Top 5 Dystopians | Top 5 Tuesdays

Hello again! It’s Tuesday, and of course that means it’s time for a Top 5 post. Top 5 Tuesdays and their topics are brought to you by Shanah @ the Bionic Bookworm. Check out her blog, she’s awesome, and this page for the list of topics for August!

Oh man, I’m so excited! I love reading dystopian lit! Ever since reading the Hunger Games, I’ve been so aware of the genre, and really it has totally exploded in the book world, especially in the YA realm. My trouble will be narrowing it down to just 5!

Let’s go!

1) The House of the Scorpion – Nancy Farmer

Book cover of "The House of the Scorpion" by Nancy Farmer

When I first read this book, I was totally blown away by it. Not only did Farmer suck me into the story, I was completely shocked by the twist! This book definitely was killing it in the dystopian world before it was even a thing! Farmer is an amazing writer and this book is awesome. I am overdue for a re-read, since Farmer more recently has written a sequel to this, The Lord of Opium.

2) The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

Book cover of "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood

No dystopian fiction list would be complete without The Handmaid’s Tale. Atwood is a genius, and this book is a masterpiece of fiction, not just dystopian fiction. I had to read this in high school, so I can say that it is a credit to Atwood that I liked it despite being required to read it. I have since listened to the audiobook and loved it even more. I did watch the first season of the television adaptation of it on Hulu, and it was fine, but they did a lot of modernizing and change-up of the story for my taste. The book is a classic and it’s good as is.

3) Battle Royale – Koushun Takami / The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

I am not the first to compare these two books. There have been many who have cited the parallels between Collins’s work with that of Takami’s. I mean, it’s kids battling kids to the death. Lots similar there. I like both stories and, while I recognize their similarities, there are enough differences for me to enjoy them as separate entities. Besides, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Battle Royale is so gritty and hard-core. You might think The Hunger Games can’t be bested for it’s grit, but Battle Royale is so, so chilling and unflinchingly violent. For one, you spend way more time within the actual “battle.” It’s pretty much the whole story. And every kid has a bomb strapped to them that will explode if they try to remove it, plus, their “arena” is divided into zones and to keep the action up, every hour they’ll detonate anyone’s bomb if they’re within the designated zone, so it’s really about murder as punishment, rather than entertainment in this case. But honestly, the story is so good and Takami does an excellent job of giving each and every kid a backstory and a focus. I love it.

What else can I say about The Hunger Games, than that it really blew me away and got me hooked on this genre? It’s awesome and I love the series.

4) Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

Book cover of "Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury

Another classic of this genre, written well before the explosion of dystopian lit. Bradbury is a master of science fiction and often writes about the fall of humanity. The thing I love most about this book is just how searing it is despite being less than 200 pages. And it has so many futuristic tech examples that end up being a thing now (earbuds, flat screen tvs…). I also love that you can see how much Bradbury loves and values literature in this novel. It’s a great book (and another example of a book I was required to read, but loved anyway).

5) Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro

Book cover of "Never Let Me Go" by Kazuo Ishiguro

How can I finish this list without including Never Let Me Go?! I can’t! This book is so fantastic. I love it, it’s one of my favorite books and Ishiguro’s writing is so brilliant. This book is so chilling and haunting. The dystopian features are more subtle and low-key in this one. You don’t really see much of the world, because it’s very character driven. But the dots start to connect and you really get such a horrible view of what the world is and it really is quite scary and heartbreaking. I love the concept of cloning and the discussion of whether or not clones have souls. Ishiguro really digs into the philosophical nature of what it is to be human.

Thoughts & Thanks!

So, these are some of my favorite dystopian books, in my opinion some of the best in the genre. Like and comment if you agree or disagree with my choices!

What do you think of my selections? Did any of your favorites make it on this list? Thank you for reading this post. Let’s chat in the comments! And, as always, happy reading!

20 thoughts on “Top 5 Dystopians | Top 5 Tuesdays

    1. Hunger Games is awesome! Are you looking forward to Collins’s upcoming Hunger Games prequel series?


    1. I definitely liked Handmaid’s Tale better the second time I read it. I enjoyed the audiobook very much (it was narrated by Claire Danes).

      Liked by 1 person

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