Apocalyptic, Best Books List, Dystopian
The Best Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic YA Books of 2014

As dystopia and post-apocalypse are genres that are very popular in YA lit, it’s always a little difficult to catch up on the best new series, prequels, and sequels that fall under them. So here are more awesome post-apocalyptic/dystopian YA books – this time from 2014! Check it out and see which ones you’ve missed!

Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

Juliette doesn’t know who’s still alive, with the Omega Point destroyed. She’s not sure if the rebels, her friends, and Adam are alive, but it doesn’t matter – she knows that she has to stop The Reestablishment once and for all. And she’s not in it alone, because she’s found help in the handsome commander of Sector 45, Warner – the one person she never thought she’d trust, and the same person who saved her life. He promises Juliette that they will master her powers together, and save the dying world – but Warner is hiding something, because that’s not all that he wants with her.

What do the readers say?
“I love being inside Juliette’s head. Girl is fascinating. She has so many different thoughts running through her head at one time. One of my favorite things about this series, is that through Mafi’s unique writing style, you can really see the growth in Juliette as a person. She started off as completely broken and basically came across as insane in Shatter Me. By the end of Ignite Me, she is a completely different, and amazing, person. I loved seeing her change and develop throughout the series. She really comes in to her own, and develops and OWNS her strength. Just like I’d been wanting her to do.” – Lindsay (The Broke Book Girls)Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

 

The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

The first four waves were nearly impossible to survive, and now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, where the trust that binds humans together has been eradicated. The 5th Wave approaches, and Cassie, Ben, and Ringer, have to face the Others’ ultimate goal: to exterminate the entire human race. Cassie and her friends don’t know how low the Others will sink in order to achieve their goal, but neither have the Others seen the heights to which Cassie and the other humans will rise in the battle between life and death, hope and despair, and love and hate.

What do the readers say?
“I absolutely love this series. Yancy is a creative writer with a poetic flair that really shines in this book. He gives his characters genuine identities that illuminate all that which makes us human: fear, love, anger, trust, and hope. The reader cares about what happens to this ragtag group and cheers them on and falls in love with them. I pre-ordered this book the second it was available and I will definitely pre-order the third.” – QueenKatieMae, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

The Young Elites by Marie Lu

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever that swept through the nation a decade ago. But the illness has left her with marks – her black hair has turned silver, and a jagged scar crosses her face where her left eye used to be. Her father believes that she is a malfetto, or a survivor who has mysterious and powerful gifts – and these survivors are called the Young Elites. The Young Elites, some – like Inquisition Axis leader Teren Santoro – believe, are dangerous and vengeful. Teren’s job is to seek them out, but his own secret m ay be darker than the Young Elites themselves. The Young Elites, meanwhile, manage to find Adelina – specifically the secret sect of the Elites, the Dagger Society, of which Enzo Valenciano is a part. Adelina, they believe, is unique – in possession of powers they’ve never seen. And Adelina wants to believe that the Daggers, and Enzo, are on her side, and that Teren is the real enemy. Their lives will intertwine and collide, as they experience personal battles and intense fights. One thing is certain, however: Adelina’s powers shouldn’t belong in this world, and that makes her dangerous. Because a vengeful blackness is brewing in her heart, and she has the desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

What do the readers say?
“…[A]s an adult reader, I enjoyed this book! I liked the main character, Adelina; it’s almost hard to like her because she has dark feelings but you are rooting for her to make smart choices toward light. I liked reading from a different perspective as a lot of book are from the heroine’s point of view.”K. Golden, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

 

The One by Kiera Cass

Since entering the Selection, America Singer’s life has changed drastically. The Selection might be her chance to be the next princess of Illea, but she’s always struggled with her feelings between her first love, Aspen, and her dangerously growing attraction to Prince Maxon. She’s made her choice now, and is ready to fight for the future that she wants.

What do the readers say?
“I enjoyed the Selection a lot, thought The Elite was good but not as good as The Selection, but when I read The One, I thought it was so super captivating!!! The One is my favorite book in the series. It was a little bit more mature and romantic than the other two books, but it doesn’t ruin the story. It was entertaining, thrilling, and had twists and turns in every small crevice of the story. There was so many surprises in the book (some of which I hadn’t exactly enjoyed).”Kindle Customer, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

 

Raging Star by Moira Young

Saba is finally prepared to defeat DeMalo, but he pulls a move that she doesn’t expect: reveal to her a tempting vision of a healed earth, the New Eden. DeMalo wants Saba to help him realize this vision and create a healthy, stable, sustainable world – but not everyone will be in it, as only the young and healthy, the chosen few under his control, will be allowed. Someone wants to stop this New Eden, though – Jack, who is presumed dead but who has gone undercover and has been feeding Saba crucial information in secret meetings. Saba commits to the fight and hides her connection with DeMalo. With her brother Lugh, and her sister Emmi, Saba leads a small guerilla band against settlers and the Tonton militia. Saba is an excellent fighter – why else would she be called the Angel of Death? But the odds are overwhelming and the fight might not be won, and DeMalo’s offer is too seductive for her to refuse.

What do the readers say?
” I loved every minute of each of these books. It goes to show that even in the dystopian era people still make mistakes and they have to be stronger to over come those mistakes. Like most dystopian series you will have people in your life that you love and they may die. It happens in this series and even in the end in this last one, some major players we have read about and even fell in love with don’t make it to the new world in the end. Even with the lost of some of these characters this series ended the way it should. This whole series is breath taking and takes you on an unexpected journey I didn’t know I would be on. Loved every minute that I spent reading. The only thing is when a series ends, you hate to say goodbye to it. This will be one of my favorites.”T. Lykins, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

 

After the End by Amy Plum

Juneau’s elders have always instilled in her a fear of the outside world, what with the dangers of an Alaskan wilderness ravaged by the nuclear war. So when Juneau returns from a hunting trip one day to discover that her people have been abducted, she’s forced to set off into the very outside world that she’s been taught to fear. But outside the boundaries, she discovers the horrifying truth: that World War III never happened, that nothing was destroyed, and that everything she’s ever been taught was a lie. Now Juneau is forced to survive in a completely foreign world as she comes to terms with the deception, with only the skills she’s developed in the wild to help her. As she struggles to rescue her friends and family, she also has to contend with the fact that someone is after her – someone who knows the truth about her secret past.

What do the readers say?
“I became entrenched with Juneau and Miles from page one. Granted it does lean a little towards the ecological activists preaching about society’s need to be aware and care for our environment. This is not a hidden agenda but is made clear from the beginning. If you can look past that, you’ll enjoy an interesting story filled with intrigue.”Karen Schaeffer, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

 

The Worlds We Make by Megan Crewe

Kaelyn and her friends thought that their arrival to Toronto with the vaccine for the virus that has wiped out the population marked the end of their journey. But things are not that easy – a group of survivors is intent on tracking them down, determined to steal the cure that’s in their hands. Now Kaelyn is forced onto the road again, and has to redouble her efforts to find a safe haven. Her group is starting to fall apart and the chances for success are extremely slim, and Kaelyn’s resolve is starting to crumble. The one thing that matters is if she’s willing to surrender everything, in order to stay alive.

What do the readers say?
“I loved so many things about The Worlds We Make. The imagery was beautiful, and the book was full of small details that made it special. Kaelyn encounters a wolf in the wild at one point and that was one of the most beautiful and poignant scenes of the book. Leo’s encounter with a black bear, and how he and the rest of the group interacted with the people in that town was a defining moment of the story. That one scene set the tone for how Kaelyn hoped the world would end up: people helping people in need, for no reason other than it being the honest, good, and right thing to do.”Kelli Nash, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

 

The Taking by Kimberly Derting

Kyra Agnew awakens to find that five years have passed in her life, and that the entire world has moved on without her. Her parents are divorced and her boyfriend is in college and dating her best friend – but Kyra is still sixteen years old, her age when she vanished. Now she finds herself drawn to Tyler, her boyfriend’s younger brother, and with his help, Kyra finds out the truth of what happened to her: that others, like her, have been “taken” one night. Kyra is the first one to be returned past the forty-eight-hour taken mark. And now she desperately finds an explanation and reclaim the life she once had, while a secret government agency chases after her. That is, if the life she wants back really is her own life.

What do the readers say?
“I don’t usually read alien abduction books, but this wasn’t like I thought it would be. We follow Krya who gets in a fight with her dad. Then disappears for 5 years, and returns with no memory of what happened. On top of that she still looks 16, and everyone she knows aged 5 years. There is a budding romance, and emotions start to run deep. I haven’t stayed up to read in a long time, but I stayed up to finish this book! It wasn’t as predictable as I thought, til a tiny bit in the end. There was a part I started to cry at til my prediction came in thinking, we can’t lose this character! I’m seriously blown away at how this story sucked me in so much. I haven’t finished a book in only 3 days in a while. I have a paperback copy of The Replacing and starting it today! I recommend this. It’s not your average sci-fi read. It all takes place on earth, nothing weird, except Kyra’s powers.”momof3harts, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

 

Some Fine Day by Kat Ross

All her life, sixteen-year-old Jansin Nordqvist has spent her time in a civilization far below the Earth’s surface, with the past eight years spent on military intelligence training. Now she’s sent on a coveted yet treacherous trip above ground, and Jansin’s thrilled to be able to feel the fresh air and feel the sun on her skin, see skies and the vast ocean with her own eyes. But raiders attack Jansin’s camp and takes her prisoner, and that’s when Jansin begins to question everything she’s ever known. Because she doesn’t know what her captors want and how to get back underground – and if she ever gets back, she doesn’t know if she’d even want to stay, after learning the truth.

What do the readers say?
“Ross’s depictions of a world where runaway global warming has devastated the planet are scarily real. But to me, the even more fascinating story in this terrific book is the Platonic allegory, wherein Jansin must emerge from the shadowy cave in which she’s been shackled all her life in order to confront the truth. That story–the story of a teen’s awakening and transformation–makes Ross’s debut much more than another YA sci-fi action adventure. It makes SOME FINE DAY a truly original coming-of-age story and, in the tradition of the very best science fiction, an exploration of what it means to be human.”Joshua David Bellin, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

 

This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner

Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac are two people who should never meet, but circumstances bring them together as the senseless war raging around them pushes them towards each other. Because Lee is captain of the forces headed toward Avon to crush thet rebellious colonists there, with a deep, personal hatred towards the insurgents. Flynn, meanwhile, is part of the rebellion, whose sister died in the original uprising against the conglomerate ruling Avon. Because the corporations promising a better life for the colonists have failed to deliver, and Flynn and his rebellion are desperate to fight against them. And when he meets Lee, he does the only sensible thing: he brings her to the rebel base, as a prisoner. But when they decide to execute the tought-talking, steel-nerved girl, Flynn makes a life-changing decision – he escapes with Lee, as they start to question the senselessness of the war.

What do the readers say?
“Kaufman & Spooner write with such expressive language, it’s simply sensational. Scenes are described in such vivid detail, I would spell the earthy scent of the swamp water, see the ‘will o wisps’ floating through the air – it made this books so real, it felt like I had been sucked into their world.”Amy @ The Reading Realm, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

 

Ruins by Dan Wells

The final war between Partials and humans is inevitable – a war that will decide the fate of both. Both have weapons that could destroy the other, and Kira, Samm, and Marcus are running out of time to prevent the war from happening. Kira only has one chance to save both species and the world, but it will demand a great sacrifice that might cost something dear and personal to her.

What do the readers say?
“Partials has to be my favorite YA dystopian series after reading all of the other super-hyped [ones]. First, it stands out because the story is not focused on the love story, but on the actual issue of human extinction. Secondly, it covers deep moral and philosophical issues. How far would you go? What would you do if it meant saving humanity from extinction? Lastly, it is set in a believable world with a believable society where Dan Wells explains exactly how we got there, not like some other dystopians where the entire how we got to the dystopian society from today is jumped over.”DragonCeres, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

 

Forget Me Not by Stacey Nash

Anamae and her father have lived a quiet life since Anamae’s mother vanished nine years ago. But the peace is shattered when she finds a brooch that’s identical to her mother’s favorite pendant – because it’s not just jewellery, but a piece of technology that can cloak the human form. And activating the device attracts the attention of a secret society determined to take it away – and silence everyone who knows of it. Now Anamae knows too much, and has become Enemy Number One. Forced to leave her father behind, she searches for answers about this secret and dangerous world, kept safe by a group determined to hide her. And the stakes are raised when her father is kidanapped and her own life is on the line. Now Anamae has decide whether or not she should save her father, and in turn risk her new friends’ lives – but whatever happens, she knows someone will get hurt.

What do the readers say?
“Loved this book! The author had me gripped in it from the first chapter and I can’t wait for the rest of the series. Extremely well written and for parents with teenagers it’s a book with ‘appropriate’ teen romance. I also loved that although it left me wanting more the book had a conclusive finish – something I’ve found frustrating in other series like this.” Anita C, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

 

Salvage by Alexandra Duncan

Ava, being the captain’s daughter, has certain privileges and some freedom in the Parastrata’s rigid society – but she still can’t read or write, or withstand the forces of gravity. She learns that she is to be traded in marriage to another merchant ship – but instead of going along with it, she stows away on a mail sloop bound for Earth, escaping from her past and her future. The gravity almost kills her, but she finds herself recuperating on the Gyre, a mass of scrap and garbage in the Pacific Ocean. There, she learns what it really means to have a family, to have a home, and to learn to trust – and slowly, Ava begins to nourish her own strength and soul.

What do the readers say?
“Because “Salvage” is a great book, a wonderful bitter-sweet book, beautifully written. The worlds that Ms. Duncan has built, the ships, Bhutto station, The Gyre (which made me think of Waterworld), Mumbai of the future, all feel entirely real. The characters feel true, their interactions believable. I felt their emotions and they brought tears to my eyes not just once.” Cora P., Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

 

Divided by Eloise Dyson

Fifteen years after an earthquake destroyed the country, people are still surviving – albeit in a corrupt society. And to make matters worse are the Hunters, who hunt down survives and keep the tribes in constant fear. Arys is sixteen years old and lives in one of the tribes, which always moves, in order to avoid the Hunters as much as possible. But Arys discovers something that compels her to leave her tribe – news about twin sister, who actually survived and is living amongst others in a safe haven known only as the Compound. She journeys with her best friend, Kai, in order to found out the truth – and to discover a plot that she knows nothing about, and that will take hold of her life.

What do the readers say?
“What I did like about it is that it makes you think about what you have and what you don’t in your life. The issue of freedom, especially. Freedom is relative: It’s a feeling and a belief, rather than an absolute truth. There’s freedom in the Compound, and there’s freedom within the tribes. And there’s imprisonment there too, in both situations. But is there freedom in a Hunter’s life? Could there be freedom in lies and obscurity? It reminded me of a Nelson Mandela quote: “for to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others”. And how often is that possible? How often are we strong enough to do that? Those are questions raised by this book, and I liked it that much more for it.”Raquel Costa, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

 

Independent Study by Joelle Charbonneau

Cia is a freshman at Tosu City’s University, and she’s with her hometown sweetheart Tomas. But with a new life in university comes the memories of the Testing, and the brutal horrors that came with it – memories that the government tried but failed to erase. She wants to expose the ugly truth behind the murderous programs that the government has, but these attempts, she know, can put her and her loved ones in danger. But there seems to be no other choice, because the future of the Commonwealth depends on her.

What do the readers say?

“This was a very well written book. A large majority of Kindle edition books I have read make me very irritated with the amount of editing issues, but at times with this book I was actually looking for things to critic (and did not find) because I could not believe how well written it was; the amount of effort put into the editing makes this book a rarity on its own. The plots were woven together seamlessly, the characters (even minor ones) had depth and individualized personalities, etc etc.” – Kalasin K., Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

 

Free to Fall by Lauren Miller

Gnosis is a monolith corporation that develops the most high-end, life-changing pieces of technology to ever hit the market – and their most outstanding product is Lux, an app that optimizes decision-making for the best personal results. And just like everyone else, Rory Vaughn knows that the key to a happy, healthy life is to follow Lux’s advice. With her acceptance to the elite boarding school, Theden Academy, it seems that nothing can go wrong in Rory’s life. But being on campus reveals that there’s something off about the prestigious school, and it isn’t until she meets North, a townie who doesn’t use Lux, that Rory begins questioning eveything around her – especially Lux. Because now Rory knows to listen to the inner voice she’s supposed to ignore, and now she’s prepared to uncover the truth that neither she nor the world ever saw coming.

What do the readers say?

“I loved this book – every aspect of it. The dystopian future described in the story is eerily similar to our own – which makes it feel like it could really happen, which is even creepier (except for some of the cool technology). The characters were interesting and well rounded, especially Rory and North… The plot was fantastic – like I mentioned, the story isn’t so far-fetched that it’s unbelievable like some [dystopian YA books]. This feels like it could actually happen in the not so distant future. I think that aspect made it all the more intense for me – it made me stop and think about our own society.” – Stephanie WardAmazon user. [Review from Amazon]

 

Disruption by Jessica Shirvington

The Mercer Corporation has made M-Bands – evolved versions of the smartphone that are supposed to make people’s daily lives easier. But MCorp uses the M-Bands to control people, making the Bands themselves more dangerous than helpful. And Quentin Mercer is heir to the M-Corp empire – but he’s also a key to Maggie Stevens plan. Maggie had to watch a loved one be taken away from her, shattering her life, and now she’s ready to exact revenge and involve Quentin in it. But Maggie’s fight is complicated by the very person she’s using, and now Maggie has to break the most difficult promises and fight for what she really wants.

What do the readers say?
“An action packed, heart pounding, swoon-worthy, suspenseful read! To sum it up, it’s another fantastic Jessica Shirvington book. She knows how to write the perfect dose of action, romance, suspense, and danger. Paired with a strong, butt kicking heroine, and character relationships that make you feel every range of emotion possible, this book has everything I love about well written YA book. It’s a little edgy, a little dark, and has the right amount of everything that keeps me hooked, and makes me devour a 300+ page book in a matter of a couple of hours.”Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids Book Reviews, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

 

Echo Boy by Matt Haig

Audrey’s father taught her that she has to build a moat around herself if she wants to stay human in the modern world. It’s a moat filled with books and music, philosophy and dreams – a moat that keeps her alive with human emotions and thoughts, and that keeps her apart from the emotionless, sophisticated echoes, who look like humans but work for human masters. But Audrey’s expectations are shattered when she meets Daniel, who’s determined to save her from a terrible danger. Because Daniel is an echo, but unlike the others, he can feel a connection towards Aubrey – a feeling he cannot explain, and a feeling he’s not supposed to have. Daniel brings about questions – questions of what truly makes people human.

What do the readers say?
“Echo Boy is a fab read and one I thoroughly enjoyed, the future that Matt Haig has envisioned seems scarily believable and isn’t one I’d want to find myself living in. This is a story about finding out who you really are, it’s about finding your path in life and learning to trust your instincts. It’s about love, loss, grief, hope and everything in between – what does it really mean to be human? Audrey will come to realise that sometimes the machines aren’t the monsters and it’s people that she needs to be wary of but she’ll have to learn how to tell who deserves her trust. This is a fast paced story that will have you on the edge of your seat and leave you desperate for more.”Sarah (Feeling Fictional), Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

 

The Defiant by Lisa M. Stasse

Alenna Shawcross and her allies are working on a plan to assault the United Northern Alliance. They want to dismantle it from the inside – and fortunately Alenna is one of the people who can access the UNA’s inner sanctum. But the plan gets sidetracked when Alenna returns to her home, as she meets old friends and is swept into a secret plan that can put everything she loves at stake. She has to venture into the heart of UNA, determined to bring them down, because as she sees it, freedom is the only choice. At least, it seems to be the only choice.

What do the readers say?

“This is a really good series! Very good for people who love The Hunger Games, Maze Runner, So This is How the World Ends (Avatar Series), anything like that.. a good young adult novel (though I’m 28, so it kept me engaged, too.”Natasha Hensley, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

 

Take Me Tomorrow by Shannon A. Thompson

The State enforces strict rules and incredibly harsh punishments on anyone who’s rumored to support the clairvoyant drug, tomo. It caused a massacre, and the State is determined to prevent such a thing from happening again. The State’s concerns don’t trouble sixteen-year-old Sophia Gray, however, as she has other problems – her father’s illegal forgery and her friend’s troubling history are already enough. But when she meets a determined boy who’s involved with tomo. Sophia knows that she has to make a decision: fight for a future that’s out of her sight, or sacrifice her loved ones for the sake of the world of tomorrow.

What do the readers say?
“I really enjoyed this book. It was refreshing and different. I haven’t read a whole lot of dystopian fiction before, but what I liked about this was the different angle it gave – a war on a very potent drug. I thought it was brave of the author to tackle the subject of drug abuse – even indirectly like this. Drug abuse and its effects is a very divisive issue and I thought Thompson handled it skillfully.”Elaine Jeremiah, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

 

The Hunt by Stacey Kade

Ariane Tucker isn’t a normal girl – she was made by GTX, a research facility. Now she’s on the run, in a strange world where she doesn’t know who to trust. Except perhaps Zane Bradshaw, who knows full well what – and who – she is, but who doesn’t let the truth about her get in the way, because despite it all, he still wants to be part of her life.

What do the readers say?
“Once again Kade is amazing with her words. The plot was easy to follow and the pacing was spot on. I didn’t want to put this book down once I started it, which didn’t really surprise me since I really enjoyed the first book a lot. There is romance, but it’s not the center of the story. It’s just enough to make your route for it and hope that it works out. And Kade develops in a sweet and shy way. They did bicker quite a bit but I would think that under the circumstances that would not be so strange. And the action scenes are amazing. I can totally picture them in my mind. They kept me on the edge of my seat, wanting more! You really fear for Zane and Ariane’s safety throughout the whole book!”thecovercontessa, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

 

Snatched by Katherine McIntyre

Kara was only ten years old when the shifters took her parents from her. Last year, they took her best friend, Hunter. Kara has shouldered many losses, but when they take the only person she has left, her little sister Lizzy, it is almost as if her entire life has been taken away from her – because the snatched don’t come back. At least, that’s what she believes, as the first person she meets above ground is the best friend she thought she’s lost forever. And now Kara is questioning all that she’s been taught – because there are colonies living up there, surviving. And they would know where her sister is. Kara needs to rally the surfaces into an army in order to find her sister, because she’s sure she won’t survive on her own with only a shotgun, in a world filled with creatures that have taken all that she’s known.

What do the readers say?
“I really enjoyed this book. It was an interesting take on post-apocalypse, different from others I’ve read. The characters being afraid of things we find normal was funny and brought me into the world even more. I was often “on the edge of my seat” during the action parts.”Corinne, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

And that’s it for this list! Are your favorite dystopian/post-apocalyptic books of 2014 missing in the list? Anything else you wanna recommend? Let us know!

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