Apocalyptic, Dystopian

The Best YA Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic Books

Dystopian and post-apocalyptic YA continue to be some of the most popular stories that come out in the market, and the year 2016 certainly delivered! Below is a list of some of the best books in the genre released over the past year, so if you’re looking to get some dystopian/post-apocalyptic YA fix, you’ve come to the right place!

Scythe by Neal Shusterman 


The world that humans live in now is a world that’s devoid of hunger, disease, war, and misery. But perhaps the biggest battle that humanity has won is the battle against death, as people cannot die anymore. The only ones who can end lives are Scythes – and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the population under control. Citra and Rowan are both apprentices to a scythe – something that neither of them wants. They must master the art of taking a life, and it’s a skill that they must perfect, because failing would mean that they would lose their own lives.

What do the readers say?

“Scythe is a very meditative piece about what it means to lose one of humanity’s most important aspects: impermanence. Those expecting a YA dystopian thrill ride such as Hunger Games or Divergent will likely be frustrated by the slow pacing, philosophizing, and bleakness. But Scythe is well written, has engaging heros, ends on a solid story arc, and nicely sets up the conflict for future volumes.” Talvi, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Blue Screen by Dan Wells

Los Angeles, the year 2050. It’s a city of open doors as long as you have a djinni, a device implanted in your head. Everyone’s virtually online twenty-four hours a day, and for the citizens, the connection given by the djinni is like oxygen, opening up a world of opportunities for people who know how to manipulate it. And Marisa Carneseca is one of them. She practically lives on the net, playing games and going to school, or perhaps doing questionable things with her friends Sahara and Anja. And Anja gets her hands on the Bluescreen, a drug that plugs into a person’s djinni and delivers a nonchemical, safe, high. But it’s too good to be true, and Mari and her friends soon find themselves in the middle of a conspiracy that’s bigger than they ever dreamed of.

What do the readers say?

“If you are a gamer who enjoys strong female characters, you’ll love this book. Bluescreen was full of exciting tech and nerdy game references (fps and mmo in particular; the author said he was inspired in particular by League of Legends) that made me particularly gleeful. The cast was diverse – the lead character, Marisa, is of Mexican heritage, while there are also Chinese and Indian characters who are fully developed with their own agency.” – Britt MabryAmazon reviewer. [Review from Amazon]

Flawed by Cecilia Ahern

Celestine North’s life seems perfect. She’s a model daughter and sister, is well liked by everyone – from classmates to teachers – and is dating the charming Art Crevan. But when Celestine becomes faced with a situation in which she makes the wrong decision, her life gets altered greatly – because her mistake has life-changing repercussions, and she could be imprisoned or branded. Or worse, be found flawed.

What do the readers say?

“I felt the anger and the frustration of the Flawed and those who questioned the morality of the society but were afraid to speak up in fear of being declared “Flawed.” A great dystopian novel that O would highly recommend to all especially young adults and dystopian readers.” – Vikki, Amazon reviewer. [Review from Amazon]


Future Shock by Elizabeth Briggs

Elena Martinez is about to turn eighteen, and she has to finish a critical job by then, or else she’ll be homeless. But she gets an unexpected by the powerful LA tech giant, Aether Corporation, to go on a secret mission and bring back data from the future. Along with other recruits, Chris, Trent, Adam, and Zoe, she must acquire the information that Aether needs, and if they succeed they’ll be set for life. It’s the perfect offer, one that Elena can’t refuse. But when she and her companions arrive into the future, they sense that something’s wrong. And Elena and her friends have to break the only rule they were given – not to look into their own fates. With only twenty-four hours to get back to the present and to find a way to stop the inevitable future – and a grisly murder – from happening, Elena and the rest have to race against time. But changing the timeline has deadly consequences, and Elena must learn who to trust as she fights for her life.

What do the readers say?

I’m very happy to say that I was not disappointed in the least. Briggs delivers an exciting, riveting tale with wonderful characters and non-stop action. At the same time, she skillfully weaves in social commentary, as well as philosophical speculations about the nature of Time, into the plot, without being in the least bit boring. She even includes romance and a mystery — some of the teen characters have been murdered in present time, something they discover when they travel to the future.” – Maria BeharAmazon reviewer. [Review from Amazon]

We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

Henry Denton is a regular when it comes to being adbucted by aliens. It’s nothing new to him, but when the aliens give him an ultimatum, Henry has something new to think about. Because the world will be ending in 144 days, and all Henry needs to do to stop it is to push a big red button. But Henry isn’t even sure that he wants to, because his life hasn’t been great. With a struggling waitress for a mom, a jobless dropout of a brother, and a grandmother who’s slowly succumbing to Alzheimer’s, there’s nothing much about Henry’s life that seems to be worth saving. Coupled with the grief he still feels after his boyfriend’s suicide, wiping the slate clean sounds like the best option. But Henry is a scientist first and foremost, and has to face the question logically. He has to look for the pros and cons in his life, from his one-night stands to his best friend, and is ultimately faced with a choice: push the button and save the planet, or let the world – and his pain – be destroyed forever.

What do the readers say?

“This book is so good! I had so many feels during the book and I felt so bad for Henry. He is bullied at school, at home, he’s missing his boyfriend that committed suicide, there is just so much. I think the book was brilliantly written and the characters were spot on. This one will stay in your mind for a while.” – Melissa’s RamblingAmazon reviewer. [Review from Amazon]

Replica by Lauren Oliver

Replica tells the parallel stories of Lyra and Gemma, who have both been locked away in institutes and become tied to the mysterious research facility of Haven, where replicas are born, raised, and obsessed. Their stories mirror each other, and the revelations in each’s story become critical to the other’s.

What do the readers say?

“By reading alternating chapters, I got to see how Lyra and Gemma reacted differently to the same situations. Perspective is everything! Oliver did an amazing job developing these characters. Not only did I feel invested in what happened to them, but I genuinely believed their story arcs.” – A.L. FrazAmazon reviewer. [Review from Amazon]



Everland by Wendy Spinale

London has been destroyed by bombs and diseases, and the only ones who managed to survive are children, among them Gwen Darling and her siblings Joanna and Mikey. They spend their nights scavenging, and their days avoiding the ruthless German army called the Marauders, led by Captain Hanz Otto Oswald Krestchmer. Meanwhile, unsure if the virus has spread past England’s borders but desperate to leave, Captain Hook hunts for a cure, believing that it can be found in one of the survivors. With the help of his Marauders, he stalks the streets and snatches children for experimentation – and none of them ever return. Until they grab Joanna, however. Gwen sets out to save her, and along the way meets the daredevil boy, Pete, who offers assistance with his gang of Lost Boys and the fierce sharpshooter Bella. Gwen knows that it will cost her, but she has to believe that she and the Lost boys are enough to outsmart Captain Hook, if she wants Joanna back.

What do the readers say?

“A different take on Peter Pan. This book is undeniably innovative, in the way that the story of Peter plays out in a London that can be seen as a cross of Steampunk and Dystopian grandeur.” – Nico VelaAmazon reviewer. [Review from Amazon]

Railhead by Philip Reeve

What do the readers say?

Movers by Meaghan McIsaac

Pat is a Mover – a person who is born with a mental connection to their Shadows, or strangers living years into the future. Some Movers can even summon their Shadows to the present, but it’s strictly prohibited and results in a terrible punishment. Even when their powers, Movers are only treated as second-class citizens, closely monitored and despised by society. What’s worse, people blame them and their Shadows for all that’s wrong with the world, from overpopulated cities to strange new weather patterns. But they’re only feeling the pressure of what will eventually become the sordid situation of the future, where war, disease, drought, and famine have taken their toll. When a ruthless Shadow arrives to change the present at any cost, Pat and his little sister are caught in the middle. They have to race against time, and Pat has to turn to unlikely sources for help – or else all will be too late.

On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis

On January 29, 2035, a big comet is scheduled to hit. Denise, her mother, and her sister Isis, have been assigned to a temporary shelter outside of their hometown of Amsterdam to wait out the blast, but Iris is missing, and Denise’s drug-addicted mother is making it difficult for them to reach the shelter in time. But a last-minute meeting leads them to something better than a temporary shelter – a generation ship that’s scheduled to leave Earth and colonize new worlds, just after the comet hits. Everyone on the ship, though, has been chosen because of a particular useful skill, and Denise, who’s autistic, is afraid that she’ll never be allowed to stay. Fear and uncertainty of being able to join the flight hounds her every step. With the future of everyone at stake, the question of whose lives matter the most face the entire human race.

What do the readers say?

“ON THE EDGE OF GONE was fascinating and totally captivating. I really connected to Denise and felt her highs and lows while reading, the characters were really complex and interesting, and honestly the whole thing just felt like something that could really happen, which made it a tad chilling, too.” – Ava Jae, Amazon reviewer. [Review from Amazon]

The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Krutskie

Cassandra Leung has been a Reckoner trainer-in-training ever since she could walk, tasked to raise the giant, genetically engineered beasts to defend ships as the cross the dangerous, pirate-infested Neo-Pacific. When the pirate queen Santa Elena swoops in on Cas on her first solo mission, Cas’s dream of becoming a full-time trainer seems to dissolve. But she discovers that she’s not just a simple hostage, as she is given a Reckoner pup on the pirate ship, and is tasked to raise it and teach him how to fight pirates. Cas must succeed – because failure means that her blood will be the next to paint the sea.

What do the readers say?

“This YA book contains genetically engineered sea monsters, morally grey situations, and a same sex love interest. In other words, it is awesome.” – Waites FamilyAmazon reviewer. [Review from Amazon]


Consider by Kristy Acevedo

17-year-old Alexandra Lucas is suffering from an anxiety disorder, and it really doesn’t help when holograms start to appear, heralding the end of the world. They bring an ultimatum: to heed the warning and step through a portal-like vertex to safety, or to stay and be destroyed by a comet that’s about to collide with earth. The holograms bring the promise of safety – but Alex, who cannot verify their story, is forced to consider what is best for her friends, her family, and herself. But there’s not much time to think, as the deadline the holograms have set is fast approaching, and Alex feels like she is living on a ticking time bomb – and discovers that the situation is much worse than she expected.

What do the readers say?

“The plot itself is well handled and moves forward at a good pace. Acevedo does a good job showing how the imminent destruction of the world affects society as well as individuals, and she manages to bring up some interesting human rights issues as well as political and religious ones.” – Stephanie A. CainAmazon reviewer [Review from Amazon]

The Epidemic by Suzanne Young

Quinlan McKee is a closer – a person who plays the role of the recently deceased in order to give their families closure. Quinn has learned to read people and situations because of this, even losing a bit of herself to do so, but she couldn’t have guessed how her last case would bring down her entire world. The only person Quinn trusts is her best friend and love of her life, Deacon. But Deacon has secrets of his own, so Quinn must set out to find Arthur Pritchard, the doctor who’s been trying to control her life. The journey brings Quinn and Arthur’s daughter Virginia together, who tells her about Pritchard’s true motives. And Quinn finds out that she’s the first step in fighting an epidemic. But Quinn doesn’t want to be a cure, and with all the lies surrounding her, she realizes that she doesn’t have anyone else to trust but herself – even though she’s not even sure who that is anymore.

What do the readers say?

“I absolutely loved this book. I read the entire series in a week, it is a book that’ll keep you on edge. The storyline is different than what you’re used to. This book arrived perfect as well, no tears or damage to it. Love it!” – Amazon Customer [Review from Amazon]

Burning Midnight by Will McIntosh

No one knows where the brilliant-colored spheres came from. They just appeared out of nowhere one day, hidden all over the earth like huge gemstones, and they improve people when they’re burned. You become a little taller, a little smarter, perhaps a little more better looking. The rarer the sphere, the greater the improvement, and the more expensive the price. Sully is a sphere dealer at a flea market. It doesn’t pay much, but it helps him and his move get by and pay rent. Things seem to turn for the better when he meets Hunter, a girl who’s naturally talented at finding spheres. And together, they manage to find a Gold one – something that no one’s ever seen before. The Gold one is definitely priceless, but no one knows what they do. And perhaps, little do Sully and Hunter know, the fate of the world reests on them and this one little, golden orb.

What do the readers say?

“I am thoroughly impressed by not only the totally innovative SFF concepts but also by the portrayal of diverse, down-to-earth characters who really seem like they’re from a run-down section of NYC. I read it in two days and will be very happy to seek out more of McIntosh’s work. Nicely done!” – SoroniaAmazon reviewer. [Review from Amazon]

The Road to Winter by Mark Smith

A deadly virus and the violence that followed after has wiped out the entire community, including Finn’s parents, and now he has to live alone on the rugged cost with only his dog Rowdy for company. Staying alive is a harrowing task, as Finn has to hunt and fish and trade food, while keeping out of sight of the armed and dangerous Wilders, a gang controlling the north and is led by a man named Ramage. Finn’s isolation, however, is shattered, when a Siley – an asylum seeker – called Rose runs onto the beach, escaping Ramage. She’s desperate and sick and needs help, because her younger sister is out there, and Ramage wants the two girls back as his slaves. In a harsh world, Rose and Finn must rely on each other to survive – two kids in a place where there are no superheroes to save them.

What do the readers say?

“Wow! Stunning! The Road to Winter is the debut novel and first in the Winter series by Australian author Mark Smith, and I absolutely loved it! Extremely well written, the setting in the Australian bush was authentic – the central characters down to earth and real. At the forefront is the fight for survival; but there is also friendship and trust.” – Brenda TelfordAmazon reviewer. [Review from Amazon]

Genesis Girl by Jennifer Bardsley

Eighteen-year-old Blanca has lived a sheltered life. Her entire childhood was spent at Tabula Rasa School, where she’s completely protected from the Internet. She’s never gone online and doesn’t even know how to text, which makes her so valuable that she’ll be sold to the highest bidders upon her graduation. She is purchased by Cal McNeal, who uses her to achieve personal gain. But the McNeals are shocked to find out how obedient and non-defiant Blanca is, because all those years she spent locked away from society has made her mind almost impenetrable. By the time she’s ready to think for herself, Blanca is trapped. The only chane she has of escaping is to go online.

What do the readers say?

“Exciting, action-packed, full of suspense. I found that this book didn’t cleave to a predictable, routine format, so I was constantly being surprised by what developed. I even had suspicions of certain characters, who turned out to be different than I supposed.” – GigiAmazon reviewer [Review from Amazon]

Vicarious by Paula Stokes

Winter Kim and her sister, Rose, are an inseparable pair. They grew up in a Korean orphanage and survived being trafficked into the United States. Having escaped their past with the chance to start over in a new place, they’ve taken it to themselves to work and live their lives. Now they’re digital stunt girls for Rose’s ex, Gideon, engaged in exciting activities while recording their neural impulses for Gideon’s Vicarious Sensory Experiences, or ViSEs, which involve anything from bungee jumping to dancing with celebrities. But when Rose disappears and a ViSE recording of her is sent to Gideon, Winter’s life takes a turn for the worse, and she becomes determined to kill her sister’s murderer. But things are not what they seem, and when Winter finds reason to doubt her sister’s death, she’s not sure anymore what to believe. Determined to find out the truth, she sets out to untangle what’s real from what only seems real, risking her life in the process.

What do the readers say?

“It has everything I love, from a strong and very sympathetic but deeply flawed female main character to a sexy love interest to techie science talk that warms my geeky heart to plot twists that left me breathless and disoriented in the best way possible. I’ve read a lot and the fact that I couldn’t guess where the book was going is super impressive.” – Christina (Ensconced In Lit)Amazon reviewer. [Review from Amazon]

Culmination by Holly Smith

Ethan and his sister Ilana only wanted to use their wealth properly, buy and secure a luxurious, isolated shelter in case something dangerous might happen. They never expected TEOTWAWKI to happen. But there it is, suddenly, and Ethan didn’t expect to find three others with whom they could share the shelter as family. Together, they thought they would be able to survive and flourish while going through the process of rebuilting humanity and civilization – but they didn’t think everything through, and the cracks in their plans have started to show.

What do the readers say?

“Culmination is a good addition to the ever-growing literature on the apocalypse, the focus on human nature and the manner in which it is dissected reflects on Holly Smith’s formation as a psychologist.” – books492Amazon reviewer [Review from Amazon]

Black River Falls by Jeff Hirsch

A virus that leaves victims alive but without their memories has ravaged seventeen-year-old Cardinal’s town, and he’s one of the lucky few to have escaped it. He chooses to remain in the quarantined zone, caring for orphaned kids in a mountain camp, with the help of a former brutal school bully who is now his best friend, thanks to the virus. When a strong-willed, mysterious young woman appears, however, Cardinal’s closed-off world starts to crumble.

What do the readers say?

“If your a comic or science nerd, you’ll love reading this story more than the average person, but you don’t need to be one of those to enjoy the story. It is rich with believable scenarios and small moral lessons that at the end, you realize there is a huge moral lesson to take away.” – MichelleAmazon reviewer. [Review from Amazon]


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