Dystopia is actually one of my favorite genre and I realize that I’ve never done a Dystopain recommendations. So here are my top 5 favorite Dystopian books. Mind you, I’m not going to include Hunger Games. As much as I did enjoy the books, its too commercialized now and its better if I recommend other books that the majority hasn’t heard of. I’m also going to try to exclude books that are dystopian/fantasy novels, such as the Lunar Chronicle or The Winner’s Trilogy.
So when I think of the Dystopian genre, I think of apocalyptic stories. It could be post apocalyptic or set in the distant future, where earth has been ruined by an unforeseen catastrophe and we are witnessing the aftermath. This could be set on earth or an earth-like planet but not literally stated in the book.
Anyways, lets get on with the recommendations.
1. Rot & Ruin Series by Jonathan Maberry
Goodreads Synopsis: In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn’t want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human.
It’s been awhile since I read this series and its definitely time I re-read them. I really love the way Maberry writes his stories and the gore that he includes. It’s not as extreme as I’ve read before, but still gets the message across. I love his characters as well, he puts a lot of thought in them and in turn they come out realistic with all the perfection and flaws that humans have.
2. Bird Box by Josh Malerman
Goodreads Synopsis: Something is out there, something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse of it, and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.
Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remains, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now that the boy and girl are four, it’s time to go, but the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat–blindfolded–with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. Something is following them all the while, but is it man, animal, or monster?
I picked this book up because a lot of people have been raving about it last year, especially Lala from BooksandLala and since I enjoy her rec’s I decided to read it. I’m pleasantly surprised that something so simple could terrify me so abundantly. I wasn’t really drawn to the story until at least half way through the book. When it eventually picked up, I was totally hooked.
3. Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness
Goodreads Synopsis: Prentisstown isn’t like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee — whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not — stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden — a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.
I read the first book in this trilogy a few years back and totally loved it. It did take awhile for me to get into the story, but once you pass the 100 page mark, then you’re pretty much set. Finally, last year I picked up the third book and finished the trilogy. Greatest reading accomplishment of last year for me. Of course I love it. I realize that this trilogy is not for everyone because it is set in a slower pace than most dystopian novels, but I think it’s still worth trying.
4. Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
Goodreads Synopsis: R is having a no-life crisis—he is a zombie. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he is a little different from his fellow Dead. He may occasionally eat people, but he’d rather be riding abandoned airport escalators, listening to Sinatra in the cozy 747 he calls home, or collecting souvenirs from the ruins of civilization. And then he meets a girl.
First as his captive, then his reluctant guest, Julie is a blast of living color in R’s gray landscape, and something inside him begins to bloom. He doesn’t want to eat this girl—although she looks delicious—he wants to protect her. But their unlikely bond will cause ripples they can’t imagine, and their hopeless world won’t change without a fight.
I actually read this book because of the movie. I wanted to get to the book before watching it and I’m glad that I did because, as usual, there are many things the movie didn’t include or was unable to convey. I know that this novel is now going to be a trilogy, but when I read it, it was only a stand alone, so for the sake of this list it’s a standalone for now. Its a great read and a totally different take on zombies, which is actually fascinating.
5. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Goodreads Synopsis: In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.
This is another book that I actually need to re-read again. The first time I read it, it was such a great read. I love all the different references that me makes of the 80’s very well put together.
I’m including these books because I think they too are great reads but I still have not finished reading all the books in the series.
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
Penryn & The end of Days by Susan Ee
Unwind Dystology by Neal Shusterman