YA Dystopian novels
Book Discussion Books Dystopian

YA Dystopian Novels you HAVE to read


Hey everyone! Welcome to Owl Book World. YA dystopian novels is the type of book list that I’ve been wanting to do for a while because I don’t see many reading dystopian novels anymore. Maybe I’m just not looking hard enough and really looking though. I love YA dystopian novels and I do kind of read them often or at least I use to. I haven’t been reading them as much lately because I have been reading a lot of YA thrillers and YA Horror.

On this list, I have a good mix of books that get a lot of attention and some that really don’t get enough attention at all. I like having a good mix of both because there’s a good chance you may not have heard of them. Or this list would be your sign of getting that book!

YA Dystopian novels

YA dystopian meaning

In case you’ve never read a single dystopian book in your life, there is a reason it is called that. Dystopian kind of blends in well with sci-fi and fantasy, but it is a genre of its own. Dystopian books are basically about a society that’s unpleasant. The mass majority of people would not want to live in a society such as this one. A majority of these types of novels deal with a corrupt government that has much more control over everyone than our own. I know what you’re going to say…Our government already has a lot of control. That may be the case, but in these books, things are a lot worse.  We have a lot more freedom than the characters in these novels.

So, why did I decide to make a book list full of YA dystopian novels? I know I usually stick to horror and thriller books but I also really enjoy dystopian. This all started back in high school when The Hunger Games first came out. The Hunger Games just so happened to be one of the first dystopian novels I read and since then I’ve pretty much wanted to read more!

Dystopian book series

I know I know most of you probably don’t want a series. On the plus side, all of the series that I have on this list already have the entire series out. So, lucky for you you won’t have to wait on the next book to come out! Most of these series are pretty popular YA dystopian novels and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.


YA dystopian novels

Divergent is the first in a YA trilogy were at a certain age kids decide what group they want to be a part of. There are four different groups that all have different ways of living. They eat, talk, and do EVERYTHING differently. If you decide to go with another one of these groups instead of the one you lived it on all your life then you will be considered an outsider to that group. You more than likely will never hear from your family again. The only thing is that if you’re the type of person that can fit into all of the groups you are considered a threat. A threat to those around you and a threat to your government.

So, I have a love-hate relationship with Divergent. The story is great and I absolutely loved the book when it first came out. As with tons of other readers, I HATE with a passion how the book ended. I got so invested only for the ending to really piss me off. On top of that how the series ends was spoiled for me before I even got the chance to read it. If you haven’t read this yet make sure you read it before you watch the movies. Why? Because 1) the book is always better and 2) they didn’t even finish the series. They split the last book up into two parts but never came out with the second part.

Amazon | Bookshop


YA dystopian novels

Delirium is another book I read back in high school. It was at least around the time that I was in high school. Delirium is about love being a disease. You’re not allowed to love who you want. You can get married and have kids, but typically who you’re married to is picked for you.

Soon I’m going to try and reread this book because I remember loving it the first time I read it. I would absolutely hate the idea of having my spouse picked for me. In some aspects, it would be great for certain people especially those who are constantly getting divorced. But for those who know who they love and who they want to be with then, I would end up hating the idea. This book is completely worth checking out though. On top of that this world is very strict. There are a lot of rules and regulations for the citizens. Let’s just say you’re basically not allowed to have any fun.

Amazon | Bookshop

The Unadjusteds

YA Dystopian novels

The Unadjusteds is pretty much a futuristic dystopian book. The story follows Silver Melody who lives in a world where most of the population has modified their DNA. Those who are modified are called the altereds while those who don’t are called the unadjusteds. Silver is one of the few who hasn’t been altered and she’s pretty proud of it. What makes that even crazier is that her parents are the ones who created the nanite that changes your DNA. When the person who is in charge declares that everyone has to take the nanite people to start to run and hide. But will Silver be able to escape?

Honestly, I just loved the idea of The Unadjusteds. If something like this was created I can very well see this being our world. I understand why people wouldn’t want to take it but the idea of it is pretty cool.

Amazon | Bookshop

After the Green Withered

YA dystopian books

After the Green Withered is another futuristic dystopian novel that I really enjoyed. This book follows a world that no longer has green grass or flowy rivers. Drought has swept across the globe. The book follows Enora Byrnes who lives in the aftermath. Water is now considered a currency. When Enora is offered a pretty high-end job she realizes that there are major secrets being kept from the citizens.

The reason I say that this is a futuristic novel is that I can completely see something like this happening. It seems like a probable thing that can happen and I hope it will never be in my lifetime. I still need to read the sequel to this one. Not really sure why I haven’t!

Amazon | Bookshop


I don’t know what took me so long to read Zeroes but I’m so glad that I did. This story follows multiple POVs of kids who have powers. No one knows about their powers. That is except for each other. When one of them needs help the group gets back together. But soon they encounter criminals that drag them into dangerous territories.

I started this series last year and it’s one that I need to finish. But book one really did grab my attention very quickly. A lot of the powers these kids have are really cool and they aren’t ones you typically read about very often. Scott Westerfeld is a pretty popular author but I don’t see his books being hyped up at all. That’s part of the reason why I wanted to add it to the list.

Amazon | Bookshop

Standalone dystopian novels

It seems like so many YA dystopian novels are in a series. That’s okay but I also want to include standalone books in this booklist too. I honestly don’t find many, but I want that to change. Hopefully over the next year or so I can find more standalone dystopian novels to add!

The Ruby Locket

The Ruby Locket is a book that has dual POVs. One is through Saxon and the other is through Kerina. Saxon finds Kerina in the outskirts of town. He thought she was dead but quickly realized that she isn’t. So Saxon decides to take her back to his house and nurse her back to health. At first, Kerina doesn’t remember anything. As her memories slowly start to come back she realizes how important she is and how she can potentially save a lot of people.

The Ruby Locket is a pretty fast-paced novel that needs all the hype. This was actually the first book I read by Melissa Wray and I loved it. I can’t wait to read more of her books!

The Ruby Locket is definitely considered as one of the most underrated ya dystopian books in the last couple of years.

Amazon | Bookshop


Rated is another futuristic dystopian novel and it is somewhat relatable. Just like some of the others this story also has multiple POVS (point of view). This story follows high school students who already have to deal with the craziness of school. On top of that, they live in a society that relies completely on ratings. Practically everything you do in this world gets rated. Missed a school assignment? Then a point is deducted. Did something help? Then a point is added. The higher the points you have the better college you get into and also the better the job you get. Also, your points reflect on your family. If you’re one of the parents and your score is low then that can be potentially harmful to your kid(s).

I read this book earlier this year and really enjoyed it. There are a few things I wish were explained a little better in the storyline but I still enjoyed it. It’s books like this that make me realize that crazy things like this can happen. It’s really not out of the question.

Amazon | Bookshop

The Grace Year

The Grace Year is a somewhat new YA dystopian book that follows a sixteen-year-old. These girls and women live in a world where everyone thinks they have powers. They get these powers at the age of sixteen and have to go off to a cabin in the woods for a whole year. During this year they have to fend for themselves but this is their way to burn off their powers. In turn, they come back home to their future husbands as submissive wives. But what if things aren’t what they seem?

Out of this entire list, this is the one that reminds me the most of The Hunger Games. The difference is that I couldn’t stand the main character in The Grace Year even though I loved the book. As of right now, I believe this is meant to be a standalone book but I’m so hoping that it gets a sequel because with that ending it deserves one!

Amazon | Bookshop

YA dystopian novels

If you enjoy YA dystopian novels what are some of your favorite ones?

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