review, Cuyler Creech, tells you his top 10 favorite dystopian series. There are definitely no shortage of them. Did your favorite make the cut?
Think your world is unbearable? Unthinkable? Maybe even unlivable? Well I think these heroes and heroines may beg to differ with you on that. Welcome to the world of dystopias. Think of the worst thing possible that could happen to you, and multiply that by 10. Now you have what our brave young men and women face in some of our favorite young adult novels. Government thinking it’s time to up its “dictatorship” levels? Zombies roaming outside your village? You the only one left in a mass genocide? Bomb explosion? Deadly virus? Most of us don’t know what it’s like to live in a world that’s the complete opposite of a perfect utopian society. To “educate” us on the matter of such, I have compiled a list of what I think are the 10 best dystopian novels/series the world today has to offer.
Katniss Everdeen lives in a world separated by thirteen districts of a country known as Panem. All districts are ruled over by the Capitol. With the thirteenth of the districts gone, each of the twelve remaining districts must offer up one boy and one girl to fight to the death in a televised annual event known as the Hunger Games. When Katniss’ sister is chosen on reaping day, Katniss boldly volunteers to take her place in the deadly games. This is my absolute FAVORITE novel series of all time. Action. A touch of romance, but not too much so that the guys get bored with it, and totally bad-to-the-bone teenage girl with the ferocity to protect her family at all and any costs, this book achieves above and beyond. I recommend this book to anyone and everyone. If you haven’t already, go grab the series and don’t put it down until you finish. And look out for the highly anticipated movie adaptation March 23, 2012! The world will be watching…Happy Hunger Games!
2. Rot & Ruin Series by Jonathan Maberry
This book has made it to two of my top 10 lists so far, and it was a just a typo. It definitely deserves to be among these fantastic books. In a world ravaged by flesh-eating zombies and terrifying zombie killers, Benny Imura and his friends must draw close together and fight for what’s right if they want themselves, and their loved ones, to survive. This book has it all. Zombies. Suspense. One of those paper worlds you love so much but thank God it’s not your own. Still an ongoing series, Rot & Ruin is a highly recommended read.
3. Blood Red Road by Moira Young
Saba has spent her entire life in the dried-up desert wasteland of Silverlake. Constant sandstorms ravage the town without any hope for rain. The only thing left to do in Silverlake is scavenge the ancient Wrecker pieces from local landfills with her beloved twin brother Lugh. But when a sandstorm brings more than just sand, Saba’s world takes a turn for the worst. Strange horsemen arrive with a large sandstorm, kidnapping her brother. Determined, Saba will stop at nothing until she tracks them down and saves Lugh from the clutches of an evil king. This book is also highly recommended. With all the action, suspense, drama, emotion, and unpredictability anyone could ever want, you certainly don’t want to miss a book like this.
4. Enclave by Ann Aguirre
Deuce’s life revolves around the enclave. It is protection. Meaning. To prove their place in the enclave, each member must train in the arts of three survival-efficient categories: Hunting, Breeding, and Building. Each must find their place in one group. Deuce has wanted to be a Huntress as long as she can remember, and she’s trained hard. She longs to venture outside the safety of the enclave and bring back meat for her family and friends. To help the enclave survive. When a mysterious boy enters her life, Fade, a Hunter, her perceptions of what the elders say is right becomes cloudy. Survival is a must for all. Will she heed the council and wisdom of the elders…or is she willing to listen to her instincts? Great book.
5. Legend by Marie Lu
This book is an amazing read. Future America is now home to the Republic, an nation now at war with its neighbors. One girl and one boy, two people from opposite worlds, cross paths in an unexpected thrill ride. June, a militaristic prodigy born into a wealthy, elite family, and Day, a fifteen year old on the Republic’s most wanted list meet on not so good of circumstances. Day is the prime suspect in the murder of June’s brother. Tension, love, and suspense build with a fiery force as these two teens search for the truth, and possibly the lengths their country will go to keep it’s own secrets from it’s inhabitants.
6. Divergent Series by Veronica Roth
Another story of choice determines entire future, Veronica Roth spins a tale of a strong heroine, romance, a flawed society, and loads of action. In future Chicago, all children who come of age must choose to become one of five predetermined factions. Factions determined by personality. They must choose and remain with that faction forever, completely turning their backs on everyone who is not part of their new faction, including their families. When 16-year old Beatrice Prior is assessed before her choosing ceremony, she is found to be a Divergent. One who displays traits of two or more factions equally. And it’s not a good thing. She must choose to belong in a place where she does not fit in, or serious consequences will take place. A good read climbing up on the popularity meter.
7. Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari
This is our world now, with all the natural disasters and plagues, times ten. What happens when 99% of the human population is lost to freak floods and epidemics plague the earth, and your among the miniscule few who’ve survived? Well such is the case of 16-year old Lucy. She lives alone in the shadowed wilderness of Central Park while the Sweepers clean away the plague victims outside. But soon the Sweepers take notice of Lucy. She is special. And they will stop at nothing to have her in their clutches.
8. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Aria has been exiled from her home. Sentenced to certain death outside the enclosed city of Reverie. She walks the horrifying land of The Death Shop, where cannibals and mighty electric storms can spell imminent death for any who’ve been exiled. When the young exile meets a strange young man named Perry, she realizes that he’s her only chance if she’s going to make it out in The Death Shop. A hunter for his tribe, Perry also needs her help as well. And her’s alone. The two will determine the very fate of all who reside under the Never Sky. A fast-paced tale of action and suspense. A very recommended read.
9. The Maze Runner Series by James Dashner
Thomas awakes on an elevator in a strange places known as the Glade with remembering only his name. Nothing before. The Glade is a huge expanse surrounded by walls of stone, and is the home to many children around Thomas’ age. All boys. But something’s strange about the walls surrounding them. They move. Every morning the walls open, revealing a vast maze. No one knows why, or what’s at the end. They only know of the dangers that await them if they don’t make it back inside the Glade before they close. When a girl is delivered on the elevator, everyone knows things are going to change. The note that rests on her chest says so. This is a very fast-paced novel, and I enjoyed it and it’s sequels very much. An interesting read.
10. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Is love truly the root of all evil? The government ruled society in Lena’s world seems to think so. When Deliria, AKA “love”, seems to be the root of every problem, a cure is developed and a precautious system is set. At 18, everyone’s mate and career will be chosen for them, and they will be cured of Deliria. No problem right? Well, love gets in the way again. 95 days before she is to be “cured”, Lena falls in forbidden love with Alex, a mysterious young man who makes her feel things forbidden to all. Is love the real enemy? Lena will make her choice in this romantic dystopian novel.
Which one is your favorite? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think. As for me, I think we all know that Delirium is at the top of my list, but I think Cuyler has come up with a great list. I hope you all enjoy it.
Filed under: Uncategorized
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
SLJ Blog Network