Top Ten Tuesday- Dystopian

Top Ten Tuesday is brought to you by the lovelies at The Broke and The Bookish.  This week’s topic is Top Genre books. Since this blog is already pretty genre specific, I’m narrowing it down to Dystopian books.

I actually took the time to look up the meaning of dystopia (because I always tend to describe it as “the opposite of utopia”) and here’s what Google gave me:


An imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one.

I think that just about covers it.  As many of you know, I am more drawn to kissing books, so the description of a dystopian usually wouldn’t grab me—except that in the last few years I’ve read some stellar ones and many of them manage to tell a good story about a bad situation and they still have that little bit (or a lot) of swoon I so ardently love. Here are some of my favs:

1. The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins– Action, bad ass heroine, non-annoying love triangle with two lovely guys to choose from (I’d pick Gale, in case you were wondering, but I really love Peeta. I just want to hug him). This series is pretty much amazing.

2. Divergent by Veronica Roth– Holy crap this book is good. It has drawn many comparisons to The Hunger Games and I think that other than being set in an alternative society with a very strong heroine, they couldn’t be more different–oh, except that they’re both awesome.

3. Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness– These books kill me.  They are SO, so good. When I read the description I was like, um, okaaaaay. But I read them because so many people told me they were good. And those people were right. This series blew me away.

4. Delirium/Pandemoniumby Lauren Oliver- These books are so beautifully written, with such a wonderfully fresh, unique premise.  And both books totally rocked me.

5. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi– Sweet holy moley, you want to talk about kissing books?  This is one. And again we have a fantastic heroine placed in a horrific society. The story is excellent and the love story is pretty freaking swoony.

6. Legend by Marie Lu– This is a great book because you have very clear Good Guys and Bad guys. And the heroine is one of the Bad Guys, only she’s not. She doesn’t see that the cause she’s fighting for is bad. And when she falls for the enemy—the guy she’s been made to believe killed her brother—she falls hard and her whole world changes.

7. Wither by Lauren DeStefano– Oh my goodness, it’s been quite a while since I read this and yet I remember how engrossing it was.  Rhine has been forced into marriage with Linden (along with two other brides. Two!) and is kept prisoner.  This book is so good.

8. The Uglies by Scott Westerfeld- The premise is great. At sixteen, everyone has a surgery to make them pretty. And they all go live in a different city where on the The Pretties can live.  But Tally, the main character, finds herself fleeing before her surgery.  She takes refuge with The Smoke, a group of rebels who educate her on the real dark secrets behind the surgery to turn everyone into a Pretty.  It’s a good story.

9. Bumped by Megan McCafferty– This book is totally different from the others in that it’s funny. It’s more of a satirical look at some of the ridiculous things our society obsesses over.  Everyone over the age of eighteen is infertile and thus teenage girls and their fertility have become quite the hot commodity. People pay girls to have babies. The girls have agents and major deals are struck so that the girls can “bump” with the designated partner (chosen so that the babies will be the best genetic specimens) and get preggers. It’s shocking and crass, but it’s a very creative twist and has some really funny moments.

10. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro– This book is not YA, but it is so terribly good.  The story—parentless children being raised at a private school in England—is so haunting. Especially when you find out what these children are being raised to do.

24 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday- Dystopian

  1. i left a comment & it didn’t take & i’m lazy but i want to let you know that your list is awesome even though i’ve only read 20% of the books listed (number 1 & number 2, and i totally agree)–want to read most of them because they have had great reviews (i haven’t read bumped –despite megan mccafferty–because i thought it would be dry, should have known better)…

    • I hate it when that happens! With Bumped I wasn’t sure how to feel at first because I thought it was sort of crass, but it was very intentionally shocking (she’s totally making fun of the MTV 16 and Pregnant craze where we say it’s so bad for these kids to be in that situation, but the girls faces are all over every magazine and tabloid). She makes fun of everyone in it: teenagers, parents, religious people–everyone. I think you’d enjoy it.

    • Thank you! I just read your list. We like a lot of the same books. I feel like I should read Matched again. I wasn’t crazy about it the first time (but oh, I love that cover). So many people love it. Maybe I was in the wrong state of mind when I read it? I don’t know. I thought it was ok. I loved the premise. I need to read it again.

  2. I’ve seen Shatter Me on a couple of these lists and hadn’t heard of it… guess I should look into it. The rest I’ve either read and loved (Chaos Walking was SO good) or plan to get to sooner or later! So I guess that makes a great list!

    • Wasn’t Chaos Walking fantastic? Totally not a series I would have picked up without awesome bloggers prodding me on, but I loved those books. Also, you should definitely, absolutely, positively read Shatter Me! 🙂

  3. I feel like for a while all I read was dystopian novels… they started to get me down! But now that both Fever and Pandemonium have come out, I think I may start getting back into them. Will be checking out some of these! 🙂

  4. We’ve got Top Ten twinsies, my friend! Our lists are almost exactly the same. It’s kinda spooky. 🙂
    Yet again you have reminded me that i desperately need to read Shatter Me. It seems like it’s been on my TBR pile forever.
    i had never heard of Never Let Me Go before but it sounds really cool so thanks for the recommendation.
    i think that, unlike the vampire craze, the dystopian hubbub has so far been really amazing. i haven’t come across a bad book yet.
    Great list!

  5. Great list! My Top Ten this week is Dystopian too! We have a lot of similar ones, and you are the only other person I’ve come across with Bumped on the list! I really really liked Bumped. Actually at first I was more like “whaaaaa?” and then I settled down and started thinking about it and reading it more thoughtfully and it just blew me away.

    I’d never heard of “Never Let Me go” or the Chaos Walking trilogy. I’ll have to check those out – especially since it seems we have such eerily similar taste!

    • Your reaction to Bumped makes me laugh because that’s totally how I was. I was like, “Um, should I be offended? Or, is it ok to laugh at this stuff?” But then I was totally into it and I was still thinking about it after I out it down. I loved that she made an alternative society where things weren’t necessarily good, but it wasn’t the typical This Is The End of The World You Are All Going to Die sort of thing. It was funny and shocking. And oh my goodness, try The Knife of Never Letting Go. It is amazing. I really is. Never Let Me go is excellent too, but it’s definitely a slower read. It takes its time building up and it’s very disturbing and sad.

    • Ok and I tried to comment on your blog (about Lauren Oliver and how she makes us both cry) but it was saying it couldn’t verify my ID. Sorry. BTW, you have the same name as my six year old daughter. I never hear that name (obviously I love it).

  6. I don’t know how I missed this list last Tuesday! I love dystopians. So far, Uglies is my favorite one in YA, which is a bit ironic since it came before the whole craze. I’m actually not in love with Wither, and I was surprised I wasn’t actually shocked by the polygamy and other things, as I think I was supposed to be. I’ll still read Fever, though.

    • I was just really weirded out by the whole book. I thought it was an interesting idea for a dystopian and yet somehow I still haven’t read Fever yet! There are too many books I need to read.

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