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Top 10 Dystopian Novels For Young Adults
The Top 10 Dystopian Novels For Young Adults
Dystopian novels are all the rage for young adults, and even adults. With the popularity of "The Hunger Games" trilogy, readers are finding they are fans of the dystopian novel genre. According to Wikipedia, "dystopia is defined as a society characterized by poverty, squalor, or oppression." One of the things I find appealing about dystopian fiction is seeing how the characters in the novels adapted to their dystopian world and what they do, if anything, to rise about the bleak situation.
Here are my top ten dystopian novels for young adults. Don't worry, grown ups, they are just as entertaining if you are over the age of 18.
The Hunger Games Trilogy
In the country of Panem, the Capitol orchestrates the Hunger Games every year, selecting two teens, a girl and a boy, from each of twelve districts to essentially fight each other to the death live on national television. The series centers on Katniss Everdeen, who elects to participate in the Hunger Games in an effort to protect her younger sister, Primrose, whose name was initially selected for their district.
Battle Royale - by Koushun Takami
If you haven't gotten enough of kids fighting each other to the death from The Hunger Games, try out Battle Royale. This Japanese novel was released in 1999, nearly ten years before readers first met Katniss Everdeen. Battle Royale centers around a group of Japanese students who are kidnapped as part of the Program, where they are relocated to an isolated island and told they must fight each other to the death until there is a sole survivor.
The Giver Trilogy - by Lois Lowry
Twelve year old Jonas has been selected to receive training from the Giver. Jonas soon learns this training involves gaining knowledge and information unavailable to his family and community. He is torn between maintaining the Sameness he is accustomed to and learning what he has been missing.
The Giver received the 1994 Newbery Medal for Children's literature.
Uglies Series - by Scott Westerfeld
The young adult book series, the Uglies, takes place in a world where all teens are given plastic surgery at the age of 16 to become Pretty. The hero of the book, Tally Youngblood, decides to rebel against the establishment and remain Ugly. Currently, the book series includes the books Uglies, Pretties, Specials, and Extras.
As a fan of the Twilight Zone, I was aware of an episode with a very similar plotline, entitled "Number Twelve Looks Just Like You". The Uglies series expanded on this premise and the very ideas of beauty and being unique.
Young Adults Are Just For Kids?
Is it cool for adults to read books written for young adults/kids?
Yes - young adult books are great options for adults!
Matched Series - By Ally Condie
In "Matched", the Society makes all decisions for its citizens. Cassia had no problem with this, even at her Matching ceremony, when she was told who she would be marrying. In the middle of her Matching ceremony, the face of another boy flashes on-screen briefly, calling into question everything Cassia accepted about the choices being made for her.
Chaos Walking Trilogy - by Patrick Ness
Todd Hewitt is the sole boy in Prentisstown. A "germ" has killed the women, forcing all males to officially become men at thirteen. Over the course of the trilogy, Todd learns that what he has been told about his world isn't entirely true.
Delirium - by Lauren Oliver
Scientists have found the cure for love, and Delirium is set in a world where citizens must receive the cure on their eighteenth birthday. A matter of days before her eighteenth birthday, Lena Holoway falls in love.
The Maze Runner Series - by James Dashner
Thomas wakes up in a box. He discovers he has been transported into a mysterious place called the Glade. There is no way out. He learns that beyond the Glade is a Maze, and runners venture out to it daily in an attempt to map it. The maze changes regularly, and even the runners aren't always successful in returning. Thomas joins the group of runners, hoping to help find a way out for himself and the other teens trapped in the Glade like him.
The Water Wars - by Cameron Stracher
The Water Wars takes place in a dystopian future where water has become so scarce clouds are literally pulled from the sky for drainage. Vera, the story's heroine, meets a boy named Kai who seems to always have water. Then he disappears.
Ship Breaker - by Paolo Bacigalupi
The world's fossil fuels have been stripped. Nailer is a teen boy who works hunting for scrap metal on grounded oil tankers. Fate has him find a recently beached pristine clipper and is torn between stripping it of its massive wealth or rescuing the ship's sole survivor.
The sequel to "Ship Breaker", titled "The Drowned Cities" is scheduled for release in 2012. You can pre-order it from Amazon.com below.
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