Top Ten 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

This book is so relevant, even today, that it never fails to scare me. If it were not for all the metaphors, which fit in their own far fetched and amazing way, this could be considered a non fiction book, an it deserves more than number one here... this book is just plain awesome.

Someone please tell me WHY ON EARTH Divergent is ranked #1? Especially HEAD of books like 1894 and Brave New World? First of all, I've never heard of a dystopian novel more idiotic than Divergent. But I won't get into that now. Thisplace is as messed up as Goodreads. Stupid fangirls. Think that Divergent isawesome? I beg you to give Brave New World a try. Oh, wait- maybe your brain is so dumbed down by that mediocre novel that you wouldn't even understand the former. I'm disappointed, that's all. I know I sound rude, but I'm just shocked. REALLY shocked. And disgruntled. REALLY disgruntled. No offense to those of you who I have offended. Just please, make sure 1984 gets to the top of this list before I explode. Brave New World, A Handmaid's Tale, and others also deserve top spots. I'm fine with the Hunger Games being on here, but Divergent? Really?

I haven't read it yet, but I know enough about it to know that this book is a masterpiece of the dystopian genre. George Orwell was an absolute genius!

About 2/3 through and it is a great book! Definitely a good read.

2 Brave New World

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.

I'd say it's a tie between this and 1984 for the best dystopian novel. Gotta love the classics, especially the messages that the authors of both this book and 1984 are trying to convey.

The best utopian Dystopia.

Don't get me wrong, I love 1984, Fahrenheit 451, A Clockwork Orange (although I prefer the film) and Lord of the Flies, but I have a soft spot for Huxley.

3 The Hunger Games

Should be #1. Best book ever! So much tension and excitement. Katniss is an amazing character! Page turning and has unexpected twists. 5/5 Stars

I read this book over a year ago, and I still obsess over it. The characters in this series are so well written, and their development is on point.

YASSS! I was looking for this. Way better than 1984 or Brave New World. Sorry fans of those books but these books are AMAZING!

Why do people hate young adult books so much? I'll admit some are bad but most are really good. Hunger games beats brave new world in every category.

4 Fahrenheit 451

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.

Are you kidding me? This novel deals with the concept of censorship. This novel is probably one of the best I've ever read.

Love this book. The story is great and the writing keeps you in focus.

5 Divergent

Divergent is the best book ever! This should be #1 tied with the Hunger games

Similar to the Hunger games. Beatrice (later Tris) makes a life changing decision. To change factor to dauntless. Full of excitement and tension.

Divergent is a shameless ripoff of Harry Potter and Hunger games. People need to stop calling it original. It hits all the same twists as the two books listed above, and people love Roth for just trying to sneak that by people. she just tweaked some things and thought it would be a great way to earn some money. I'll admit it has its high points, but you can't pretend that there are some things she adjusted that are similar

How so Harry Potter? I agree totally with the fact that Veronica Roth ripped off of the Hunger Games, but how is it a rip off of Harry Potter? - HaiThere

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.

6 A Clockwork Orange

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


7 Animal Farm

An obvious yet entertaining and deep metaphor for Soviet Russia, I would highly recommend it to any fan of the dystopian genre.

A satirical society, but not a dystopia.

Loved it!

It's more of an allegory than dystopian. But I kinda like the book about animals portrayed as a metaphor of Soviet Russia's history.

Such as Napoleon was Stalin and so on.
I guess it's where Soviet Russia jokes came from.

8 The Giver

Not great, but it's kind of like the father of all dystopian books.

This book took complete advantage of fore-shadowing and symbolism in the most beautiful literary way imaginable. Ver well-done.

Every student should read this book in class. It really makes you wonder how if the world was different you wouldn't realize it, and would instead be likely to embrace that worldview instead. Basically, makes you question authority and "truth".

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

9 The Maze Runner

Feels like you are a journey with the characters. Amazing book. Must read.

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!

Best dystopia ever!

It's an a_maze_ing book! vote, vote And vote please!

10 Lord of the Flies

Introduction: This is the worst book I have read and probably the worst I will ever read. No kidding. Worse than books by Eric Walters or Gordan Korman, or the Infinity Ring series. These are my reasons why, which are impossible to argue against.

1: What is the point of making a book if you can't even read it? What I mean is that the author William Golding can't communicate his ideas of what is going on, and therefore we can't figure it out. I therefore felt less absorbed in the book and felt less for the characters.

2: This book is extremely unoriginal. I can't believe Golding actually woke up one morning and said, "You know what book I REALLY HAVE TO WRITE? One about kids stranded on an island! "

3: The events in this book should have been exciting, yet for some reason they are boring. I don't know why. Maybe it's the writing style.

Also: I can't believe people actually DEFEND this book just because it has metaphor. Hello! Most books have metaphor. It's a ...more

I love this book, but I have to give my vote to Battle Royale. Although this novel had excellent themes.

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.

The Newcomers

? Unsouled - Neal Shusterman

Feels a bit rushed and repetitive (not the plotline, but almost everything in the book is repeated over and over. Has a funny start in the first chapter, and a good conclusion that technically isn't a conclusion at all.

? UnWholly - Neal Shusterman

UnWholly is pretty good but adds less likable characters to the "I Hate Connor Lassiter" club, and unlike J.T Nelson, Starkey doesn't have a good reason. Just prejudice.

The Contenders

11 Battle Royale

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 ...more

It was hard between this and the hunger games. People always say they are so alike. I read both, and there really are so many differences. Both are great, both are 10/10 books, but this one beats it out a little more due to more action and thrill.

After reading all the troll-flaming online about how THG was a ripoff of BR, I had to watch this movie version and read the book. Sadly, they are both so disappointing. The movie is nothing but empty splatter-porn, and the book is as soulless as anything I've read in 35+ years of reading. Also, the rabid cries of plagiarism are proof of ignorance. Neither THG or BR is original.

By comparison, THG has a rich, evocative landscape. The characters are complex and empathetic. Even in my mid-40s, I found myself reading it far into the night, unwilling to put it aside.

12 Gone

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 We
14 Unwind

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.

This is my favorite book EVER! I'm still waiting for the third book to come out

This series deserves so much more love. I used to be a fan of The Hunger Games and I thought it was a good book. Oh boy, was I wrong. Unwind is a far better series. Sure not all the characters are likable *cough cough* I'm looking at you Starkey, but it honestly doesn't really matter.

This is best of all the Dystopian Novels... Far much better than Divergent

It actually feels original. Connor is one of my favorite characters in any books. Only person who beats him is Percy Jackson, but only because he's better known. - HaiThere

15 Among the Hidden
16 The Chrysalids
17 V for Vendetta
18 Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
19 The Running Man

Pretty much one of the best settings created by King.

20 The Time Machine
21 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.

22 Legend

Better than The Hunger Games.

What the heck how is this number 21 this as good as the hunger games.

23 Gulliver's Travels

This is a dystopia?

24 Metamorphosis
25 The Road
26 The Handmaid's Tale

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?

0.7 %? REALLY?

27 The Stand - Stephen King
28 Matched


Matched was the first Dystopian Novel I read, althoughh there are better ones, this novel deserves to be in the top ten. Thank you, Ally Condie!

29 Anthem
30 Allegiant

So Insurgent was not as good as Allegiant, Allegiant by Veronica Roth is part of the Divergent trilogy, and I completely hate how rude these people leaving comments on Divergent and The Hunger Games are thinking that Brave New World is better than Divrgent and THG! Get some sense...


31 The Mortal Instruments - Cassandra Clare

I love it but not sure its dystopian

Best series ever

32 Selection Series

Originally I thought this was romance but it is also dystopian. I don't generally read romance but this was an exception. The way in which characters are forced to leave Which is like they die (like in the Hunger games) though less violent. It is a game which America doesn't want to be in but falls in love

I had no clue this was a dystopia. Then again, I haven't read it in years.

America spends too much time going, "I love him, I love him not". Nah.

I love love love this series team maxon

33 Feed
34 The Gunslinger
35 The Long Walk
36 Life As We Knew It
37 Logan's Run
38 The Fault In Our Stars
39 Sapphique - Catherine Fisher

Sapphique isn't as great as Incarceron, but it's more satisfying than Divergent by far, even if the ending is a bit rushed and abrupt.

40 Delirium

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

Best series I have read since The Hunger Games.

It's everything in one

41 The Testing
42 Uglies

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.

43 Shatter Me
44 Uglies - Scott Westerfeld

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

45 Caesar's Column
46 Never Let Me Go
47 Welcome to the Monkey House
48 This Perfect Day

This is a novel by Ira Levin. I just finished this, and it was a very great book.

49 Shades of Grey

Jasper Fforde is an incredible modern author. His imagination is fascinating.

He invented a very odd world where your status is based on what colors you can see. Plus, there is a massive rulebook with millions of rules. You get "demerited" if you disrespect them. If you lose all your merits, you go to reboot camp. This world is complex and mysterious, with many oddities. The characters in the novel are also quite entertaining.

A great book.

50 Frost

It’s a great dystopian novel, aimed more for young adults, like hunger games. It is an entertaining book about how the world is a wasteland now, do to something called the “Days of Bedlam”

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