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18 Of The Best YA Dystopias!

Jamie Canaves

Contributing Editor

Jamie Canavés is the Tailored Book Recommendations coordinator and Unusual Suspects mystery newsletter writer–in case you’re wondering what you do with a Liberal Arts degree. She’s never met a beach she didn’t like, always says yes to dessert, loves ‘80s nostalgia, all forms of entertainment, and can hold a conversation using only gifs. You can definitely talk books with her on Litsy and Goodreads. Depending on social media’s stability maybe also Twitter and Bluesky.

This Riot Recommendation listing the best YA dystopias is sponsored by Dealing in Dreams by Lilliam Rivera.

Dealing In Dreams cover imageNalah leads the fiercest all-girl crew in Mega City. That role brings with it violent throw downs and access to the hottest boydega clubs, but the sixteen-year-old grows weary of the life. Her dream is to get off the streets and make a home in the exclusive Mega Towers, in which only a chosen few get to live. To make it to the Mega towers, Nalah must prove her loyalty to the city’s benevolent founder and cross the border in a search for a mysterious gang the Ashé Ryders. Led by a reluctant guide, Nalah battles other crews and her own doubts, but the closer she gets to her goal, the more she loses sight of everything—and everyone— she cares about. Nalah must do the unspeakable to get what she wants—a place to call home. But is a home just where you live? Or who you choose to protect?

If the children are our future, we better stuff them full of the best YA dystopias there are (and read as many as we can ourselves, so we can all survive this hellscape)! Too dark? What can I say—it’s dystopia! You told us the best YA dystopias so we put it together into a we’re-all-gonna-be-prepared list for you—and for ourselves! *Puts on helmet, starts making bookfort.*

18 of the best YA dystopias to read right now. book lists | YA books | YA dystopias | Dystopian books | Dystopia books | post-apocalyptic books | Ya book lists | #YALit

Want by Cindy Pon

Shatter Me Series by Tahereh Mafi

Article 5 Trilogy by Kristen Simmons

Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson

Orleans by Sherri L. Smith

Vivian Apple Duology by Katie Coyle

Arc of Scythe series by Neal Shusterman

On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis

Willful Machines by Tim Floreen

Proxy Duology by Alex London

Starters Duology by Lissa Price

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Uglies by Scott Westerfield

Legend by Marie Lu

The Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness

Book of Ivy and its sequel by Amy Engel

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

The Big Lie by Julie Mayhew