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Dystopian Best Sellers
This is the end of the world as we know it, but these books will be fine. From tyrannical rules to post-apocalyptic events, read these dystopian YA novels when you want a little reminder that the world we live in right now isn’t so bad.
Elements of Dystopian Novels
Elements of Dystopian Novels:
- intense or extreme social control (with emphasis on the negative effects of the control)
- satires or makes fun of a utopian society
- concerned with politics and culture
- offers a warning of what will happen under certain circumstances
- author examines "poverty, squalor, or oppression"
- elements of control and lack of freedoms
- restricted information
- humanity taken away (dehumanized)
- illustion of a utopia or perfect world
Elements of a Dystopian Hero:
- helps the reader to understand the problems with the society
- discovers secret, restricted, or hidden information which causes them to act
- feels trapped or isolated physically and/or socially
- takes a risk or is a rebel
- insider to their society
Utopia: the perfect society; an imangined place or state of things in which everything is perfect. This genre of literature explores social and political structure.
Dystopia: an imperfect society; an imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one. This genre of literature explores social and political structure.
Apocalypse/Post-Apocalypse: This genre deals with the threat to civilization after a world altering disaster such as nuclear war, pandemic, climate change, etc and how humans overcome the event.
Ectopian: a world that revolves around environmental conservation or destruction.
Elements of a Dystopia
- The People are Restricted from Independent Thought and Free Will: Free will is the power of acting without the constraint or the ability to act on one's own decisions.
- The Government in Control is Often Oppressive: An oppressive government is often overbearing, has constant surveillance on its people, creates curfews, has military control, and suppresses its people.
- The Setting is Often Futuristic or in a Fictional Universe: The setting is often in the future or in a fictional universe after a massive war or catastrophe. This helps to create the background for the appropriation of the supposed utopia on the society.
- Contains Elements of Communism, Conformity, and ‘Equality’: The people are made to be similar and conform to the rules and expectations that the government set forth.
- The Government Portrays Their Society as an Utopia: They use propaganda and subtle manipulation to trick their people into believing things are perfect.
- The Protagonist Wishes to Restore the People to Conventional Life: The main character has a moment of clarity and realizes how poor life is without choices. Therefore, they try to make a change to 'free the people'.
Can't get enough Dystopias? Here are some suggestions!
Publication Date: 2011-09-20
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 he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.
Look for the sequel, CROSSED, and the epic series finale, REACHED!
The Rule of One by
Publication Date: 2018-10-01
In their world, telling the truth has become the most dangerous crime of all. In the near-future United States, a one-child policy is ruthlessly enforced. Everyone follows the Rule of One. But Ava Goodwin, daughter of the head of the Texas Family Planning Division, has a secret--one her mother died to keep and her father has helped to hide for her entire life. She has an identical twin sister, Mira. For eighteen years Ava and Mira have lived as one, trading places day after day, maintaining an interchangeable existence down to the most telling detail. But when their charade is exposed, their worst nightmare begins. Now they must leave behind the father they love and fight for their lives. Branded as traitors, hunted as fugitives, and pushed to discover just how far they'll go in order to stay alive, Ava and Mira rush headlong into a terrifying unknown.
Publication Date: 2014-09-23
How far would you go for revenge if someone killed your father?
If someone destroyed your city?
If everything you ever loved was taken from you?
From the day eight-year-old David Charleston watched Steelheart gun down his father, he has vowed revenge. All Epics are powerful—Steelheart the most invincible of all—but each has a weakness, and David thinks he has found Steelheart’s: he has seen him bleed. Now 10 years later, with this experience and years of studying each Epic’s patterns and weaknesses, David worms his way into the Reckoners, a courageous but shadowy group of rebels bent on maintaining justice. The group is determined to take down Epics in an attempt to return the Fractured States to some semblance of normalcy.
David Charleston will go to any lengths to stop Steelheart. But to exact revenge in Steelheart’s world, David will need the Reckoners—And it turns out that the Reckoners might just need David too.
The Time Machine by
Publication Date: 2014-12-01
The Time Machine is a science fiction novel by H. G. Wells, published in 1895. Wells is generally credited with the popularisation of the concept of time travel by using a vehicle that allows an operator to travel purposefully and selectively. The term "time machine", coined by Wells, is now universally used to refer to such a vehicle. This work is an early example of the Dying Earth subgenre. The portion of the novel that sees the Time Traveller in a distant future where the sun is huge and red also places The Time Machine within the realm of Eschatology; that is the study of the end times, the end of the world, and the ultimate destiny of mankind.
The Limit by
Publication Date: 2010-09-07
An eighth grade girl was taken today . . . With this first sentence, readers are immediately thrust into a fast-paced thriller that doesn't let up for a moment.
Thirteen-year-old Matt lives in an America where a family's debt is the business of the government: Those who go over the limit are subject to harsh consequences, including having their children taken away to workhouses. Matt isn't worried. His parents never seem to worry about their finances. But one day, he is taken away. At first, the workhouse seems like a posh boarding school. Matt's aptitude testing reveals his above-average intelligence, and he is sent to the Top Floor, where smart kids do challenging work that companies pay top-dollar for, and have luxurious accommodations. But things aren't as benign as they seem. When Matt learns his sister, Lauren, is in the workhouse and is suffering from seizures, he knows it’s time to let the outside world know what is happening. When Matt gets suspicious and starts using his hacking abilities to dig a little deeper into the workhouse's records, he realizes that he has to do something to save his fellow inmates from exploitation.
Publication Date: 2012-02-07
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. Living with her aunt, uncle, and cousins in Portland, Maine, Lena Haloway is very much looking forward to being cured and living a safe, predictable life. She watched love destroy her mother and isn't about to make the same mistakes.
But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena meets enigmatic Alex, a boy from the Wilds who lives under the government's radar. What will happen if they do the unthinkable and fall in love?
Publication Date: 2013-04-16
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.
Publication Date: 2016-11-22
In the year 2042, humans conquered death. Now, in the postmortal society of MidMerica, people can live for millennia, either reanimated from fatal accidents or “turning the corner” when they get old by resetting themselves to a younger age. But Earth remains the only habitable planet and so exist the Scythes, tasked with keeping the population in check: those who a Scythe gleans stay dead. Two teens must learn the "art of killing."
A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery: humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now Scythes are the only ones who can end life and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.
Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the "art" of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.
Citra and Rowan learn that a perfect world comes only with a heavy price.
Book 2 -- Thunderhead
The Girl Who Owned a City by
Publication Date: 2012-01-09
A deadly plague has devastated Earth, killing all the adults. Lisa and her younger brother Todd are struggling to stay alive in a world where no one is safe. Other children along Grand Avenue need help as well. They band together to find food, shelter, and protection from dangerous gangs invading their neighborhood.
When Tom Logan and his army start making threats, Lisa comes up with a plan and leads her group to a safer place. But how far is she willing to go to protect what's hers?
The List by
Publication Date: 2017-08-01
You are The Wordsmith now. Are you ready for the challenge?
The city of Ark is the last safe place on Earth. To make sure humans are able to survive, everyone in Ark must speak List, a language of only 500 words.
Everyone that is, except Letta.
As apprentice to the Wordsmith, Letta can read all the words that have ever existed. Forbidden words like freedom, music, and even pineapple tell her about a world she's never known.
One day her master disappears and the leaders of Ark tell Letta she is the new Wordsmith and must shorten List to fewer and fewer words. Then Letta meets a teenage boy who somehow knows all the words that have been banned. Letta's faced with a dangerous choice: sit idly by and watch language slowly slip away or follow a stranger on a path to freedom...or banishment.
Publication Date: 2007-12-04
Consumption of alcohol: Illegal.
Football and other "violent" sports: Illegal.
Ownership of guns, chain saws, and/or large dogs: Illegal.
Body piercings, tattoos: Illegal.
It's late in the twenty-first century, and the United Safer States of America (USSA) has become a nation obsessed with safety. For Bo Marsten, a teenager who grew up in the USSA, it's all good. He knows the harsh laws were created to protect the people. Bo Marsten is in trouble with the law: He's insulted a classmate, neglected to take his anti-anger medication and gone running without kneepad liners (required to prevent chafing). In 2076, in the United Safer States of America, it's illegal to do anything dangerous. Provoked by the smarmy rival for a girl's affections, Bo commits crime after crime, culminating in an ineffectual and feeble fistfight. For such an outrageous offense, he's exiled to juvenile prison. In a McDonald's prison colony surrounded by man-eating polar bears, Bo assembles pizzas, while a surreal artificial intelligence named Bork tries to spring Bo from jail. But Bo's prison experience has a different twist. The sadistic warden has a fetish for the illegal game of football, and the most athletic criminals get perks in return for playing the violent sport. If Bo manages to survive the bone-crushing football games, the homicidal warden and the hungry polar bears, he might just learn something.
The Last Book in the Universe by
Publication Date: 2000-11-01
Takes place in a dangerous future, in the ruins of a once great city now known simply as 'The Urb.' The young hero embarks on a quest in the company of a mysterious stranger known as Ryter, crossing war-torn 'latches' dominated by wild mobs and demented gang bosses.
Publication Date: 2011-05-03
Tally Youngblood lives in a futuristic society that acculturates its citizens to believe that they are ugly until age 16 when they'll undergo an operation that will change them into pleasure-seeking "pretties." Anticipating this happy transformation, Tally meets Shay, another female ugly, who shares her enjoyment of hoverboarding and risky pranks. But Shay also disdains the false values and programmed conformity of the society and urges Tally to defect with her to the Smoke, a distant settlement of simple-living conscientious objectors. Tally declines, yet when Shay is found missing by the authorities, Tally is coerced by the cruel Dr. Cable to find her and her compatriots–or remain forever "ugly." Tally's adventuresome spirit helps her locate Shay and the Smoke. It also attracts the eye of David, the aptly named youthful rebel leader to whose attentions Tally warms. However, she knows she is living a lie, for she is a spy who wears an eye-activated locator pendant that threatens to blow the rebels' cover. Ethical concerns will provide a good source of discussion as honesty, justice, and free will are all oppressed in this well-conceived dystopia. Characterization, which flirts so openly with the importance of teen self-concept, is strong, and although lengthy, the novel is highly readable with a convincing plot that incorporates futuristic technologies and a disturbing commentary on our current public policies.
Trilogy #2 Pretties #3 Specials
The One Safe Place by
Publication Date: 2015-05-12
"What is this place?"
In a drought-stricken world, Devin and his grandfather have barely scraped out a living on their isolated farm. When his grandfather dies, Devin knows he can’t manage alone and heads for the nearest city to find help. But in the city he finds only children alone like him, living on the streets. Then a small act of kindness earns Devin an invitation to the Gabriel H. Penn Home for Childhood—a place with unlimited food and toys and the hope of finding a new home.
But Devin soon finds out that the Gabriel Penn Home is no paradise. A zombie-like sickness afflicts many of the children who live there. every few weeks, they receive a shot and disappear into a dream for two days. Something is rotten, and they need to figure it out before their brains become spoiled. It will claim Devin, too, unless he can become the first to find a way out of this dystopian nightmare.
Red Queen by
Publication Date: 2015-02-10
In a world divided by blood--those with common, Red blood serve the Silver-blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities--seventeen-year-old Mare, a Red, discovers she has an ability of her own. To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. But Mare risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard--a growing Red rebellion--even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal.
- Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text
- Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision
- Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with relevant evidence, sound valid reasoning, and well-chosen details; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.