Morristown & Morris Township Library YA Room
Morristown & Morris Township Library YA Room

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What is Dystopian?

There are a LOT of Dystopian YA novels out these days. And if you like books like The Hunger Games or Uglies then you might just like a lot of other Dystopian novels.

Dystopia defined as " a society characterized by human misery, as squalor, oppression, disease, and overcrowding" by dictionary.com.  It's pretty much the opposite of Utopia.  A lot of Dystopian novels take place after some kind of catestrophic event that changes the world as we currently know it.  They're often set many years in the future.  Sometimes the world is recognizable and sometimes it's been so changed by technology or war that it's seems like a completely different planet.

For me, one of the best parts of dystopian fiction is trying to find the remnants of today's world in the new world.  In a book like The Hunger Games, you can imagine that Katniss lives in what is today Virginia or maybe Pennsylvania, but to her is just District 12.  In The Forest of Hands and Teeth, one of the Unconsecrated is wearing a bright red puffy vest, something that's fairly normal in our world, but to Mary is completely foreign and almost uncomprehensible.

And then there are books like Birthmarked, where the future has evolved so far and society has been so devastated, that it actually starts to look like our past.  You could just as easily picture the story taking place in Medieval Europe rather than near Lake Michigan many, many years in the future.

Here's a list of plenty of dystopian novels for your enjoyment and also check out the display in the YA section!

Feed by M.T. Anderson
The Roar by Emma Clayton
The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
Matched by Allie Condie
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
House of the Scorpion by Nancy Garden
Gone series by Michael Grant
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
The Carbon Diaries 2015 by Saci Lloyd
The Unidentified by Rae Mariz
The Knife of Never Letting Go series by Patrick Ness
Birthmarked by Caragh O'Brien
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Epitaph Road by David Patneaude
Life As We Knew It series by Susan Beth Pfeffer
The Forest of Hands and Teeth series by Carrie Ryan
Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld

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