11 Must-Read YA Dystopian Novels

Based in a ss society

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Looking to read about a disturbing dystopia? We’ve got you covered! If you liked The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Maze Runner, and are in the mood for more, this list is for you. We’ve compiled some of our favorite dystopian novels—because sometimes you just want to read about the world falling apart.

The Host by Stephenie Meyer

The Host is a long, somewhat complicated book, but once you understand the premise, it becomes a thought-provoking page-turner. Alien souls have inhabited nearly every human body. Those who are left live in hiding in a secret underground bunker. Alien soul Wanderer takes control of Melanie Stryder’s body, but somewhere deep inside, Melanie still exists. Entirely different from the Twilight series, this lesser known Stephenie Meyer novel is memorable and worth the read.


The New Earth founderThe Dark Intercept by Julia Keller

The New Earth founder’s daughter, Violet Crowley, never questioned the crime prevention device that the State used to keep her safe. Until now. The Intercept, a chip implant that forces criminals to relive their worst memories, presents a scary reality where the government can control emotions. When she spearheads an investigation into her cop crush, Danny, who travels frequently to Old Earth, Violet begins to question everything she has ever known or believed. The plot twists and deep dive into human emotions made this book stand out.


Metaltown takes place in an industrialMetaltown by Kristen Simmons

Metaltown takes place in an industrial city with brutal work conditions. The story follows young factory workers Ty and Colin, as well as Lena, the factory owner’s daughter. Metaltown is a page-turner that includes all of our favorite dystopian qualities: social commentary, rebellion, and—most of all—hope. Plus there’s some romance [heart eyes emoji]!


Nadia Lake is in an arranged marriagesReplica by Jenna Black

Nadia Lake is in an arranged marriage with Nathaniel Hayes, heir to the powerful company that pioneered human replication. Nate shows little interest in Nadia. But then he’s killed. Nadia and Nate (in replicant form) work together to find Nate’s killer, which is no easy feat when Nate has no memory of his death. Replica is a cross-genre novel that seamlessly blends dystopia and mystery — a very engaging read!


Genetically engineered humanoidsPartials by Dan Wells

Genetically engineered humanoids called Partials have wiped out almost all of human civilization using a weaponized virus. The Senate, in order to increase the human population, has created the Hope Act, which forces all women over the age of 18 to be pregnant or try to conceive. So far, no baby has been immune to the virus. Kira Walker, one of the last humans left, has made it her mission to find a cure… by obtaining the immune Partials’ biological information. Vaguely reminiscent of The Handmaid’s Tale, Partials is gripping tale of survival, morality, and humanity itself—it’s a book you don’t want to miss.


Aria lives in a large domeUnder the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Aria lives in a large dome that protects her from the outside wastelands. She has never thought of leaving. But when Aria’s mom goes missing, she ventures into the unknown. Outside, she meets Perry, a “savage.” An unexpected alliance forms. The complex characters pull you into this story of friendship, hope, and survival.


New York City populationEnclave by Ann Aguirre

The New York City population has been decimated, and survivors live in underground enclaves. Similar to Under the Never Sky, Enclave follows a girl (Deuce) who is forced to venture outside. Deuce travels with a boy named Fade, and they discover that something horrible has happened to the enclave next door… but no one will listen. We love how well-developed the characters are and how action-packed the story is!


Uglies become PrettiesUglies by Scott Westerfeld

Uglies become Pretties when they turn 16. They can finally undergo extensive cosmetic surgery that enlarges their eyes, perfects their skin, and changes their bone structure. Pretties are valuable. Uglies are not. But when Tally’s friend Shay chooses to escape the surgery to join a (perhaps) mythical band of outsiders, Tally follows. And now she must choose between betraying her friend and being an Ugly forever. Uglies has it all: romance, identity crises, and danger. Most of all, it made us question our definition of beauty—and just how detrimental the concept of beauty can be.


Patrick is almost eighteenThe Rains by Gregg Hurwitz

Patrick is almost eighteen, which means a parasite will soon turn him into a ferocious zombie-like being. Patrick and his brother, Chance, are fighting against the clock to find a cure, while continuing to fend off the adult attackers who are all too eager to take their lives. Fast-paced and dangerous, The Rains is a thriller that you don’t wanna miss out on.


protective shield of the mountainsThe Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons

we know, we already have a Simmons…but, this cover is one of our faves! It’s the future, and women are enslaved—sold and resold, like property, to men. Aya is in hiding; she has lived her whole life behind the protective shield of the mountains… until they find her. A haunting standalone novel by the author of the Article 5 trilogy and an extraordinary exploration of women’s rights, The Glass Arrow was everything we’ve come to expect from Simmons… and more!


Based in a future societyThe Giver by Lois Lowry

Based in a future society that is void of pain, The Giver follows a boy named Jonas as he receives his adult assignment. Everyone in the society has a role. In the “Ceremony of Twelve,” Jonas receives his: “Receiver.” Unlike others, Jonas must take the heavy responsibility of holding the community’s bad memories—and, in doing so, he realizes the world is much more complex and incredible than he thought, and the society is much worse. On a mission to escape and restore everyone’s memories, Jonas discovers that this society is not a utopia at all. Heart-wrenching and powerful, The Giver is one of our favorite books… of all time.