Apocalyptic, Dystopian

The Best YA Post-Apocalyptic/Dystopian Books

There seems to be no shortage of YA post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction! In this list, you’ll find some great YA post-apocalyptic and dystopian reads from 2014! So if you think you’ve missed some or you’ve been craving a good read, check this list out and add some to your to-read list!

Alienated by Melissa Landers

Cara is handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, and she believes that this is the key to a better future. She’ll get a free ride to her dream college and have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs – information that every journalist would kill for. Cara knows that her blog following is about to skyrocket. But she’s not sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs might have nearly identical DNA, but the cold and infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. Cara’s sure about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking. When Cara’s classmates get consumed by anti-L’eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn’t safe anymore. Cara, least of all, as a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class. Cara finds support in Aelyx, who isn’t just her friend anymore – she’s fallen for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon, Cara will be in for the fight of her life – for herself, for the boy she loves, and for the future of her planet.

What do the readers say?

“I loved this book!! I’m a HUGE sci-fi fan so this was right up my ally. If you’re into romance and aliens, you’ll love this series! The characters were so enjoyable and the romance was very sweet!” – Amanda ObeyAmazon user. [Review from Amazon]

After the End by Amy Plum

Juneau grew up fearing the outside world. The elders told her that a nuclear war had destroyed everything beyond the borders of their land in the Alaskan wilderness. But she discovers the horrifying truth when she sets out after discovering that her people have been abducted: World War III never happened, nothing was destroyed, and everything she ever believed in was a lie. While coming to terms with the deception, Juneau is forced to survive in a completely foreign world, using only the skills and abilities she developed in the wild. While she’s struggling to rescue her friends and family, though, someone else is after her. Someone who knows the extraordinary truth about her secret past.

What do the readers say?

“If you like contemporary, non-apocolyses, and a little bit of earthy-magic-power-type stuff you should read this. I really enjoyed it. It ends with a cliffhanger that leads up to the next book.” – EmmaAmazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Experiment by Cyma Rizwaan Khan

How do you survive in a world without hope? And what will it turn you into? Alien species are in control of the planet and Zyronian Citizens have no choice but to become slaves to both reigning species, the Zyre and the Khaltars. Life on Zyron for someone who is born a Citizen was bad enough but the constant riots within the regions have made survival impossible. So when Lane Volze, a twenty-two year old Citizen becomes the victim of a treacherous conspiracy, his brother Connor takes the help of resistance leader Jace Dyer and does everything in his power to get him out, but nothing is at it seems, and Connor keeps running into dead-ends. Lane on the other hand, struggles for survival in the prison from hell and is trying his best to come to terms with the fact that his life is over.

What do the readers say?

“The writing was great and the plot was intelligent and thrilling, keeping me on the edge of my seat. Couldn’t put it down until I was done!” – Amazon Customer [Review from Amazon]

Some Fine Day by Kat Ross

A generation ago, continent-sized storms called hypercanes caused the Earth to flood. The survivors were forced to retreat deep underground and build a new society. This is the story that sixteen-year-old Jansin Nordqvist has heard all of her life. Jansin grew up in a civilization far below the Earth’s surface. She’s spent the last eight years in military intelligence training. So when her parents surprise her with a coveted yet treacherous trip above ground, she’s prepared for anything. She’s especially thrilled to feel the fresh air, see the sun, and view the wide-open skies and the ocean for herself. But when raiders attack Jansin’s camp and take her prisoner, she is forced to question everything she’s been taught. What do her captors want? How will she get back underground? And if she ever does, will she want to stay after learning the truth?

What do the readers say?

“This book has some of the greatest action sequences I’ve read in, like, forever. I actually had moments where I looked away from the page because it was so intense and then I realized, well, duh, I’m not actually watching an action movie so that kind of doesn’t work. The action felt daring and fresh and imaginative. Brava!” – Kristin L-MAmazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Forget Me Not by Stacey Nash

Anamae’s mother vanished nine years ago, and ever since, she and her father have shared a quiet life. When Anamae discovers a brooch identical to her mother’s favorite pendant, she unknowingly invites a slew of trouble into the world. Because the jewels aren’t just jewellery – they’re high-tech gadgets capable of cloaking the human form. Triggering the jewellery’s power attracts the attention of a secret society determined to confiscate the device. Anamae knows too much, and now the society has deemed her Enemy Number One. Forced to leave her father behind, she’s taken in by a group determined to keep her safe. When her father’s kidnapped, however, and with her own life on the line, Anamae must decide if saving her dad is worth risking her new friends’ lives. Either way, 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 CAmazon user. [Review from Amazon]

All Is Silence by Robert L. Slater

Lizzie is a suicidal teenage girl who can barely navigate her own life. She lives in an apocalyptic land nearly deserted by disease, and she lacks reasons to live – until a shocking turn of events reveals a phone number. Her call pulls her dangerously cross-country to meet a stranger she thought was dead. In a world where there are plenty of resources, fear, anger, and a lust for power now control the patterns of human life, slowly making the apocalypse hurtle towards dystopian territory. Lizzie must decide who her friends and family are, and who is a danger to them.

What do the readers say?

“Even so, after a couple of chapters, I developed a lot of interest and even empathy for the motley set of characters trekking through the book. Found myself reading way past my normal bed time.” – Mark C., Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Divided by Eloise Dyson

Sixteen-year-old Arys lives in a tribe, surviving in a corrupt world fifteen years after a deadly earthquake that destroyed the country. Arys and her tribe always move about, changing location because of the Hutners. No one knows where they came from or why they hunt survivors, keeping everyone in constant fear. When Arys discovers that the twin sister she thought was dead is actually alive and living with other survivors in a safe haven known only as the Compound, Arys leaves her tribe to find her. Joining her in her journey is her best friend Kai, and together they move forward, not knowing how much their lives will be thrown into a plot they know nothing about.

Free to Fall by Lauren Miller

Gnosis is a monolith corporation that has developed the most life-changing technology to ever hit the market: Lux, an app that flawlessly optimizes decision-making for the best personal results. Just like everyone else, sixteen-year-old Rory Vaughn knows the key to a happy, healthy life is to follow what the app recommends. When she’s accepted to the elite boarding school Theden Academy, her future happiness seems all the more assured. But once on campus, something feels wrong beneath the polished surface of her prestigious dream school. Then she meets North, a handsome townie who doesn’t use Lux, and begins to fall for him and his outsider way of life. Soon, Rory is going her own way, questioning Lux and listening instead to the inner voice she’s been taught to ignore–a choice that leads her to uncover a truth neither she nor the world ever saw coming.

What do the readers say?

“Holy mother conspiracy! Free to Fall was riddled with secrets, societies, plots, world domination! It was INSANE! Every time we uncovered one layer of the plot, we learned about something else—a totally new layer. It just kept building and building and building until it was this crazy, gigantic, epic web of lies and conspiracies! O_O” – Ashley EvansAmazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Disruption by Jessica Shirvington

Nine years ago, Mercer Corporation’s M-Bands became mandatory. An evolution of the smartphone, the bracelets promised an easier life. Instead, they have come to control it. Two years ago, Maggie Stevens watched helplessly as one of the people she loved most was taken from her, shattering her world as she knew it. Now, Maggie is ready. And Quentin Mercer – heir to the M-Corp empire – has become key to Maggie’s plan. But as the pieces of her dangerous design fall into place, could Quentin’s involvement destroy everything she’s fought for? In a world full of broken promises, the ones Maggie must keep could be the most heartbreaking.

What do the readers say?

“Great story and strong characters. A story set in a future that could easily come to pass. I was caught right from the beginning and can’t wait to read the next in the series. Do yourself a favour…” – LizAmazon user. [Review from Amazon]

The Memory Keepers by Natasha Ngan

Seven is a thief who steals downloadable memories from banks and memoriums, and sells them at London’s black market. He makes sure to keep some of the special stuff to ‘surf’ himself, though, since it’s the only real form of entertainment he can afford. But one night changes everything, as Seven breaks into a private memorium in the wealthy side of London. He gets caught in the act by Alba, the teenage daughter of London’s most famous criminal prosecutor. Instead of giving him away, though, Alba promises to keep Seven’s secret – as long as he allows her to go memory-surfing herself. In doing so, they discover a hidden memory about Seven’s past, revealing a shocking secret about his childhood, the government, and the mysterious experiment known as The Memory Keepers. Now Seven and Alba must race against time to unlock the maze of the Memory Keepers – if they can keep out of harm’s way.

What do the readers say

“Read this book recently and it did not disappoint, in fact exceeded expectations. It is set in a future London that has evolved into a scary but exciting place. The two main characters come from either ends of the social divide and meet under the most unexpected circumstances. Then the real story begins, but you will have read it to find out the rest. You won’t be disappointed.” – Paul FootmanAmazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Elusion by Claudia Gabel and Cheryl Klam

A new technology is sweeping the country. To enter Elusion®, you need an app, a visor, and a wristband, and you’ll be virtually transported to an exotic destination where adventure comes without the complications or consequences of real life. When there are accusations that Elusion is addictive and dangerous, Regan is determined to defend it and is pulled into incredible new worlds to discover deeply buried truths—and to make the ultimate choice between love and loyalty. . . .

What do the readers say?

“It was interesting to see the take on a future polluted world and how much people would seek out a glimpse of the beautiful views of a healthy Earth. Following dystopian style, the system doesn’t work how it is meant to, causing many problems, and forcing characters to realize that they need to fix the problem. I liked the twists in the story, some expected, some unexpected.” – littlenugget13Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Replica by Jack Heath

What do the readers say?

“The author excels at the sci-fi thriller format, writing with an immediacy, an urgency, and a frenetic pacing that is non-stop. Anyone contemplating what it might be like to be scanned or uploaded into robot bodies in the days ahead, as Ray Kurzweil and others predict will be an option in the not too distant future, or is fascinated by the “print everything” economy many futurists also say is lurking around the corner, will enjoy this book nearly as much as its predecessor.” – DeanAmazon user. [Review from Amazon]

The Garden of Darkness by Gillian Murray Kendall

The pandemic SitkaAZ13, commonly known as “Pest,” has claimed the lives of families across the land, leaving few to survive. One of them is fifteen-year-old cheerleader Clare and thirteen-year-old chess club member Jem, an unlikely pair determined to find a cure. And the cure seems to be within reach, as a shadowy adult broadcasting on the radio promises all orphaned children that they will be cured once they grow into Pest. They will be fed and cared for – a tantalizing prospect. Across the hostile landscape of rotting cities and an infected countryside filled with corpses and voracious survivors, Jem and Clare make a bid for their life and embark on a journey towards the cure, along with their fellow child-travelers. But they are hampered by the knowledge that everything in this new child-led world has become suspect – the love of diseased adults, alliances, trust, and hope. As Clare and Jem learn to stitch wounds, skin deer, and survive in the ashes of the old world, it is no surprise that they begin to find that friendship has its own kind of healing power. And it’s friendship and love that they need, if they are to face the ultimate betrayal at the end of their journey.

What do the readers say?

“This novel was completely compelling, and the only reason that I didn’t finish sooner is that the book kept disappearing—my husband or 19-year-old daughter would sneak off with it, so there were three bookmarks in it. But even when I wasn’t reading, I was thinking about it–and luckily not just about the disturbing evil of one of the characters. It made me think about what’s important, what is valuable, how to enjoy each moment with the people I love, what to say and do that will make them look back and remember it fondly and helpfully, not sadly or as if it was all pointless.” – DCWAmazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Molten Heart by L.L. Hunter

Forty years after the middle- east dropped bombs on her country, Skye’s community are now just starting to rebuild. But a new danger threatens their utopia. A group of men everyone calls The Takers, have returned to finish what they started ten years earlier. So they leave. Skye and her friends head to a safe house five days away where there is food a plenty and the hope of a fresh start. But they never will be out of danger.
And Skye’s heart will never be safe, not around Lukas Green. When she thought she couldn’t be broken any further, she fears Lukas will break the wall around her heart down so far, her heart won’t have a choice but to melt. He really will be the death of her. Her name is Skye Montgomery. Welcome to her world.

What do the readers say?

“Molten Heart was amazing! From the post-apocalyptic setting, to the fun and interesting characters, it was perfect in every way. It was nice and short, to be read in a day, which I loved because I didn’t have to spend too much time thinking about the story, because it was all nice and simple.” – Hayley GuertinAmazon user. [Review from Amazon]

The Crooked God Machine by Autumn Christian

The Black Planet is an oppressive world terrorized by a masked god. Charles is a young idealist struggling to keep his family from falling apart amidst daily violence and chaos. When Charles falls in love with the enigmatic Leda, she gives him hope for an existence outside of the masked god’s regime. After Leda disappears one night, Charles leaves his small town to search for her. Along the way he uncovers the origin of the Black Planet, and confronts the god that would destroy all life in pursuit of a perfect and unchanging paradise.

What do the readers say?

“I can’t recommend this book enough. It’s a hidden classic and at times feels exquisitely intellectual. The story pulls themes from books like Angela’s Ashes, The Diary of Anne Frank, and 1984 and paints them into something that looks like a Salvador Dali rendition of Stephen King. And yes I will stand by those comparisons. The book rocks.” – A.T. LubranoAmazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Snatched by Katherine McIntyre

When Kara was ten, the shifters took her parents. A year ago, they took her best friend Hunter. And now, the night before her first military strike against those monsters on the surface, the shifters take the only person she has left: her little sister Lizzy. The snatched don’t come back. That’s what Kara’s believed her entire life, but the first person she finds above ground is the best friend she thought lost forever. Turns out, the higher ups lied. Other colonies are out there, hell even folks who toughed it up above. If anyone knows how to get her sister back, these people would. However, unless she can rally these surfacers into an army, one girl with a shotgun won’t survive long against the very creatures that overturned her world.

What do the readers say?

“Kat has amazing talent for writing STRONG female characters and this book was no different. Pace was great and the action sequences were very well described and written…I felt like I was there in the mix of it with them. Another remarkable effort from Kat McIntyre!” – George StulakAmazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Life by Rebecca Belliston

In a floundering country with a crashed economy, Carrie Ashworth is struggling to keep her siblings alive. She has two jobs in her newly formed clan: to grow crops to feed thirty-six people, and to maintain contact with their local patrolman, Oliver Simmons. Carrie is almost content with her life, until Greg Pierce shows up. A man of ambition, he promises to help them survive. But he is also a man determined to hate Carrie. Greg sets to work devising systems to protect the clan from the new regime, but it doesn’t take long before they relaize that there’s a true reason behind their safety. Patrolman Simmons has fallen for Carrie, and Greg takes it upon himself to give the socially awkward patrolman what he wants, when the government nearly wipes out the entire clan. But Carrie doesn’t like Greg throwing her in Simmons’ path, especially when Greg’s exterior melts, and she catches a glimpse of the real man underneath. Now Carrie is faced with a choice: to follow her heart, or to save her clan.

What do the readers say?

“It’s hard to review this book because I was so immersed in it that I felt like I was living it. I was scared, I was heartbroken, I was cold when it snowed, I was in pain when the main character was hurt, I missed my parents; but I also loved my neighbors, felt joy at new growth, and loved the sunshine. To me that means that this was an amazing book.” – Amazon shopper [Review from Amazon]

Stranger by Sherwood Smith and Rachel Manija Brown

A mysterious cataclysm struck the world generations ago. It left governments collapsing and people scattering to rebuild where the could, and saw the rise of the mutation called the Change, granting some people unique powers. Las Anclas has replaced Los Angeles, now resembling a Wild West frontier town, where the Sheriff possesses superhuman strength, the doctor can warp time to heal his patients, and the distant ruins of an ancient city bristle with deadly crystalline trees that take their jewel-like colors from the clothes of the people they killed. This is where teenage prospector Ross Juarez lives, and where he finds the best thing ever – an ancient book he doesn’t know how to read, which nearly costs him his life when a bounty hunter becomes set to kill him and steal the book. Ross barely makes it to Las Anclas with the artifact with him, containing a power no one has ever had before – and a whole lot of trouble.

What do the readers say?

“I loved this novel. The prose is beautiful, and the wordbuilding is amazing. There’s a sense of optimism, wonder and beauty that is so rare in YA. What I enjoyed is the sense of history and how the world has evolved since the Change. It felt like I was reading a snapshot of the future and a classical adventure western. The environment and people are vividly described.” – Tina LeAmazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Rebellion by Karen Sandler

Kayla is a GEN—a genetically engineered nonhuman—in a world torn apart by castes separating GENs from “real” humans. In the wake of a devastating bomb blast, Kayla has been brought to the headquarters of the organization that planted the bomb, and many others like it, in GEN food warehouses and homes. Her biological mother tells her that Devak is dead and that Kayla must join their terrorist group, which is ramping up for something big. Now Kayla must pretend to embrace this new role in an underground compound full of paranoia as she plots a way to escape and save her friends. Meanwhile, Devak has emerged from his healing in a gen-tank, only to be told that Kayla is dead and his family has fallen from grace. Can he overcome his grief enough to notice the clues that point to Kayla?

What do the readers say?

“A stunning end for a very lovely trilogy. Very satisfying conclusion for all the characters. Romantic, action packed story you’ll like.” – M.C. FarnhamAmazon user. [Review from Amazon]

PS check out this epic list of YA dystopian books to prepare you for the apocalypse!

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