Top 10 Best Dystopian Novels

A dystopia is the polar opposite of a utopia; in other words, the worst society imaginable. Most dystopian novels serve as cautionary tales, warning humanity of the consequences of certain political or social actions.
The Top Ten
1 1984 (George Orwell)

This book is a masterpiece and most definitely presents a chilling image of what the world could become, and is unfortunately on a path towards. Just look around. The indoctrination of our youth, the redefining of our language, and the presentation of contradictory ideas presented as one. All to confuse the citizens and make them subservient. Pair the alarmingly relevant message with great characters and a compelling plot, 1984 is undoubtedly one of the greatest classics of all time.

This book honestly predicted the future, in a way. Many of the things in this classic novel were predicted, and the messed-up world is really messed-up.

2 The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)

Hands down my absolute favorite dystopia ever (and my favorite book series period)! Ingenious, intense, breathtaking, heartbreaking, terrifying and somehow beautiful all at the same time. Truly phenomenal in every way. In order, my ten favorites are these: (1) The Hunger Games, (2) Maze Runner, (3) Legend, (4) Brave New World, (5) The Giver, (6) Fahrenheit 451, (7) Mortal Engines, (8) The 5th Wave, (9) The Testing, (10) Divergent.

Have not read a whole lot of dystopian, but this is my favorite so far, even my favorite book! I also love the giver. I haven't read maze runner or divergent but I want to read them next.

I also am going to read 1984 because it seems to be a favorite. But The Hunger Games, I will love forever.

3 Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)

This book is one of the greatest I've ever read. A well designed plot and so relevant in so many ways. I find it frightening how much this book mirrors the present, from the over-sexualization of society, to the superiority of one class just because they were born that way, to even everyone taking drugs (soma in the book). I think Brave New World is ingeniously written and definitely deserves to be read more.

Seriously the best dystopian novel ever. These preteen dystopias are all about love. The classics such as Brave New World, 1984, Fahrenheit 451 and We actually mean something. They have a message. I STRONGLY recommend anyone who thinks The Hunger Games and Divergent are true dystopian to give these a try.

4 Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury)

To me, since I only read Fahrenheit 451 and 1984, it was a toss up between the two books. I like how 1984 conveys fear about totalitarianism but I think I have to give my award to Fahrenheit 45. Fahrenheit 451 has an interesting and creative setting where books are illegal and firefighters only burn down books. I love every event of the story: the beginning, the middle, and even the end. I love how analytical Ray Bradbury is about how people behave if they only rely on technology and never on books. The dystopian future is what inspired me to read this book. I wouldn't imagine a world without books until Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. 1984 is a more scary concept in my opinion, but I think I would prefer reading a book about books and why they are important to society.

5 Divergent (Veronica Roth)

What? Just because the Hunger Games is more popular doesn't mean it's better! I LOVED Divergent. I needed to lie on my bed to recover after reading book three. A word of advice, Veronica. Don't kill off characters. Oh. And Battle Royale was so alike the hunger games that I'm surprised its not above HG.

Divergent is far more interesting than the hunger games and it has one of the most realistic and well-built love stories. Very inspirational, and there is so much to take away from this wonderful book.

The book is a great read. Awesome characters, a promising concept, a unique setting and a general air of mystery to it. Too bad the sequel was one of the worst books I have ever read in my life.

6 The Giver (Lois Lowry)

I read this when I was in middle school for a report and was very, very pleasantly surprised. The storyline and premises are very interesting and original. It is written for children but still sparks interest. An amazing book overall, its simplicity and shortness make it even more haunting.

So beautifully written. I love all the places, so different almost like other worlds. I read the first book when I was really young (like 7 or 8) and I didn't know about the other books. They are strung together so well, and each place has its own traditions. 10/10 recommend.

7 The Maze Runner (Wes Ball)

One of the comments under "A Handmaid's Tale" says that there are some decent new dystopian novels. Well, this is one of them, and I think it's even listed. Worth your time much more than Divergent, and at least it has a believable concept. Read it!

I truly don't think any of these can hold a candle to the Hunger Games (just my opinion), but if any of them comes even close to competing, it's this series. The Maze Runner and the Fever Code are hands down the best of the five.

I don't know why it's so underrated. It's an amazing book! The story is planned and keeps the reader glued! One of the best books!

8 Lord of the Flies (William Golding)

That one person who was going on a rant about how terrible this book is.
1. The writing style is old, because the book is old. It's a modern classic, so it's obviously going to be written that way.
2. Although the idea of boys being stranded on an island is fairly common, no former author had thought of their descent into savagery and the fact that they were fighting themselves, not pirates.
3. It's your opinion that the plot is boring, but it's original and the writing style is different.

Thank you and good night.

9 V for Vendetta (Alan Moore)
10 A Clockwork Orange (Anthony Burgess)

This is the greatest novel/movie in my opinion. Nothing can beat the classic and very well written "A Clockwork Orange."

The Contenders
11 The Running Man (Stephen King)

Pretty much one of the best settings created by King.

12 Gone (Michael Grant)

Gripping SIX BOOKS. Would take people more than 3 months to finish but all worth it for this epic series with a plot twist around every corner of Perdido Beach.

13 Among the Hidden (Margaret Peterson Haddix)

Imagine a world where you can only have 2 kids. Some, though, break that rule and have more. These third children are hidden away, and will be taken from their families if they are discovered. Using this world, you either get a horrible, depressing novel or a work of art. This book is the latter. Go read it, it's really well written and it makes you think really hard.

14 Unwind (Neal Shusterman)

At first, I was uninterested, because I had better things to do with my life at the time. Or so I thought. That was back in sixth grade when my life was consumed by an iPad. When I decided to check it out again, last year, I liked it, to say the least. The characters are some of my favorites from any novels. Although there are some big jerks, but there are way more relatable characters. I actually was the guy who submitted Connor, Risa, and Lev to the "Best Book Characters" list, and several others. It's easily my favorite dystopian novel. I'm re-reading the series, and it's easily better than Divergent or even the Hunger Games.

15 The Time Machine (H. G. Wells)
16 Battle Royale (Koushun Takami)

I am very ashamed to say that I once believed that the Hunger Games was a masterpiece. And then I read this. And then I read a plethora of other dystopian masterpieces, including The Running Man, Brave New World, 1984 (which were all incredible, by the way), and many, MANY more. The Hunger Games is preteen garbage! Believe me - I used to be a huge fan. But looking back, I feel stupid for ever liking it. It's just a bunch of crappy romance and poorly written characters. The environment was generic and the villain weak. Battle Royale on the other hand is incredibly written with VERY developed characters. In Hunger Games we don't learn anything about anyone except Katniss (who is a horrible character, by the way), so there's really no reason to feel bad for them when they meet their demises. Hell, some of them don't even get names. In Battle Royale, you feel bad when characters die because EVERYONE gets a detailed backstory (in case you aren't aware, THG and BR have pretty much the same premise. But BR came out first). Also, Takami is an expert at delving into psychology. This novel is gritty, realistic, and very action packed, but it leaves enough time for moral themes and character depth at the same time. Please, if you liked the Hunger Games, give this novel a read. It was the best reading-related decision I have ever made in my life and is what I believe to be the spark of my maturity. I'm very sorry to rant, but if you give this novel the time, you'll understand my outrage. Thank you.

17 Legend (Marie Lu)

Honestly not the most thrilling series ever, but for all that it contains a lot of really wholesome lessons and beautiful characters. I think that of all the series listed here, this is the only one that really shows us what true love is--both June and Day sacrifices warm and break your heart at the same time, showing that they are forever willing to put each other over themselves. Once again, it's not SUPER heart-pounding or gripping or brilliant, but the extraordinary character development has to be the best in the teen/romance/dystopian/drama group.

18 The Testing (Joelle Charbonneau)

This series was felt a little like a mish-mash of The Hunger Games, Divergent, and Maze Runner...but it definitely had a little of its own uniqueness to offer. Honestly the characters aren't really very relatable or anything, but I still think it was very well written and certainly worth reading :)

This is like a combo of the Hunger Games and The Maze Runner. I love this trilogy.

Major Hunger Games vibes, but it is an amazing book.

19 The Stand (Stephen King)
20 Gulliver's Travels (Jonathan Swift)
21 Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Philip K. Dick)
22 Incarceron (Catherine Fisher)

Incarceron and Sapphique are kind of borderline for dystopian novels. Yes, they're dystopian, but they also have elements of fantasy. It's interesting, and Catherine Fisher is highly underrated, but can't beat Unwind. Nonetheless, it's very interesting and I would encourage you to read it.

23 The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood)

The amount of ridiculous dystopias on here is unreal. Matched, Divergent, Delirium? Really? There are some decent new dystopias, like The Hunger Games and Maze Runner, but still. Why is this list dominated by dystopian novels no one over the age of 13 would enjoy?

24 Delirium (Lauren Oliver)

This is the best book for me. Divergent comes next, then Hunger games.

Best series I have read since The Hunger Games.

25 Uglies (Scott Westerfeld)

This book is awesome...I like the story line as it is pretty different from other dystopian novels.

I'm sorry but It's impossible for me to take a book with that name seriously.

This book is amazing! I loved it. Read all of them!

8Load More
PSearch List