16 Best Dystopian Books For Teens Update 05/2022

Dystopian Books For Teens

The best dystopian books for teens came up after I made a list of dystopian books for adults.

Even though I specialize in adult literature, I have a soft spot for young adult books. I don’t read it as much as I used to, but when I do, I tend to go for teen dystopian fiction when I do.

There is something enthralling about the action in YA books. There is so much plot and emotional drama that it is easy to get caught up in romance and adventure with them.

If you want to read some of the best young adult dystopian novels, here are some that I’ve read or am interested in reading.

Rare Standalone Dystopian Books for Teens

The Grace Year

Kim Liggett

The Grace Year

“The Handmaid’s Tale” meets “Lord of the Flies” in this story set in the oppressive Garner county, where men rule. During their “grace year,” all 16-year-old girls are sent away to a place where they can be alone so that their magic can be burned out. Before they leave, bachelors pick brides who are good enough for them. In this dystopian world, Tierney James knows that she will never be chosen as a wife, and that she doesn’t want to be. She also dreams of one day changing this world. Even though Tierney is in her grace year, she starts to wonder: Do women even have magic?


Neal and Jarrod Shusterman

California has been in a drought for a long time, and people have been told to save water. Neal and Jarrod Shusterman think about what would happen if the wells ran dry. Alyssa’s quiet neighborhood quickly turns into a war zone with people who need water. You’ll be amazed at how well this possible scenario shows how society would break down. Hoarding, profiteering, and evacuation centers are all shown.

Ready Player One

Ernest Cline

Cline is said to be writing a sequel to Ready Player One. For now, though, it is one of the few standalone dystopian novels for teens. The OASIS is a virtual world where you can be anything or anyone. Most people spend all their time there because real life is a mess. The Oasis’s creator has hidden the ultimate Easter egg in the program, which promises to give you a lot of power and money. Wade Watts has spent most of his teenage years studying obscure pop culture trivia. He finds a clue that everyone else seems to have missed, but he doesn’t know why. He was more into games than I was. The book was better than the movie.

Addicting Dystopian Trilogies

The Hunger Games

Suzanne Collins

A lot of people think Suzanne Collins’s series The Hunger Games is the best dystopian book for teens because it is so good. In Panem, the Capitol has all the power and wealth, while the rest of the districts are poor and forced to do manual labor. Every year, two young people from each district are chosen to fight to the death on TV. This year, Katniss Everdeen is this year’s tribute, which means that she has to decide what she is willing to do to win. To save her sister, she does this. The Hunger Games has had a bigger impact on dystopian fiction for teenagers than any other book. It’s been a big hit from start to finish.


Veronica Roth


In a future version of Chicago, there are five groups of people who each have a different value. They are: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite. To leave her parents’ simple and altruistic life in Abnegation and join the fearless defenders at Dauntless, Tris Prior made the decision on the day that she could choose. As she competes to get into the new group of initiates, Tris finds out about a much bigger conspiracy. A lot of teenagers will enjoy Divergent even though it has a very strange premise.

The Fifth Wave

Rick Yancey

An alien force attacks the Earth in a variety of ways: cutting off power, causing tsunamis and earthquakes, spreading disease, and taking over the Earth. Now, the fifth wave is about to start, with the goal of killing all humans. She meets Evan Walker, another survivor, as she goes on a mission to save her little brother from The Others. She has to decide how much anyone can be trusted in this world after the world has been turned into a mess of garbage. You should read The 5th Wave if you want more books like The Hunger Games and Divergent.

The Knife of Never Letting Go

Patrick Ness

To Todd Hewitt, who is the only boy in a town of men, he can tell that everyone is keeping something from him. Then one day, he finds a girl in the woods that he doesn’t understand. After The Knife of Never Letting Go, the next dystopian book for young people to read is finished, it could become a movie with Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley in it.


Neal Shusterman

It’s like a dream: a world without sickness, hunger, war, or death. Humanity has overcome its most basic nature, so now humans can live for ever and ever and ever. Knowing that resources are limited, scythes are given the power to kill in order to keep the population under control. To become good at death, Citra and Rowan must learn from someone who is good at it.


Ally Condie


In the Society, you get a perfect life. This means that your perfect job, ideal mate, and other major decisions are already made for you, and you don’t have to think about them. Seeing her best friend’s face on the screen makes Cassie happy. There’s also another face that shows up on the screen. Choose the life and love she wants. This is something Cassie never thought she’d have to do. The dystopian teen book Matched is a good choice for tweens.


Lauren Oliver

People in this dystopian teen romance think that love is bad for them, because the government says that it is bad for their health. When people are 18 years old, they go through a process called “The Cure.” With only a few months to go until her 18th birthday, Lena Haloway is excited for her turn to become an adult. When she meets a mysterious boy from the wild, he makes her think about doing something she never thought she would do: falling in love.

The Host

Stephenie Meyer

However, Stephenie Meyer has written a series of dystopian books for teens as well. She is best known for writing the Twilight series. The world has been taken over by an alien species that takes over the minds of humans, but keeps their bodies. In a surprise, Wanderer is shocked to see that her human body hasn’t given up on fighting. Melanie Stryder doesn’t want to give up control, so she fills Wanderer’s mind with a boy named Jared who is still in hiding. Now Wanderer and Melanie have to work together to find him.

Must-Read YA Dystopian Book Series

Red Queen

Victoria Aveyard

In a genetic twist of fate, mankind has been split into two groups: the good and bad. The Silvers are the most powerful people in the world, with superhuman powers coursing through their silver-blooded veins. On the other hand, red-blooded humans live as commoners who can be killed. Mare Barrow was working at the Palace when she found out that she has more power than most Silvers. Can she pass off as a lost Silver princess? Or will she be found out as a spy for the Red resistance movement? Even though the later books didn’t live up to Red Queen, I still liked this X-Men-style dystopian series a lot.

The Maze Runner

James Dashner

The Maze Runner

Meet Thomas, a boy who wakes up in a scary labyrinth with no memory of his past. People run through the maze every day, and they have to fight dark creatures who want to get out. Until one day, a girl shows up and says that time is running out. This isn’t the best-written show ever. As long as I kept reading, I could see why they were made into movies. To find a good young adult book to read, try this one. Just don’t pay too much attention to the big plot holes.

Shatter Me

Tahereh Mafi

Juliette, a girl whose touch kills, has been in prison for a long time. She accidentally killed someone. People in the Reestablishment just put her in prison and then forgot about her. There aren’t any drums of war until someone says that Juliette might be the best weapon.


Scott Westerfeld

It’s good for teens to read dystopian books because they make them think about their fears. Uglies is a book that looks at how people think about themselves. Tally is excited to be turning sixteen soon because she will soon be able to go through a long procedure that will make her look like a completely different person. Once you’re a pretty person, you get to live a life of luxury and fun. When Tally’s best friend runs away to avoid the surgery, Tally is asked to find her or not have the surgery herself.


Marie Lu

In a country that is always at war, two teenagers from different parts of society play a clever game of cat-and-mouse. June comes from a rich family and is going to be one of the military’s top commanders one day. Day, on the other hand, was born and raised in the slums and has become one of the most wanted criminals in the country. When June’s brother is killed, Day is the main suspect, and June will do anything to get back at Day for killing her brother.

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