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A Dystopian Book Bucket List
Best-selling YA dystopian novel covers

Do you like reading modern, post-apocalyptic page-turners in the dystopian genre, like The Hunger Games trilogy or the Divergent series? If you're looking for recommendations for an original novel with similar appeal, whether for just yourself or for your entire book club, here's my Dystopian Book Bucket List. These novels are good reads for teens, young adults, and adults.

All of these speculative fiction best sellers feature thrilling adventures of great characters who live in a future dystopia (often a post-apocalypse society). Some are mysteries, some sci-fi (science fiction), some technothrillers. Most include at least a touch of romance.

The novels featured below range from popular works of literature from New York Times or USA Today best-selling authors to hot new indie releases that have reached the top 100, top 10, and even the #1 spot on Amazon's best seller lists. All of these best sellers are fantastic and worth the read. They also make perfect gifts!

Which ones are you going to add to your must-read Book Bucket List?

P.S. If you're a member of Amazon's Kindle Unlimited, the top 7 ebooks below are FREE to read!

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Books to add to your bucket list ...

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins The Hunger Games
by Suzanne Collins

Teens fight for their lives in a government-sponsored death match.

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

Above the Sky
by J.W. Lynne

A teen girl struggles to survive in a world full of secrets and lies.

Eighteen-year-old Seven lives where all is peaceful ... except for the violent war raging above the sky. Lifelike humanoid robots and self-operated drones tend to everyone's needs, leaving people free to enjoy life's pleasures. But there are strict rules and few choices.

Every year, on Assignment Day, the path of each eighteen-year-old's life is laid out. Some are given the jobs for which they have shown exceptional aptitude and are "paired" for mating. The others are sent off to fight in The War and never return.

When Assignment Day comes for Seven, the assignments shatter everything she's ever believed. The rules force everyone to accept their fates, but Seven decides to do something unprecedented: to go against the Decision Makers' wishes.
The Giver by Lois Lowry The Giver
by Lois Lowry

A boy is assigned to an important position in his community and learns the truth about the past.

This haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community.
The Unknown
by J.W. Lynne

Eight children were kidnapped. But why?

Eight kids, ages nine to seventeen, awaken to find that almost everything they have ever known has been stolen from them. They were ripped from their beds in the middle of the night and transported to an unfamiliar and unforgiving new world where there are strict rules, and they are punished if they refuse to obey.

As the kids grapple with their mysterious new reality, they struggle with disconcerting questions. Where in the world are they? Why were they taken away from their families? Will they ever get to go back home? And the most frightening question of all: Will this be the place where they die?
The Gender Game cover The Gender Game
by Bella Forest

A nineteen-year-old girl lives in a world divided by gender.

A toxic river divides nineteen-year-old Violet Bates's world by gender. Ever since the disappearance of her beloved younger brother, Violet's life has been consumed by an anger she struggles to control. Already a prisoner to her own nation, now she has been sentenced to death for her crimes. But one decision could save her life. To enter the kingdom of Patrus, where men rule and women submit. 
Configured book cover Jenetta Penner Configured
by  Jenetta Penner

A girl lives in a society where emotions are dangerous.

Seventeen-year-old Avlyn Lark is lucky to be alive, unlike her twin brother who died when they were four. And she's lucky to have been taken from her biological parents and assigned to a Level Two family. But mastering her emotions? That's a problem, especially when a rebel bomb blows up a building right in front of her.

On Configuration Day, Avlyn's official transition to adulthood, she's hired by Genesis Technologies, the government firm that monitors every citizen. Now, instead of blending in, Avlyn fears she'll be exposed for what she really is. If Gen Tech finds out how deeply she feels, it will ruin her life. And if they find out about her secret meetings with a mysterious member of the rebel forces, her life will be more than ruined. It will be over. 

by Laura Frances

A nineteen-year-old girl is forced onto a dangerous path.

There is no sun. There is no moon. There is only gray—the smog belched from coal-fueled factories. The Workers silently shuffle to their assigned posts. The Outcasts watch from the alley walls. On every corner, a Watcher stands stone-faced, a rifle in hand. This is the only life that exists. Beyond the mountains is a mystery and a dream. But dreams are foolish in a place like this.

Hannah has spent nineteen years dodging Watchers and doing as she is told. But when she wakes to the valley exploding in revolution, Hannah is forced onto a dangerous path, where nothing is what she believed. Suddenly freedom is in her grasp, and the way there requires working with the men she fears most.
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey The 5th Wave
by Rick Yancey

A teen girl tries to survive in a world devastated by the waves of an alien invasion that have devastated the Earth's population.

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it's the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth's last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie's only hope for rescuing her brother--or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.
Red Queen cover Red Queen
by Victoria Aveyard

A seventeen-year-old girl learns she has  magical powers.

Mare Barrow's world is divided by blood—those with common, Red blood serve the Silver-blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.

To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard—a growing Red rebellion—even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal.
The Maze Runner by James Dashner The Maze Runner
by James Dashner

Awakening in an elevator, remembering nothing of his past, a teen boy emerges into a world of about thirty other boys, all without past memories.

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround them is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying: Remember. Survive. Run. 
Divergent by Veronica Roth Divergent
by Veronica Roth

In a society where everyone must choose one faction, a teen girl discovers that she's Divergent, and therefore does not fit in to one faction.

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
Matched by Ally Condie Matched
by Ally Condie

A teen girl who lives in a society where people are matched with their life partners questions whether she was matched with the right person.

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow. 
Legend by Marie Lu Legend
by Marie Lu

A teen girl goes searching for her brother's murderer.

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day is the suspect. Day and June are caught in a game of cat and mouse. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

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