Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books for People Who Have Never Read Dystopians

It’s actually Tuesday! Yay for being on time for the first time ever! Today’s Top Ten Tuesday brought to you by the Broke and Bookish, is Top Ten Books I’d Give to Readers Who Have Never Read X. Now the X gives me a lot of wiggle room to decide. I debated going with Top Ten Books I’d give to adults who think YA is beneath them, but then I remembered I already did a whole post about that once and if you want to see the books I recommend you can read it here. So I decided instead to go with my new favourite sub-genre which is the Dystopian.

In cases you need a refresher, or if you never were really sure in the first place, a dystopian is defined as: a community or society that is in some important way undesirable or frightening. Now a dystopia is commonly the opposite of a utopia but my favourite kind of dystopian society is the kind that masquerades as a utopia but with some underlying awfullness (I know that’s not a word but it’s true). Now I know there are a variety of more “classic” dystopians but since I prefer to read YA, my list will mostly be new or YA dystopians.

So, here are the top ten books I’d give to people who have never read dystopians

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1.The Giver by Lois Lowry. Here is a prime example of a dystopian society pretending to be a utopia. Some lists actually don’t consider the Giver to be a dystopian, I believe because the human suffering is not noticeable and the society does not actually appear undesirable to the people living in it. However, I believe that as the story progresses, it becomes more and more dystopian as main character Jonas discovers more and more of the horrors of his supposedly perfect society. The movie coming out soon will likely encourage some to give this a try.

2.The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Getting into a new genre can be difficult, but the popularity of this new dystopian will probably help people who don’t normally read the genre to try it out. The Hunger Games is very clearly a dystopian in that there is a very important aspect of the society that makes it undesirable or frightening (children randomly selected to fight the death).

3.Uglies/Pretties/Specials by Scott Westerfeld. I’m actually quite surprised that these books haven’t been made into movies. They are a great way to get into reading dystopians while at the same time looking into the way our society values appearance.

4.UnWind/UnWholly/UnSouled by Neal Shusterman. If you read my last post, the review of the third book in this series, you will understand my love for this series. I don’t know that I would recommend this to someone as their first ever dystopian book, since it’s a pretty deep/disturbing subject. However, if someone read one of my other recommendations and wanted to go even deeper into the genre I would hand them this in a heartbeat.

5.Divergent/Insurgent/Allegient by Veronica Roth. Once again the popularity may be a push for people to give reading this genre a try. I can only hope that reading one of these popular books gets people interested in dystopians enough that they want to read more.

6.Matched by Ally Condie. I haven’t read the other two books in this series so I can’t put them on my recommendations list until I get them off my to-read list. While Matched wasn’t my favourite book in the dystopian genre, it is another good example of a dystopia pretending to be a utopia. As well it represents a different theme of dystopians (with a more romantic focus) that I think some people would really enjoy.

7.Gone by Micheal Grant. Again, not my favourite dystopian, and I haven’t read the other books in the series, but this is mostly because the age of the characters (14 and younger) was just to young for to relate to. I would give this book to any younger people looking to start reading dystopians because the concept is actually very interesting.

8.Legend by Marie Lu. A book I recently read, that I wasn’t quite sure about, but it ended up surprising me. I have the next two books on my to-read list and I would tell anyone interested in dystopians with a romance-as-rebellion theme, that this would be a excellent choice for them.

9.The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey. I wasn’t sure about putting this new book in the dystopian genre, as I first off classified it as a post-apocolyptic novel instead. Upon thinking about it further, I decided that it actually does fit the dystopian mold. This is mostly because of the “training” camp many characters go to, or the sort of “safe” camps for survivors. These elements make the book a really nice mixture of ddystopian and post-apocolyptic for someone looking to get into both genres or move from one to the other.

10.1984 by George Orwell. The only “classic” dystopian on my list. Mostly, if someone came to me asking what the best dystopian novels were for someone starting in the genre, I would leave out the classics and let that person read some modern books before deciding on reading the classics for themselves. However, I have always loved 1984 and plan to read again sometime soon. I would definitely make sure the person who I was recommending this too was an avid reader who was okay with long books and difficult concepts and language.

Well that is all folks. Let me know which dystopian books you would recommend to first-timers in the comments (I would love to read them too)!

–Erika

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2 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books for People Who Have Never Read Dystopians

  1. I was thoroughly intrigued by Shusterman’s Unwind when I heard about it and am eagerly waiting the fourth book to be released later this year so I can hopefully just binge read it all haha. You make a valid point with all these new post-apoc/dystopian blockbusters enticing potential readers–and that’s a good thing–but I don’t think I’d turn off the idea of recommending 1984 or even Animal Farm (which can totally be read as a kit-lit…even if they wouldn’t understand all the allegories). But to each their own!

    Cheers,
    joey via. thoughts and afterthoughts

    • UnWind is a stunning concept and a great novel, but you really have to be open to considering some big moral and ethical issues in society if you want to read it and enjoy it. It’s not that I wouldn’t recommend 1984, it’s just that I know a lot of people who haven’t even really heard of the dystopian concept before. Since 1984 is such a deep, complicated dystopian society I would prefer they start with something simpler like the Giver so they don’t get turned off the genre just because the first book they read confused them. Thanks for commenting!

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