Dystopian isn’t entirely my genre of choice, but how can I resist a challenge from Shanah over at Bionic Bookworm Blog? The T5T spirit in me is strong. I’ve committed. I can DO THIS.
Motivational pep talk aside, check out these five dystopian titles. They might not be in my genre of choice, but I’ll stand by them all the same!
This Savage Song by VE Schwab
It’s not a T5T unless there’s a Schwab book at the top of my list, huh? But really, TSS is a phenomenal dystopia, one of the best I’ve ever read. I love how full it is of monsters, including monstrous humans, and the dark, gritty current of it is absolutely captivating. Toss in the power of music to be literally soul-destroying, along with a main character who will do whatever it takes to satisfy her own ambitions, and you have a book I adore with every fiber of my being!
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
Just a week and some ago, I did a series of mini reviews on the TDM series, and while I know this series doesn’t gel with everyone, it’s one of my favorites. I actually won a copy of TDM in a contest in high school, so it holds a special place in my heart for that reason, but also because I love the cast of TDM. Ruby is an excellent reluctant heroine, given how she takes action but also has a cautious, terrified streak that makes perfect sense given the horrors she’s been through. Liam is the cinnamon roll LI I love, putting everyone else before himself even when that’s not the smartest choice. Chubs is the group brains and the king of snarky banter, love of my life and star secondary character after Ruby and Lee, and after him you have Zu, who only grows as the series goes on, becoming stronger and stronger while still being absolutely sweet.
Wilder Girls by Rory Power
This book won’t be for everyone given the gore and the ambiguous ending, but it’s still dystopian in my eyes, and worth a read. Set on Raxter Island, which is caught in the throes of the Tox, the girls at the local boarding school fight for survival on thinning rations and amongst gruesome mutations. There’s a sense of suspicion that settles over it all, plus some revelations about the Tox and aid to the island that compound the dystopian element, and I enjoyed reading it (even if I had to tread lightly around the eye gore especially, ew ew ew).
The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron
The idea that you and everyone you love could wake up one day and completely forget yourselves is truly unsettling, and I love that The Forgetting toys with sci-fi elements to make its dystopian elements that much more chilling. While certain parts of the dystopia are due to natural causes, it’s humans taking advantage of those natural causes that makes the society in The Forgetting so ominous and dangerous. And isn’t that the core of so much dystopian lit, human uses and abuses of power?
Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria
While Beneath the Citadel wasn’t a perfect read for me, the dystopian vibes are strong, blended with fantasy instead of sci-fi. In Eldra, the world is guided by infallible prophecies that control the lives of the people, with little to no room for error. In the wake of a rebellion, the main cast has to grapple with the consequences of the final infallible prophecy while having the government out to execute them for their actions. I didn’t find it was a perfect book, but with a diverse cast and a fascinating concept, it took dystopia in a different direction than I’m used to seeing.
And there you have it! Five dystopias I’ve enjoyed despite not being a huge fan of the genre. It goes to show that you can probably find a little something for everyone across genres, even in ones they don’t normally love.