Top Ten All Time Favorite Books in the Dystopian Genre
Here's a little preface. In spring of 2004, I was in the eighth grade at West Ridge Middle School; my teacher assigned us our last novel of the year, The Giver. We were supposed to take it home and read the first 3 chapters then discuss them the following day. I took the book home and finished it. I was enthralled by he book. How could society be bad? I knew people were bad, but the government and social ques were around to help control that. This book brought me into a world of YA literature and into a world of dystopians.
Flash forward to 2008... I'm at church and someone asks me what I enjoy read. "Post apocalyptic dytopian novel! I really like the ones set in the near future." The response he gave me was that of confusion. He had no idea what I was talking about. (This was during what I call "The Twilight Times", readers hadn't quite made it to The Hunger Games yet.
Okay, flash forward one more time to the present. Now when I say "I enjoy reading post apocalyptic dytopian novel! I really like the ones set in the near future." The response is "Oh, me too." or "My daughter loves those." or "Well, have you read..." It's such a refresh thing to hear that the genre that I've loved for over a decade is finally getting some attention.
With that all said, here's my TTT...
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1. The Giver by Lois Lowry
This is not only my favorite book of the genre, it's my favorite book of all the genres. I re-read it about once a year or two. I have 2 person copies of it. When I first read it Lois Lowry I was so intrigued I wanted more, but I saw in an interview that she swore she would never write a sequel. If you are familiar with the book you may know that it's now apart of a quartet, but there isn't a true sequel. If you read The Giver and enjoyed it, I highly suggest you read the others: Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.
2. The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
I absolutely loved The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, they have adventure, rebellion, and a love triangle, but I'm not so much a fan of Mockingjay. THG is such a good series, it has a strong girl who loves her family and would do anything in the world for them. Living in the hellish world of Panem, Katniss had to grow up very quickly. She wants her sister, Prim, to have a better live then she, and Katniss does everything in her power to make that happen. One of the things I like most about Katniss is even though she is strong and independent, she still can have a love interest. So many times girls are taught "you can be loved OR strong". Katniss teaches us that you can be both.
Other reason I like THG is because it opened up this genre to the world. I am now able to find loads of YA Dystopian novels and I know other people who like them too. Finally, the genre I've love for a decade has other followers.
3. Unwind by Neal Shusterman
I thought book was very, very good. And unlike other genres, a good dystopian needs to be hard to read. What I mean by hard is, the book should show you truths about society that are hard to bare. Unwind certainly does that, it shows us how the government can fall down a slippery slope. One chapter in this book is the most intense chapter I've ever read in my entire life. I have previously review this book, so if you are interested here's the hyperlink.
4.House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
I read House of the Scorpion about 9 years ago. Wanted to discuss it, so badly I made my mom read it, too. This book made me look inside my self and think "What makes me human? Is it DNA, the presence of a soul, or a conscience?" The sequel of this book was just released last year. I plan on rereading this one, so that I can read the sequel, The Lord of Opium. So, in the coming months be on the look out for a book review on House of the Scorpion. Since it's been a while and I can't give an accurate summary here's the summary from Goodreads.com
Matteo Alacran was not born; he was harvested with the DNA from El Patron, lord of a country called Opium. Can a boy who was bred to guarantee another’s survival find his own purpose in life? And can he ever be free?
5. The Limit by Kristen Landon
The Limit is a very good middle-grade dystopian. It showed me how with a few small changes a dystopian government could become a reality, not a work of fiction. Here's the hyperlink to my previous review:
6. The Shade of the Moon by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Many dystopian books take place many years after a terrible and ominous disaster; the cool thing about this book is the first and second books are about the disaster. You are able to see each part of the story from how the world changes from the world we know to the unforgiving world that Matt must live in. Also, here's my review for it...
The most cliche' of all the dystopian novels. BUT IT'S REALLY GOOD. I didn't read it in high school, like many people, but when I finally did, I thought it was a good book. It makes you realize how easily a totalitarian government can become the norm.
8. Anthem by Ayn Rand
Yet another, that many people read/will read in high school. I'm just going to give you my link to my review. It's different than my other reviews, because I read this book twice--once in 2007, and again in 2013.
9. Uglies Series by Scott Westerfield
This series is odd. The society in the books that is very different than our society. At 16 everyone undergoes surgery to be beautiful. Each age group is sectioned away from the others, and I was never quit sure why. The first two books are excellent, but it spirals down after that.
10. Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
Okay, we are going to keep this simple...