Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Bionic Book Worm. Be sure to check out her blog to see future prompts, prompt replies, and other fun bookish posts!
I have some dystopian confessions to make.
🦠 I have never read the Hunger Games books. BUT I think I’ve seen all the movies?
🦠 I have never read the Divergent series. Nor have I seen any of the movies.
🦠 I did not particularly care for The Giver the first time I was required to read it for school.
🦠 I definitely didn’t like it any better the second time I was made to read it for class.
Confessions out of the way, here are my top 5 picks for books with dystopian settings!
Want by Cindy Pon
Set in a highly polluted future Taiwan where the rich wear suits that protect them and the poor are left to die early deaths, this book took a hard look at capitalism, classism, and pollution – all while managing to still be an absolute delight to read. It was dark but didn’t feel too heavy and I was in love with the entire cast of characters. I’m dying to get my hands on the second book in the series, Ruse.
Legend series by Marie Lu
Set in a dark, futuristic Los Angeles, a young government prodigy and a notorious criminal cross paths in this heart-pounding romantic thriller (from the Goodreads series page). The last book in this series was published in 2013 so I was pleasantly surprised when a fourth installation in the series, Rebel, was announced to be released this year. I can’t wait to get back to the world of Legend and have actually picked up the two novellas for the series in preparation.
We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia
We Set the Dark on Fire features a dystopian society where the elite have two wives who fulfill different household roles. It follows the story Dani Vargas who has snuck her way into the upper echelons of society with a false identity. If a book about people literally sneaking across a border wall to try and live a better life isn’t topical now, I don’t know what is. It also might feature a wlw romance which may or may not make my day.
Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer
Each book entails a new take on an old fairy tale, including Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Snow White. The story takes place in a futuristic world where humans, cyborgs, and androids all coexist (from the Goodreads series page). Fairy tale retellings in space. With cyborgs? Sign me tf up. While this series did have problematic elements, I can’t deny that I absolutely love the series and it was key in rekindling my love of reading in recent years. I could probably live without Scarlet (Red Riding Hood) but Cress (Rapunzel) and Thorne (let’s be real – he’s Flynn Rider) are the loves of my life.
Nostalgia Category: 2 for the Price of 1
For my last pick I couldn’t decide between two of my favorite dystopian reads from growing up, so I decided to go with both: The Uglies series by Scott Westerfield and The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer. In The Uglies, Tally Youngblood lives in a society where people are ‘uglies’ until the age of sixteen where they undergo cosmetic surgery to become ‘pretties.’ Tally is about to turn 16 until she learns of a group living in the wastes that don’t undergo the surgery. Her life turns upside down when she decides to pursue this group. While I’m not sure I’ve read the entire series, I’ve read the first book SO MANY TIMES. I actually had an arc of this from a local book store when I was little and felt so important reading it and telling them how I felt about it.
In The House of the Scorpion, the main character is a clone of a major druglord and when he finds out why he’s being kept, he has to escape to save himself. This is another book I’ve read a ton of times though I only recently learned that it has a sequel (released 11 years after the initial book). It’s also apparently won a ton of awards? I had no idea until writing this post. It’s just always been a book I find myself going back to.
Do we have any favorites in common? What are your favorite dystopian novels?