Sunday, February 27, 2011

Dystopias Have Caught Fire


Hungry for Dystopias?

If the The Hunger Games left you hungry for more thrilling, world-gone-bad tales, we've got great news! Suzanne Collins' trilogy has become so incredibly popular that authors and publishers are cranking out tons of great dystopian and post-apocalyptic books for teens. Here's a bunch we think you should check out next.

(Click on titles to reserve them at a CCPL branch near you.)

By Marie Lu

A future America is at war. Born into an elite family, June is being groomed for the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, Day is the country's most wanted criminal. They have no reason to cross paths -- until June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. But is Day really to blame, or was he set up to cover a darker secret?

Unison Spark
By Andy Marino

Everyone is obsessed with Unison, the social network that knows you better than you know yourself. But Mistletoe lives in the sub-canopy zone amid poverty and can only dream of logging in. When she meets Ambrose Truax, heir to the Unison empire, they begin a frightening journey into the uncharted territory of the Unison 3.0 upgrade.

By Elana Johnson

Vi knows the rule: Girls don’t walk with boys, and they never even think about kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the rules more than Zenn…and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi’s future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause?

The Limit
By Kristen Landon

In a world eerily similar to our own, the government imposes debt limits on families. When 13-year-old Matt's family unexpectedly surpasses their limit, he's whisked away to a workhouse where far more serious dangers exist than anyone on the outside realizes.

The Eleventh Plague
By Jeff Hirsch

In the aftermath of war, America's landscape has been ravaged and two-thirds of the population left dead from a vicious strain of influenza. Fiftteen-year-old Stephen and his family are among the few who survived and became salvagers. But when his father decides to risk everything to save the lives of two strangers, Stephen's life is turned upside down.

By Karen Sandler

Kayla and Mishalla are two genetically engineered, non-human slaves (GENs). In their strict caste system, GENs are at the bottom rung of society. But these best friends still fall in love with higher-status boys, discover deep secrets about the creation of GENs, and find out what it means to be human.

By Robison E. Wells

After years in foster homes, 17-year-old Benson Fisher applies to New Mexico's Maxfield Academy with hopes of securing a brighter future. Instead, he finds that the school is a prison -- and no one is what he or she seems.

Those That Wake
By Jesse Karp

People walk the streets of New York City with heads down, withdrawn into the cold comfort of technology. Teens Mal and Laura have never met. Seemingly, they never will. But on the day Mal learns his brother has disappeared, Laura's parents have forgotten her. Something has wiped the teens from the  memories of every person they have ever known.

By Lauren McLaughlin

In the future, all teens are given a score that determines their future potential. This score can get them into colleges, grant scholarships -- or destroy all hope for the above. Imani's high score is brought down when her best friend's score plummets. Where do you draw the line between doing what feels morally right and what can mean your future?


In a future Chicago, 16-year-old Beatrice must join one of five factions -- a choice that will determine the rest of her life. Will she remain with among her family, the selfless? Join the daring Dauntless? Seek wisdom with the Erudite? But when Beatrice discovers she doesn't fit into fit into any one group, it could cost her life. If you loved The Hunger Games, this book is for you!

Blood Red Road
By Moira Young

In a distant future, Saba lives in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms where she and her family to scavenge from landfills. That’s fine by Saba, as long as her beloved twin brother, Lugh, is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives bearing four cloaked horsemen, Lugh is captured and Saba must set out into the ugly real world.
By Ann Aguirre
In a post-apocalyptic future, 15-year-old Deuce, a loyal Huntress, brings back meat while avoiding the Freaks outside her enclave. But when she is partnered with the mysterious outsider, Fade, she begins to see that the strict ways of the elders may be wrong -- and dangerous.

The Enemy
By Charlie Higson

In this dystopian thriller set in London, everyone over 16 is dead or diseased, and youngsters are in constant danger of being eaten by boil-infested adults who roam the streets like zombies. One group of kids sets out for Buckingham Palace where a young messenger has promised they'll find food, medicine, and a haven. But will they survive the journey?

By Ally Condie

Cassia lives in a Society that matches boys and girls to marry. Lucky her! She's matched with Xander, the cute and fun boy that's already her good friend. But when Cassia sees a glimpse of another boy she was almost matched with, she wonders if she loves him more. First in a series to come.

Sequel: Crossed

Scientists can eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens be "cured" at 18. Lena Haloway has always looked forward to the start of these peaceful, if dull, days. Then, she meets Alex, a mysterious guy who makes her heart flutter. And, soon, she's questioning her government's intentions. First in a series to come.

Thomas wakes up in a dark box and remembers nothing but his name. He winds up in the Glade with other teenage boys in the same predicament. They have no clue why they've been sent there -- or how to escape. 


Katsa has been able to kill with her bare hands since she was 8 — she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug. When she first meets Prince Po, who's Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change.

Sequel: Fire



Everybody gets to be supermodel gorgeous. What could be wrong with that? Tally is about to turn 16, and she can’t wait to finally be a Pretty. But when her new friend Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the Pretty world – and it isn’t very pretty.

Pursued by power-hungry Prentiss and mad minister Aaron, young Todd and Viola set out across New World searching for answers about their colony’s true past and seeking a way to warn the ship bringing hopeful settlers from Old World.

Gem X

Gem X
By Nicky Singer

Maxo Strang, the most perfect human ever made, suddenly discovers a “crack” in his face, which leads him to expose his community's dark underworld of secret scientific research and the city's corrupt supreme leader.

To most people, Matt isn't a boy. He's a beast, dirty and disgusting. But to El Patron, lord of the country Opium, Matt is the guarantee of eternal life. El Patron loves Matt as he loves himself - for Matt is himself. They share the same DNA. But as Matt tries to understand his existence, he's threatened by sinister and manipulating characters.

Orphaned Mary wonders about what exists beyond her walled village and the surrounding forest, where villagers fear to go because it is where the Unconsecrated roam.

Upon turning 16, girls receive government-issued tattoos on their wrists that read “XVI.” They’re supposed to keep the girls safe, but really the tattoos broadcast their new sexual availability. Yet, right before Nina's birthday, her mom is brutally attacked. With her dying breaths, she reveals to Nina a shocking truth about her past - one that destroys everything Nina thought she knew.


City of Ember (Books of Ember)
By Jeanne DuPrau 

The city of Ember was built as a last refuge for the human race. Two hundred years later, the great lamps that light the city are beginning to flicker. When Lina finds part of an ancient message, she's sure it holds a secret that will save the city. Will she decipher it before the lights go out forever?

In a society where unwanted teens are salvaged for their body parts, three runaways try desperately to fight the system that would “unwind” them.


Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors series)

When a meteor knocks the moon closer to Earth, worldwide tsunamis wipe out the coasts, earthquakes rock the continents, and volcanic ash blocks the sun. As summer turns to Arctic winter, Miranda, her two brothers, and their mother retreat to the unexpected safe haven of their sunroom, where they subsist on stockpiled food and limited water in the warmth of a wood-burning stove.


Gaia Stone and her mother faithfully deliver their quota of three infants every month. But when 16-year-old Gaia’s mother is brutally taken away by the very people she serves, Gaia must question whether the Enclave deserves such loyalty.

In the year 2099, as the island of Wing is about to be covered by water, 15-year-old Mara discovers the existence of New World sky cities that are safe from the storms and rising waters -- and convinces her people to travel to one of these cities to save themselves.

Sequel: Zenith

The Line
By Teri Hall

An invisible, uncrossable barrier encloses the United States. It’s said that bizarre creatures and super humans live on the other side, in Away. Nobody except tough old Ms. Moore would ever live next to the Line. Nobody but Rachel and her mother -- until Rachel finds a mysterious recorded message that must have come from Away. The voice is asking for help.



Enter a chilling, twisted future in which a person's every thought and movement are directed and regulated by the "feed," a computer chip implanted in the brain. Told through the eyes of teenagers, some in this novel embrace the feed and revel in its unbridled consumerism. One rails against society's rampant ignorance and banality.

Amy is a cryogenically frozen passenger aboard the spaceship Godspeed. She expects to wake up on a new planet, 300 years in the future. But 50 years before Godspeed's scheduled landing, Amy's cryo chamber is unplugged, and she is nearly killed. Now, she's caught inside an enclosed world where nothing makes sense. First in a trilogy.  

In a world with no poverty, no crime, no sickness, and where every family is happy, 12-year-old Jonas is chosen to be the community's Receiver of Memories. Under the tutelage of the Elders and an old man known as the Giver, he discovers the disturbing truth about his utopian world and struggles against the weight of its hypocrisy.

Also try Gathering Blue and the Messenger.

In a savage post-nuclear world, four young fugitives attempt to overthrow the bloodthirsty rule of the Overlords with the help of Shade, their mysterious mentor.


Fifteen-year-old Tack struggles to survive in a city where the Mayor and his band of goons, the Educators, rule with absolute power.


The Lab

When Agent Six, a member of The Deck, a group fighting against their corrupt society, discovers that he is the product of an illegal experiment by the evil Lab, he takes dangerous steps to discover the truth about himself.

In a world based on a video role-playing game, Erik persuades his friends to aid him in a dangerous plan to save Erik's father from exile.

Sequel: Saga

By Emma Clayton

In an overpopulated world where all signs of nature have been obliterated and a wall has been erected to keep out plague-ridden animals, 12-year-old Mika refuses to believe that his twin sister was killed after being abducted. He searches for her despite the dangers in doing so.

The Other Side of the Island

Honor lives in a highly regulated colony with her parents, but when they have an illegal second child and are taken away, it is up to Honor and her friend Helix, another “unpredictable,” to uncover a terrible secret about their island and the corporation that runs everything.

In a future where the government bombards the public with nonstop reality television, a show called Historical Survival is the biggest thing on TV. As contestants on this show, five 14-year-old misfits are made to reenact Robert F. Scott’s fatal 1910 expedition to the South Pole. On the verge of starving and/or freezing to death, the five strangers must find a way to work together to survive the ordeal.


By Michael Grant

In a small coastal California town, everyone over the age of 14 suddenly disappears, setting up a battle between the remaining town residents and the students from a local private school.

Sequels: Hunger, Lies, Plague

Little Brother

When America is converted into an oppressive police state after a major terrorist attack, Marcus decides to use his expertise in computer hacking to set things right.

Remember to click on any title to reserve it at your nearest CCPL branch!


  1. hey! Thanks CCPL for creating this! I am a mega reader and am always looking for a great new book! Can't wait for more!

  2. I'm 50 pages into Legend, love it so far!

  3. thanks ofr creating this blog i love these books