Dystopian novels are fictional stories that are set in a “broken” world. Think Elysium or The Hunger Games. In a dystopia there is great suffering, so the characters are often poor and struggling in some way, and this perhaps is what makes a dystopia so good to read. But what are the top 10 dystopian novels you should read? We’ve put together a list of the absolute BEST dystopian novels, so let’s take a look.
1. The Hunger Games
Written by Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games is a YA series that follows the perils of Katniss Everdeen, a teenage girl from the squallers of District 12, who takes her sister’s place in The Hunger Games where she must either kill or be killed. The book sold over 65 million copies in the US alone, so it’s definitely a much-loved story by many.
2. The Handmaid’s Tale
Though targetted at a much older audience due to its graphic content on sensitive subject matters, the famous Margaret Atwood novel is now on the GCSE English Literature reading list and it’s not hard to see why. The novel is set in a dystopian North America, a patriarchal, totalitarian theonomic state known as the Republic of Gilead, which has overthrown the United States government. In this place. The story follows the central character Offred, who is one of the “handmaids”, women who are forced to produce children for the “commanders”, the ruling class in Gilead. Dealing with themes of patriarchy and feminism, the novel is a timeless story still more relevant today than it was in 1985.
3. The Giver
While some might argue that The Giver is in fact set in a utopia (a perfect place), as the plot evolves, we learn that society is not as it seems. The story follows the main character Jonas as he tries to understand who is in a society where roles are assigned to citizens based on their qualities and natural interests. During the Ceremony of 12, Jones is named the “Receiver of Memory” the most unique job in the society, where he learns the truth about how this seemingly perfect society came to be. The novel deals with themes of coming of age, as well as totalitarianism, power and doing what’s right.