Quizzes

Which Post-Apocalyptic YA Book Should You Read Next?

Christine Hoxmeier

Staff Writer

Christine Hoxmeier can usually be found hard at work in her beloved home of Austin with a cup of coffee in one hand and a taco in the other. She spends her free time reading, writing, and dreaming of a teleportation device so she can visit her friends spread across the globe on a daily basis. If it were possible to live inside one Disneyland attraction for the rest of her life, Christine would cheat and choose to split her time between It's A Small World and The Enchanted Tiki Room. She prefers to communicate in CAPSLOCK and with gifs. Twitter: @aramblingfancy

Hawk by James Patterson.

A story for a new generation of Maximum Ride fans! 17-year-old Hawk is growing up hard and fast in post-apocalyptic New York City . . . until a perilous destiny forces her to take flight. Hawk doesn't know her real name. She doesn't know who her family was, or where they went. The only thing she remembers is that she was told to wait on a specific street corner, at a specific time, until her parents came back for her. She stays under the radar to survive...until a destiny that's perilously close to Maximum Ride's forces her to take flight.

Whether it’s a natural disaster, nuclear war, a zombie apocalypse, climate change, or, say, a viral pandemic, fiction books love to destroy the earth! But what comes next? What emerges from the ashes? The post-apocalyptic book, of course!

Exploring what happens after the world collapses, how society rebuilds itself (if it rebuilds at all), and how humanity faces a new reality can make for fascinating character studies and world building. I personally enjoy reading post-apocalyptic YA books as I think it’s super intriguing to think about what it would be like to grow up amidst a ruined world. In focusing on young people who are learning who they are and coming into their own, it can help show how teens are affected by their environment, even if a desolate wasteland seems far removed from our current world.

Sometimes it’s also just enthralling to read a great action and adventure story about an entirely different world! Not every post-apocalyptic book is all doom and gloom, or introspective character studies. While it might seem odd to describe some post-apocalyptic books as fun, there are some YA books that are focused more on the adventure aspect—just, you know, in a grim environment. There is a book out there to satisfy whatever story you might be craving, all to be enjoyed from the safety of your couch.

Though Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games series may be the most well known of the post-apocalyptic YA books, there are a plethora of other stories to enjoy while we stay at home and hope we don’t have to learn how to use a bow and arrow and skin a rabbit. Or maybe you already know how to do both those things! That’s great, you’ll definitely get further along than I will in a post-apocalyptic world.

Ponder how long you would survive after society collapses and take our quiz to find out which post-apocalyptic YA book you should read next!