Dystopia Book List

GBK is working up a Dystopia database (because we love them!). This is a work in-progress and all of the books don't have descriptions... yet.

Because we want to have them all of the titles on the same page, we've not added many covers because that increases load time. With Amazon's 'preview' software, however, you can get a look at the cover and the star-rating which should help picking your next good read.

Series are listed using the title of the first book. Thus the "Night Creatures" series is listed under B's for Burn Bright.

We've use a shorthand for certain genres of dystopic books. Here's some definitions that help to keep descriptions short.

  • Scifi based - Books with a scifi backdrop. (Think spaceships, parallel dimensions....) "Across the Universe" is an example, and this is the category were the most debate is likely to occur about whether a book/series is truly a dystopia.
  • Zombie themed - It might sound like we're dissing these books, but that's not the case. Instead it's merely meant to imply that there's a device, an event, or a virus that makes part of the human population zombie-like. "Forest of Hands and Teeth" is an example.
  • Red book titles mean that the book is either a stand-alone, or that only one book has been published in the series. Blue book titles are for series where more than one book has been published.
  • Descriptions in italics are not ours but publisher blurbs.


bookcover1984 by George Orwell
A classic. Orwell writes about Winston Smith, a low level bureaucrat who runs afoul of the THOUGHTPOLICE when he tries to find out the truth of what is going on. Other dystopian terms are coined by Orwell in this and Animal Farm.

bookcoverA Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
A Classic. This is a dystopia that is dark and violent and filled with drugs and rape and excessive government.

bookcover Across the Universe"Across the Universe" by Beth Revis
Scifi based, the action takes place on a colossally large spaceship without FLT travel. Important people are frozen. The rest of the ship has citizens that carry on with agriculture and what-not in depressing circumstances. Wasn't supposed to be like that but something went wrong a few generations back... but what?

This one has a bit of romance, some adventure, and some good mysteries to solve. Across the Universe was a good read. A Million Suns did not please as many people.
  1. Across the Universe
  2. A Million Suns

bookcover Jenna Fox"Jenna Fox Chronicles" by Mary E. Pearson
Seventeen-year-old Jenna has been told that is her name. She has just awoken from a coma, they tell her, and she is still recovering from a terrible accident in which she was involved a year ago. But what happened before that? Jenna doesn't remember her life. Or does she? And are the memories really hers?
  1. The Adoration of Jenna Fox
  2. The Fox Inheritance

bookcover of ALL GOOD CHILDREN by Catherine AustenALL GOOD CHILDREN
by Catherine Austen

Max, his sister Ally and their mother return home to Middleton to find Ally’s classmates acting strange. Turns out that the government has created a “vaccine” that makes kids so much easier to live with and teach. Now the decision Max's family has to make is go along with the rest of the parents or flee.

Really enjoyed this book and can't understand why it hasn't gotten wider press. ALL GOOD CHILDREN is not an action-driven dystopia. Instead it's a great book with good world building and characters.

Word Count: 73,559
Page Count: 312
Accelerated Reading level: 4.1 / points: 10.0
AR quiz: 147391

bookcover All These Things I’ve Done (Birthright #1) by Gabrielle Zevin
In 2083, chocolate and coffee are illegal, paper is hard to find, water is carefully rationed, and New York City is rife with crime and poverty. Anya Balanchine, the sixteen-year-old daughter of the city's most notorious (and dead) crime boss, takes it all in stride until her ex is accidentally poisoned by the chocolate her family manufactures and the police think she's to blame.

bookcover America PacificaAmerica Pacifica by Anna North
Eighteen-year-old Darcy lives on the island of America Pacifica--one of the last places on earth that is still habitable, after North America has succumbed to a second ice age. Education, food, and basic means of survival are the province of a chosen few, while the majority of the island residents must struggle to stay alive. The rich live in "Manhattanville" mansions made from the last pieces of wood and stone, while the poor cower in the shantytown slums of "Hell City" and "Little Los Angeles," places built out of heaped up trash that is slowly crumbling into the sea. The island is ruled by a mysterious dictator named Tyson, whose regime is plagued by charges of corruption and conspiracy.

bookcover "Shadow Children" #1-7) by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Luke has never been to school. He's never had a birthday party, or gone to a friend's house for an overnight. In fact, Luke has never had a friend. Luke is one of the shadow children, a third child forbidden by the Population Police. He's lived his entire life in hiding, but now Luke sees a girl's face in the window of a house where he knows two other children already live. Finally, he's met a shadow child like himself.
  1. Among the Hidden
  2. Among the Impostors
  3. Among the Betrayed
  4. Among the Barons
  5. Among the Brave
  6. Among the Enemy
  7. Among the Free

bookcover Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days #1) by Susan Ee
It's been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back. Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel. Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl. Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels' stronghold in San Francisco where she'll risk everything to rescue her sister and he'll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

bookcover Animal Farm by George Orwell
A classic book which some might argue isn't a dystopia. Orwell uses a farm and farm animals euphemistically to conclude that oppression will lead to violence. "Four legs good, two legs bad!"

bookcover Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned. The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes. There are no more police—instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior—instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested usually don't come back.

Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller has perfected the art of keeping a low profile but that changes when her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings…the only boy Ember has ever loved.

bookcover of ASHES by Ilse BickAshes (Ashes #1) by Ilsa Bick
Alex hiked into the woods to say good-bye to her dead parents and her personal demons when an electromagnetic pulse flashes across the sky, destroying every electronic device, wiping out every computerized system, and killing billions. Now desperate to find out what happened after the pulse crushes her to the ground, Alex meets up with Tom—a young soldier—and Ellie, a girl whose grandfather was killed by the EMP.

Really liked this book. It's a quick fun adventure read at first, and then it slows in the second half and becomes more of a sinister mystery story. If you can handle the change in plot direction, Ashes has a lot to offer. Can't wait for #2.

bookcover AshfallAshfall by Mike Mullin
Fifteen-year-old Alex is home alone when the supervolcano erupts at Yellowstone. His town collapses into a nightmare of darkness, ash, and violence, forcing him to flee. He begins a harrowing trek in search of his parents and sister, who were visiting relatives 140 miles away. Along the way, Alex struggles through a landscape transformed by more than a foot of ash. The disaster brings out the best and worst in people desperate for food, clean water, and shelter.

This is a fast paced, lively novel that only requires a moderate amount of suspension of disbelief. The characters are interesting and the writing is good. And despite the fact that it's about dark times, it maintains an upbeat attitude. Violence. Non-graphic sex/rape. Mild language. More shallow than deep. Enjoyed it. Guy-friendly.

bookcover Ashes, AshesAshes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari
Epidemics, floods, droughts--for sixteen-year-old Lucy, the end of the world came and went, taking 99% of the population with it.

If it wasn't for the romance Ashes, Ashes might make a good guy-friendly read. Characters are developed through back-story for the most part, and the tone is gritty and pretty dark. Very Mild violence. No bad language. No 'adult' situations. This one is probably suitable for middle-graders who won't be bothered by the grim theme.

bookcover Awaken Awaken (Awaken #1) by Katie Kacvinsky
Maddie lives in a world where everything is done online. She's okay with the solitary, digital life—until she meets Justin. Suddenly, she gets a feeling that maybe there is a better way to live, a way that is different from what her society and parents have told her. Now she must learn to stand up for herself, as she and Justin struggle to make their own space.


bookcover "Bar Code" by Suzanne Weyn
The bar code tattoo. Everybody's getting it. It will make your life easier, they say. It will hook you in. It will become your identity. But what if you say no? What if you don't want to become a code? For Kayla, this one choice changes everything. She becomes an outcast in her high school. Dangerous things happen to her family. There's no option but to run . . . for her life.
  1. The Bar Code Tattoo
  2. Bar Code Rebellion

bookcover "Tomorrow Girls " by Eva Gray
Louisa loves CMS -- the survival skills classes, the fresh air--at her new school. She doesn’t even miss not having a TV, or the internet, or any contact with home. It’s for their own safety, after all.

Or is it?
  1. Behind the Gates
  2. Run for Cover
  3. With the Enemy
  4. Set Me Free

bookcover "Birthmarked Trilogy" by Caragh M. O’Brien
In the future, in a world baked dry by the harsh sun, there are those who live inside the wall and those, like sixteen-year-old midwife, Gaia Stone, who live outside. Gaia has always believed it is her duty, with her mother, to hand over a small quota of babies to the Enclave. But when Gaia’s mother and father are arrested by the very people they so dutifully serve, Gaia is forced to question everything she has been taught to believe. Gaia’s choice is now simple: enter the world of the Enclave to rescue her parents, or die trying.
One of better dystopias. Birthmarked is very well written and has engaging characters and a setting that is logical. Book2 is better in every respect. Highly recommended.
  1. Birthmarked #1
  2. Tortured #1a - (short story)
  3. Prized #2
  4. Promised #3

bookcover The Blending TimeThe Blending Time by Michael Kinch
It’s 2054, and plagues, devastating pollution, and predetermined (and deadly) jobs are the norm. Seventeen-year-olds Reya, D’Shay, and Jaym meet during a sea voyage to Africa, where they are to become “blenders,” creating offspring with native Africans (who can no longer reproduce with each other). Each blender encounters horrific experiences, including rape and attempted murder, but all find sympathetic allies and make their way to the underground resistance movement.
  1. The Blending Time
  2. The Fires of New Sun

bookcover Blood Red Road "Dustlands" by Moira Young
Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when four cloaked horsemen capture Lugh, Saba's world is shattered, and she embarks on a quest to get him back.

Blood Red Road is a great adventure read but you'll have throw your 'suspension of disbelief' into high gear.

bookcover Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Brave New World Revisited
A stunning classic. Waaaay back in the 1930's Huxley was almost prophetic in his worry about humans being enthralled to a ruling class. He writes about humans being borned in labs and being drugged into subservience.

bookcover Bumped (Bumped #1) by Megan McCafferty
A virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile.

bookcover Burn Bright "Night Creatures" by Marianne de Pierres [KINDLE ONLY]
Retra doesn't want to go to Ixion, the island of ever-night. Retra is a Seal - sealed minds, sealed community. She doesn't crave parties and pleasure like all the others. But her brother left for Ixion two years ago, and Retra is determined to find him.
  1. Burn Bright
  2. Angel Arias


bookcover Candor

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