YA Sci-Fi: Dystopia

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

Have you already read all three Hunger Games books and seen all the movies? We've got the cure for your dystopian blues.

Compiled by:
Tyana P. & Fern S.
Blood Circus

Camila Victoire
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Victoir)

When Ava finds herself on the wrong side of a military fence erected to protect the North American Territory, she's captured by Klujns and made to participate in the Blood Race, a macabre tradition where young human hostages compete to the death for Klujn amusement. 

City of Beasts

Corrie Wang
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Wang)

Glori has to question everything she's been taught when a desperate rescue mission brings her to a strange city where she encounters men for the first time.


Erin Bowman
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Bowman)

Delta of Dead River has always kept her back hidden: branded on her skin is a map to a rumored paradise called the Verdant. It's a map many in their wasteland would kill for. When her family is abducted by raiders, Delta sets out to rescue them—which means trading the location of Verdant.

Escaping Eleven

Jerri Chisholm
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Chishol)

Four generations ago, the Earth was rendered uninhabitable and those who remained were forced underground. In Compound Eleven, the hierarchy of floors is everything and on Eve Hamilton's floor, they fight. When she meets a boy from the top floor, Eve is no longer content to just survive, she is ready to fight for freedom.

The Getaway

Lamar Giles
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Giles)

Jay discovers that mountain resort where he lives and works with his friends and family is also a doomsday oasis for the rich and powerful who expect top-notch customer service even as the world outside the resort's walls disintegrates.

Girls with Sharp Sticks

Suzanne Young
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Young)

In the near future at a girls-only private high school isolated in the Colorado mountains, Mena and her classmates—under the watchful eyes of their Guardian, professors, and analyst—are trained to be beautiful and obedient for their sponsors and investors.

The Good Luck Girls

Charlotte Nicole Davis
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Davis)

In an alternate wild West, five girls escape from the welcome house that owns them and embark on a dangerous journey to find freedom, justice, and revenge.

The Grace Year

Kim Liggett
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Liggett)

In Garner County, girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds; that their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac. That is why they're banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive.

Hell Followed with Us

Andrew Joseph White
(Young Adult Fiction - Y White)

Benji is on the run from the cult that raised him—the fundamentalist sect that unleashed Armageddon and decimated the world's population. Desperately, he searches for a place where the cult can't get their hands on him, or more importantly, on the bioweapon they infected him with. But when cornered by monsters born from the destruction, Benji is rescued by a group of teens from the local Acheson LGBTQ+ Center, affectionately known as the ALC.


Samira Ahmed
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Ahmed)

A terrifying, futuristic United States where Muslim-Americans are forced into internment camps, and seventeen-year-old Layla Amin must lead a revolution against complicit silence.

The Knife of Never Letting Go

Patrick Ness
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Ness)

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

Monsters Born and Made

Tanvi Berwah
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Berwah)

Koral and her brother, Emrik, risk their lives to capture the monstrous maristags that live in the black seas around their island. They have to, or else their family will starve. In an oceanic world swarming with vicious beasts, the ruling elite have indentured her family to provide the maristags for the Glory Race, a deadly chariot tournament reserved for the upper class.

The Ones We're Meant to Find

Joan He
(Young Adult Fiction - Y He)

In a near future when life is harsh outside of Earth's last unpolluted place, Cee tries to leave an abandoned island while her sister, STEM prodigy Kasey, seeks escape from the science and home she once trusted.

Out of Salem

Hal Schrieve
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Schriev)

Z Chilworth has to adjust quickly to their new status as a zombie after waking from death from a car crash that killed their parents and sisters. Always a talented witch, Z now can barely perform magic and is rapidly decaying. Faced with rejection from their remaining family members and old friends, Z moves in with Mrs. Dunnigan, an elderly witch and befriends Aysel, a loud would-be-goth classmate who is, like Z, a loner.

The Q

Amy Tintera
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Tintera)

When the president's son, Lennon, is kidnapped and pushed out of an airplane over the Q, a vast quarantine zone, Maisie gives him a seventy-two hour vaccine and together the two teenagers attempt to fight their way through the Q in order to survive.


Paola Mendoza
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Mendoza)

In 2032, when Vali's mother is detained by the Deportation Forces, Vali must flee Vermont with her little brother, Ernie, hoping to reach their Tía Luna in the sanctuary state of California.


Neal Shusterman
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Shusterman)

In a world where disease has been eliminated, the only way to die is to be randomly killed ('gleaned') by professional reapers ('scythes'). Two teens must compete with each other to become a scythe—a position neither of them wants. The one who becomes a scythe must kill the one who doesn't.


Marie Lu
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Lu)

The Karensa Federation has conquered a dozen countries, leaving Mara as one of the last free nations in the world. Refugees flee to its borders to escape a fate worse than death, transformation into mutant war beasts known as Ghosts, creatures the Federation then sends to attack Mara. The legendary Strikers, Mara's elite fighting force, are trained to stop these monsters. But as the number of Ghosts grows and Karensa closes in, defeat seems inevitable. Still, one Striker refuses to give up hope.

The Sound of Stars

Alechia Dow
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Dow)

Two years ago, a misunderstanding between the leaders of Earth and the invading Ilori resulted in the deaths of one-third of the world's population. Ellie survives in an Ilori-controlled center in New York City. With humans deemed dangerously volatile because of their initial reaction to the invasion, emotional expression can be grounds for execution. Music, art and books are illegal, but Ellie breaks the rules by keeping a secret library. 

This Savage Song

Victoria Schwab
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Schwab)

There's no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he's one of the monsters.


Joelle Charbonneau
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Charbon)

Meri Beckley's pride of living in a land of peace, prosperity, and truth crumbles when questions following her mother's death reveal buried facts, especially that words can have great power.

Winter White and Wicked

Shannon Dittemore
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Dittemo)

On an island cursed by eternal winter, Sylvi agrees to run a late-season haul for a smuggler, but when they reach their destination, Sylvi must decide if she can abandon her cherished solitude and anonymity—and the favor of the icy spirit Winter—to join with the rebels.

Graphic Novels
1984: The Graphic Novel

George Orwell
(Graphic Novels - GN Orwell Nineteen Eighty Four)

Orwell's best-known work of unrelenting dystopian realism warns against totalitarianism. The story is told from the point of view of Winston Smith, a functionary of the Ministry of Truth whose work involved the "correction" of all records each time the "Big Brother" decided that the truth had changed.


Jordan Morris
(Graphic Novels - GN Morris Bubble)

Based on the podcast of the same name and set in the fictional city of Fairhaven, follow the human Morgan as she grows her occasional recreational killing of Imps into a full-time job within her employer's new gig economy called Huntr, taking on monsters, Brush-turned citizens and all manner of mutants from the surrounding alien wilderness known as the Brush.

Paper Girls, Vol. 1

Brian K. Vaughan
(Graphic Novels - GN Paper Girls v. 1)

In the early hours after Halloween on 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. Suburban drama and supernatural mysteries collide in this series about nostalgia, first jobs, and the last days of childhood.

Space Trash, Vol. 1

Jenn Woodall
(Graphic Novels - GN Space Trash v. 1)

In 2115, Earth has been abandoned as a lost cause, and humankind has moved on to space colonization. At a decrepit high school for underprivileged youth on the moon, Stab, Yuki, and Una are three teenagers who try to keep their boredom and resentment at bay by fighting rival gangs and cliques, hanging out, and sleeping their way through class, all while trying to avoid punishment from the student council.

Spill Zone, Vol. 1

Scott Westerfeld
(Graphic Novels - GN Spill Zone v. 1)

Three years ago an event destroyed the small city of Poughkeepsie, forever changing reality within its borders. Uncanny manifestations and lethal dangers now await anyone who enters the Spill Zone. The Spill claimed Addison's parents and scarred her little sister, Lexa, who hasn't spoken since. Addison provides for her sister by photographing the Zone's twisted attractions on illicit midnight rides.

Sweet Tooth, Vol. 1: Out of the Deep Woods

Jeff Lemire
(Graphic Novels - Lemire)

Gus, a rare new breed of human-animal hybrid who was raised in isolation following a pandemic that struck a decade earlier. Now, with the death of his father, he's left to fend for himself, until he meets a hulking drifter named Jepperd, who promises to help him. Jepperd and Gus set out on a post-apocalyptic journey into the devastated American landscape to find "The Preserve," a refuge for hybrids.

The Woods, Vol. 1: The Arrow

James Tynion IV
(Graphic Novels - GN Woods v. 1)

On October 16, 2013, 437 students, 52 teachers, and 24 additional staff from Bay Point Preparatory High School in suburban Milwaukee, WI vanished without a trace. Countless light years away, far outside the bounds of the charted universe, 513 people find themselves in the middle of an ancient, primordial wilderness.