Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Dystopian Books We’ve Ever Read


top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. The feature was created because The Broke and Bookish are particularly fond of lists (as are we!). Each week a new Top Ten list topic is given and bloggers can participate.

 Today’s Topic: Top Ten Dystopian Books We’ve Ever Read

So many dystopian books have come out over the last few years, but these are our favorites.


Kellee listed The Hunger Games and Divergent series, and I am relieved. There were too many books on my list, and I couldn’t narrow them down! Please know that those two series are obvious favorites for me, but here are five others I loved just as much.

1. 1984 by George Orwell


I loved teaching this book. My students always fell in love with it. It takes a bit of time to get into it, but it is so foundational as a dystopian text. Every time I read it, I remember all of the reasons I love it.

2. The Legend series by Marie Lu

legend series

I found this series to be more engaging than most of the other dystopian series. There is an excellent balance of plot and characterization.

3. The Maze Runner series by James Dashner

maze runner series

This series creates readers. Because of these books, my most reluctant readers fell in love with reading.

4. Unwind series by Neal Shusterman

unwind series

Admittedly, I haven’t read the third (or fourth) book in this series, but I enjoyed it very much. I need to get my hands on a copy of them!

5. The 5th Wave series by Rick Yancey

5th wave series 2

Oh, Rick Yancey, you are such a wonderful writer. I have only read the first book in this series so far, but it was fantastic. (As you can tell, I don’t like to read entire series!)


I am going to put these in order of when I read the first of the series. Although some of these may be a big cliche, these are some of the best dystopian books (series) out there.

1. The Giver series by Lois Lowry

the giver quartet

If you follow the blog, you know that The Giver is my favorite book of all time, so it is no surprise that it would end up on this list. I feel like The Giver is so powerful without being over the top. It truly makes you think and see your world differently.

2. Among the Hidden series by Margaret Peterson Haddix

shadow children books

I read the Shadow Children series with my brother because he read the first one and insisted I read it too (he is a third child, so I am sure it affected him in an intense way). Unlike The GiverAmong the Hidden is so suspenseful and lays a foundation for an action-packed series.

3. The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins

hunger games trilogy

I read The Hunger Games right when it came out, and I was blown away by the basis of the plot and the strong characters. I couldn’t put it down and waited impatiently for each of the books in the trilogy. Although it has become uber popular, I think it is deserving of all of the hype.

4. The Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness

chaos walking

Chaos Walking is a perfect title for this series because so much craziness happens in these three books! When I read The Knife of Never Letting Go, I was blown away by Ness’s craft. It is such a unique series, unlike any other book I’ve read, and probably one of the best books/series I’ve ever read.

5. Divergent series by Veronica Roth

divergent trilogy

I love this series. I don’t know why it just grabbed me, but it did. Maybe it is that it takes place in Chicago. Maybe it seems realistic to me with unintentional segregation that still exists today. Maybe it is because it reminded me of The Giver and Hunger Games mixed together. Maybe it is because Tris and Four are just such complex and kick butt characters. Whatever the reason is, I devoured these books and was so impressed which all three of them.

Which dystopian titles are your favorite? 

RickiSig and Signature

8 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Dystopian Books We’ve Ever Read”

  1. I am relieved I have read so many of these. The Legend series was one of my favourites which really surprised me. I often don’t read an entire series and sometimes, wish I hadn’t (After Divergent, I should have stopped!) The Chaos Walking series is one I want to try soon. Great list you two!

    • I haven’t read Legend yet–I need to fix that!
      I am so sad that you (and Ricki!) didn’t like the rest of the Divergent series. I found it so fascinating!
      Chaos Walking is such a unique series–you will not regret it.

      • Legend is one of my favorites, and I was also surprised I loved it so much! I think that is because the biggest bubble of the dystopian trend was on its way out. I completely agree with you about Divergent. The first book was fantastic.

      • My own children loved the Divergent series. I enjoyed the first although the super fast pace made me a little exhausted. I wanted room to breathe. I did read the next two but they just didn’t work. Felt kind of “ready to be a movie” written.

  2. Maze Runner bored me, but I keep a few copies of it in my classroom because kids do love it! I love most of the rest of your picks here. Chaos Walking might be my favorite, but Unwind and Hunger Games are up there too. The only one I haven’t read is Legend, but based on how much I like your other titles, I have to move that one up my to-read list!

  3. Good list. I would like to recommend a book that I think is a dystopian/science fiction gem called The Evolution of Robert Carr by author Paul K. Lovett (screenwriter for the Wahlberg movie 4 brothers). Check him out here:
    This book was a nonstop joy for me. In my opinion, if while reading a book, 4 hours can go by without me noticing…that is definitely a
    winner. Dystopian fiction, presented in a way that is thoughtful,
    intelligent and also full of heart is rare in my opinion. This book is not only written in a way that makes it extremely believable (maybe even prophetic, we’ll see!), but also has amazing character development. It’s funny and intense. It explores concepts such as human augmentation, AI/human interaction and the implications of this technology. A must read for dystopian and scifi fans


Leave a Comment