Move over Edward Cullen, dark and dreary vampire novels seem to have been (mostly) replaced by dark and dreary dystopian/science fiction novels for teens. With the success of series like the Hunger Games, the most popular new books for teens all seem to have dismal premises. Whether in a society run by a government that cures people of the delirium of love or speeding through the universe on a spaceship filled with cryogenically frozen people, the most exciting novels this year are all about rebelling against the oppressive authority.
Here’s a list of some of our favorites, both old and new:
Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Teenaged Amy, a cryogenically frozen passenger on the spaceship Godspeed, wakes up to discover that someone may have tried to murder her.
The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
In the not-too-distant future, when biotechnological advances have made synthetic bodies and brains possible but illegal, a seventeen-year-old girl, recovering from a serious accident and suffering from memory lapses, learns a startling secret about her existence.
Birthmarked by Caragh M. O’Brien
In a future world baked dry by the sun and divided into those who live inside the wall and those who live outside it, sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone is forced into a difficult choice when her parents are arrested and taken into the city.
The Compound by S.A. Bodeen
After his parents, two sisters, and he have spent six years in a vast underground compound built by his wealthy father to protect them from a nuclear holocaust, fifteen-year-old Eli, whose twin brother and grandmother were left behind, discovers that his father has perpetrated a monstrous hoax on them all.
The Declaration by Gemma Malley
In 2140 England, where drugs enable people to live forever and children are illegal, teenaged Anna, an obedient “Surplus” training to become a house servant, discovers that her birth parents are trying to find her.
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Lena looks forward to receiving the government-mandated cure that prevents the delirium of love and leads to a safe, predictable, and happy life, until ninety-five days before her eighteenth birthday and her treatment, she falls in love.
Feed by M.T. Anderson
In a future where most people have computer implants in their heads to control their environment, a boy meets an unusual girl who is in serious trouble.
Gone by Michael Grant
In a small town on the coast of California, everyone over the age of fourteen suddenly disappears, setting up a battle between the remaining town residents and the students from a local private school, as well as those who have “The Power” and are able to perform supernatural feats and those who do not.
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
To free herself from an upcoming arranged marriage, Claudia, the daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, a futuristic prison with a mind of its own, decides to help a young prisoner escape.
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Through journal entries sixteen-year-old Miranda describes her family’s struggle to survive after a meteor hits the moon, causing worldwide tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions.
Matched by Ally Condie
All her life, Cassia has never had a choice. The Society dictates everything: when and how to play, where to work, where to live, what to eat and wear, when to die, and most importantly to Cassia as she turns 17, who to marry. When she is Matched with her best friend Xander, things couldn’t be more perfect. But why did her neighbor Ky’s face show up on her match disk as well?
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Sixteen-year-old Thomas wakes up with no memory in the middle of a maze and realizes he must work with the community in which he finds himself if he is to escape.
Sharp North by Patrick Cave
In a futuristic world, Great Families rule Britain through a caste system where reproduction is seriously restricted, while the families keep illegal clones or “spares” of themselves.
Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
In a futuristic world, teenaged Nailer scavenges copper wiring from grounded oil tankers for a living, but when he finds a beached clipper ship with a girl in the wreckage, he has to decide if he should strip the ship for its wealth or rescue the girl.
Those That Wake by Jesse Karp
New York City, once vibrant and alive, has lost its spirit. People walk the streets with their heads down and their eyes averted, withdrawing from each other and into the cold comfort of technology. Teenagers Mal and Laura have grown up in this new reality: Mal in the city, part of the foster care system; Laura in the suburbs, loved and protected. They’ve never met. Seemingly, they never will. But then their worlds shift. On the same day Mal learns his estranged brother has disappeared, Laura discovers her parents have inexplicably forgotten her. Both begin a search for their families that leads them to the same terrifying truth: someone or something has wiped the two teenagers from the memories of every single person they have ever known. Thrown together, Mal and Laura must find common ground if they are going to reclaim a past that was stolen from them–and create a future no one can take away…
The Unidentified by Rae Mariz
In a futuristic alternative school set in a shopping mall where video game-playing students are observed and used by corporate sponsors for market research, Katey “Kid” Dade struggles to figure out where she fits in and whether she even wants to.
Unwind by Neal Shusterman
In a future world where those between the ages of thirteen and eighteen can have their lives “unwound” and their body parts harvested for use by others, three teens go to extreme lengths to uphold their beliefs–and, perhaps, save their own lives.
Wither by Lauren DeStefano
After modern science turns every human into a genetic time bomb with men dying at age twenty-five and women dying at age twenty, girls are kidnapped and married off in order to repopulate the world.
*Note that many of these are part of a series, so check out each book at the library!