Ten Books in my Dystopian 101 Class

Posted August 25, 2015 by Carlisa in Features, Top Ten Tuesday / 20 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday

Hello, class. Welcome to Dystopian Literature 101. I know, I know. You don’t want to be sitting here, listening to me talk about the calss that you’re about to take. But…suck it up. Because I’m a rockin’ professor. Just kidding, but not really.

Okay, in all seriousness, this week’s TTT prompt is “Ten Books That’d Be On Your Syllabus If You Taught X 101.” And this one is just in time for my classes to start…next week (no, YOU’RE crying). But I super struggled thinking of something to do for this. I wanted to be creative and awesome like all of you lovely people reading this are. But sometimes the creativity and awesomeness just isn’t flowing in my, you know? So here I was…sitting in my new apartment and I saw my Hunger Games set and it hit me: dystopian. This is a very popular trope right now (and some may say that it’s overdone but I don’t care) but it has produced some awesome books!

[Sidenote and shameless plug: I talked about the Dystopian trend in a discussion a little while ago. Check that out here.]

Your Class Booklist

the hunger gamesHunger Games series by Suzanne Collins

If you haven’t yet read Hunger Games, you need to come to my apartment so I can smack you. Just kidding, I would never do that. Except if you really come to my apartment and I’ve never met you before…I might smack you then because, you know, stranger danger.

Okay, focus Carli. Focus. The Hunger Games are the bomb and, just so you know, I read them before they became popular…#HipsterStatus. I’m hoping to do a re-read before the final movie comes out, so if you haven’t read them…get on it.

the programThe Program series by Suzanne Young

This is a series I just read this past summer…and I totally fell in love. Click the picture for my review of the first book. They are so crazy and mind-blowy and just overall awesome.

The government creates “The Program” after suicide becomes a worldwide crisis. One in three teenagers were committing suicide and they had to stop it somehow. I just find it super interesting because it’s something that could actually happen. Suicide is a real problem in today’s world. So go read this series.

ugliesThe Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld

I’m a firm believer in the Uglies series. Where oil no longer is an option, what kind of world would we live in? Not a world like the one we see around us, that’s for sure.

The Uglies series paints a wondrous picture of what we may see in the future: a world without much of a future, to be honest.

Individuality = necessity.

The Divergent sdivergenteries

I’m going to be honest here. I’m not really a Divergent fan. But I can’t talk about the dystopian trend in today’s day and not talk about Divergent. Besides the Hunger Games, it’s one of the most popular dystopian stories out there.

So it’s included. Even though I don’t necessarily like the series that much. And I think the movies are better. Eep.

the 5th waveThe 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

This is also a new one to my Read list. I read the first book in this series in May or June, I think…and I loved it. Sometimes the narration was a little too flowery but I didn’t really care because I thought the story was unique and awesome.

Alien dystopia. Totally not something I would find myself interested in…but I loved it. And now I need to find time to read the sequel. And the movie comes out next year so you need to hop aboard this bus real quick.

The Givthe giverer by Lois Lowry

I jumped on this bandwagon a little late as I just read this book this past year. Mostly because the movie was coming out and, you know, I have to read the book first. So I did and I loved it!

This one is a little different because it was written really before the dystopian trend kicked off, giving it a unique and fresh feel. It’s just beautiful and a classic. So go read it.

delirium lauren oliverThe Delirium series by Lauren Oliver

I am a huge Lauren Oliver fan and this book is the one that got me started with her. I think it’s such a cool idea. Love is deemed a disease. And something that needs to be controlled for a more peaceful world.

And if you think about it…that’s true. Love causes a lot of problems in the world. Love of a person can drive someone crazy, love of money, of power…I just like this concept a lot.

The Maze Runner series by James Dashnerthe maze runner

Again, I hopped on this train last year because the movie was coming out. I read them and didn’t absolutely love them. But they’re still really good. They’re very visual and kind of mind-boggling dystopian stories.

I’m going to raise my hand here in my alone-corner again when I say that I think the movie was better than the book. Eep.

unwindUnwind by Neal Shusterman

This is a book that has received wonderful reviews. I read it awhile ago and thought it was a really interesting concept. I didn’t get super into it because I think I read it too fast (yes, that’s a thing) and didn’t grasp everything fully.

But I want to eventually read it again…especially because I heard rumor of a 2016 movie release? True? False? I don’t know. But if it motivates me to read and love a book, I’m all for it.

The Steelsteelheartheart series by Brandon Sanderson

Everything Brandon Sanderson does is just perfect. He is the king of world-building and fantasy. So when your take the Steelheart series, which is like a combination of urban fantasy and dystopian…beautiful things happen.

Seriously, I just love this. The witty characters, the super-people, the sheer awesomeness of the plot and idea and everything. And the third one comes out next year and I cannot wait. Seriously.


Okay, class. Go to the library or the bookstore. Crack open your first book and get reading. I’ll have a reading quiz on all ten series next week.

mr. feeny

  • I would be pretty impressed if I was handed that reading list! Great choices. 🙂

  • I will never get sick of Dystopian. I just love it. Ok, so I think you may know how in love I am with The Program. I can’t remember if you have read The Remedy yet? IT’S EVEN BETTER!

    I actually just discovered a few days ago, from watching BookTube, what Uglies is all about. I know it’s an oldie, but I want to read it :). I haven’t read The Maze Runner, but I would like to because I loved the movie. I know you said the movie was better, but I still have hope. Does the book follow closely to the movie plot?

    Mr. Feeny <3.

    • When I think of the Program series, the first person I’d think of would be you. And I’m so glad we both love them because I feel like they don’t get as much recognition as they should! And YES I’ve read The Remedy! I think I liked the Program and Treatment a little more…but I’m SO excited for the new one to come out. It’s called The Epidemic, yes?

      You should totally read the Uglies. I read them for the first time back in middle school, so it’s been awhile. And I think the nostalgia is a big factor into why I still love them.

      And the book and the movie of Maze Runner are actually pretty different. They changed a lot of the things I think to make it better visually, but both versions were good!

      • The Epidemic, you are correct! I just really loved Deacon from The Remedy. I’m also excited for Hotel Ruby coming out in November!

  • I would really love to take this class. I mean, Who doesn’t love some good dystopian literature? I think I’d add some classics too though. I studied Brave New World in high school and loved that, so I’d have to include it.

    My list

    • I knooow. I would be the first to register. I haven’t studied many classic dystopians but I would like to!

  • MeezCarrie

    I love The Giver! My TTT

  • Great list! Would definitely take this class. I really want to read The Program series! Another case of me owning all of the books but haven’t gotten around to them yet.

    • If you have them, you NEED to read them. Like Suzanne Young’s writing hypnotized me. It was so good. And trippy. And you’ll trust no one ever again. But in a good way, you know?

      • Yeah, I know what you mean. I really want to read Young’s books but I probably won’t be able to read them until December.

  • Jo Elliott

    Unwind is amazing, definitely try it again! I did the same list as you this week and we came out with quite a few of the same books, The Hunger Games, Unwind, The Maze Runner, Divergent and Uglies were all on my list too! The Program sounds really interesting, I may have to add it to my TBR.

    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2015/08/25/top-ten-tuesday-19/

    • I’m actually taking a Juvenile Lit class this coming semester and Unwind is on the syllabus so I’ll be reading it again soon! Hopefully I’ll like it more!

  • OK WHY WITH THE FEENY PIC. Making me all emotional D:

  • Sam

    YESS I love this!! Divergent, The Program, The Fifth Wave, Delirium, The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner and The Giver would all totally be featured in my theoretical dystopian 101 class too! I sadly have not read anything from Brandon Sanderson yet…but I really need to get on that! Great post!

    • Y E S. You need to read Brandon Sanderson. He is king of world-building.

  • Rissi

    I’ve eyed ‘The Program’ before, however haven’t read it. Good to know it was a great read – I’ll have to check out your review. 🙂

    • Yeees, you should read it. If you like YA dystopia, then you’d like these books!