19 Dystopian Novels for Teens

Books on the table with library background .

 

I am a total binge reader. I will go months without reading anything, and then read 10 books in a row.  Because I teach 6th grade language arts I am especially tuned into the novels that will appeal to my students, which means I read A LOT of young adult fiction. My favorite genre by far is the dystopian novel.  So I rounded up some of my personal favorites to share with you. So whether you have a tween, teen or are a fan of dystopian novels yourself, here is a list to get you started on the right track!! PS All the covers and titles are linked directly to Amazon and if  you buy them through those links I’ll get a couple of pennies at no cost to you!  Thanks!

 

Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths – until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.

 

She’s Got the Whole World in Her Hands
Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes

The Kevinian cult has taken everything from seventeen-year-old Minnow: twelve years of her life, her family, her ability to trust. And when she rebelled, they took away her hands, too.

Now their Prophet has been murdered and their camp set aflame, and it’s clear that Minnow knows something–but she’s not talking. As she languishes in juvenile detention, she struggles to un-learn everything she has been taught to believe, adjusting to a life behind bars and recounting the events that led up to her incarceration. But when an FBI detective approaches her about making a deal, Minnow sees she can have the freedom she always dreamed of–if she’s willing to part with the terrible secrets of her past.

 

The Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry

The Giver: Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives. — Gathering blue: Lame and suddenly orphaned, Kira is mysteriously removed from her squalid village to live in the palatial Council Edifice, where she is expected to use her gifts as a weaver to do the bidding of the all-powerful Guardians. — Messenger: In this novel that unites characters from “The Giver” and “Gathering Blue,” Matty, a young member of a utopian community that values honesty, conceals an emerging healing power that he cannot explain or understand. — Son: Unlike the other Birthmothers in her utopian community, teenaged Claire forms an attachment to her baby, feeling a great loss when he is taken to the Nurturing Center to be adopted by a family unit.

 

Book of Ember series by Jeanne DuPrau

The series begins with the groundbreaking dystopian novel The City of Ember, the story of a girl, a boy, and their beleaguered city. Through the sequel, The People of Sparks, the prequel, The Prophet of Yonwood, and the satisfying conclusion, The Diamond of Darkhold, author Jeanne DuPrau offers a vision of hope that, while sometimes flickering against the darkness, ultimately shines through, like the bright dawning of a new world.

 

The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood

In the world of the near future, who will control women’s bodies?

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are only valued if their ovaries are viable.

Offred can remember the days before, when she lived and made love with her husband Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now….

 

Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth

One choice can transform you. Beatrice Prior’s society is divided into five factions—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). 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.

 

Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins

Set in a dark vision of the near future, a terrifying reality TV show is taking place. Twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in a live event called The Hunger Games. There is only one rule: kill or be killed. When sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen steps forward to take her younger sister’s place in the games, she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.

 

What books would you add to this list? Are there any you think I should read?
Let me know in the comments!

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