Dystopian has long been my favorite genre of books to read. The older I get, and with the world and my country becoming what they are, they’re more scary to me now than they’ve ever been. So, here’s a list of my top five favorites, along with my honorable mentions.
#5 Bird Box
“Something is out there, something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse of it, and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.
Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remains, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now that the boy and girl are four, it’s time to go, but the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat–blindfolded–with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. Something is following them all the while, but is it man, animal, or monster?
Interweaving past and present, Bird Box is a snapshot of a world unraveled that will have you racing to the final page.”
I read Bird Box in one day, I couldn’t put it down. It was fast-paced and intense throughout, and it was never long-winded or boring. It was truly unique in its story and it was refreshing to read something so original in a genre that can get repetitive. It was extremely creepy and scary, and had me looking over my shoulder for days after I finished it.
I give this book 🌟🌟🌟🌟
“The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.”
Winston Smith toes the Party line, rewriting history to satisfy the demands of the Ministry of Truth. With each lie he writes, Winston grows to hate the Party that seeks power for its own sake and persecutes those who dare to commit thoughtcrimes. But as he starts to think for himself, Winston can’t escape the fact that Big Brother is always watching…”
This is the book that got me into dystopian novels and why I love them so much. I read it for the first time when I was a teenager; I had never read anything like it, and so began my love affair with the dystopian genre.
I’ve read it again as an adult and maybe I’ve been desensitized or my expectations have gotten higher because I’ve read some pretty freaking amazing dystopian novels, but I didn’t love it nearly as much as I did the first time. I’ve also come to see that people either love or hate this book. I’m just glad I read this when I was younger because I might not have appreciated it if I read it later on.
The reason I put it on my list is because I feel like it’s required reading for anyone who loves the genre, and it’s more relevant than ever in today’s world.
I give this book 🌟🌟🌟 ½
#3 The Handmaid’s Tale
“Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable.
Offred can remember the days before, when she lived and made love with her husband Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now….”
Margaret Atwood is hands-down my favorite dystopian author. She’s a genius, like, I can’t say enough amazing things about her – I love her.
So anyway, this book is incredible. I still get chills when I think of the ending. Also, the fact that this is also scarily relevant today makes this even better (or worse? because UNDER HIS EYE? HELL TO THE NO). I’ve also seen the entire first season of the show and it’s SO. GOOD. Like holy hell, the end of the last episode got me like
I give this book a solid 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
#2 The Fireman
“The fireman is coming. Stay cool.
No one knows exactly when it began or where it originated. A terrifying new plague is spreading like wildfire across the country, striking cities one by one: Boston, Detroit, Seattle. The doctors call it Draco Incendia Trychophyton. To everyone else it’s Dragonscale, a highly contagious, deadly spore that marks its hosts with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies—before causing them to burst into flames. Millions are infected; blazes erupt everywhere. There is no antidote. No one is safe.”
Ah, Joe Hill… How I love thee. I was so excited for this book because 1) It’s Joe Hill and 2) it’s dystopian – aka perfection in book form. I pre-ordered a personalized signed first edition of this and it’s my precious.
This was a book I carried with me everywhere and it literally hurt me to put it down when I had to adult. It could get a little slow at times, but I felt like the information given at those points was important to the story and made you appreciate the characters and what they were going through more. What really made this book a-freaking-mazing was the Coda following the credits in the back of the book. Chills guys, CHILLS.
I give this book 🌟🌟🌟🌟 ½
#1 Oryx and Crake
“Oryx and Crake is at once an unforgettable love story and a compelling vision of the future. Snowman, known as Jimmy before mankind was overwhelmed by a plague, is struggling to survive in a world where he may be the last human, and mourning the loss of his best friend, Crake, and the beautiful and elusive Oryx whom they both loved. In search of answers, Snowman embarks on a journey–with the help of the green-eyed Children of Crake–through the lush wilderness that was so recently a great city, until powerful corporations took mankind on an uncontrolled genetic engineering ride. Margaret Atwood projects us into a near future that is both all too familiar and beyond our imagining.”
Not only is this my favorite dystopian novel, but when people ask me what my very favorite book out of all the books I’ve read, this is it. And that’s saying something, because I’ve read a LOT of books.
This is book 1/3 of the MaddAddam trilogy by *all hail* Queen Atwood, but I read it years before I even knew it was part of a series. Let me just tell you my reaction when I found out it was the first of three:
Then my reaction when I realized how long I would have to wait for the other two:
I’ve lost count how many times I’ve read this book over the past 12 years, but it’s gotten to be a sort of comfort blanket for me. Oh, and it’s also relevant today. Can Atwood see the future? I think maybe. But seriously people, if you read any of the books on this list, make it this one first. The entire trilogy is good, but this is the best.
I give this book 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟× one billion