9 Top Dystopian Reads (and what I want to read next…)

Hello and welcome to another Top Reads post! I’ve covered quite a few adult and YA dystopian reads in my 21 years, and below are my top picks for anyone wanting to try and get into dystopian literature. These are my absolute favourites (I’ve even thrown a poem in there). There are a couple of YA dystopian series I’ve read but haven’t included here, as I thought they just became plain boring after the first book and a half. The very last series I mention (the Divergent series) I have mixed feelings on, but have included it anyway because overall it was a great read.

Brave New World, Aldous Huxley- This is a dystopia disguised as utopia. A world where people are drugged up and constantly kept happy- but art, culture, books and general free thought isn’t allowed. Loved the twist at the end. Full review right here.

1984, George Orwell – This is a parallel to the above. This dystopia is obviously a dystopia. The media lie and cover things up, the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor. The poor have the man power to overthrow the ruling Big Brother, but aren’t encouraged to think and so to see a different future. Forbidden relationships, fake news, brutal law enforcement, and torture in Room 101. Full review here.

We, Yevgeny Zamyatin- This is massively underrated as a dystopian book, although it has a lot in common with 1984. The ending is very similar, but no spoilers in this post! I don’t believe I’ve written a review of this novel yet, and so keep your eyes peeled in the future. One of my favourite dystopian novels of all time, possibly in the top three.

The Hunger Games Trilogy, Suzanne Collins- This is my favourite YA dystopian series. I completely fell in love with it. Its one of the only things (excepting London Grammar), where I can say that I liked it before it was cool. Katniss is one of the best female YA characters I have come across in this specific genre of fiction.

Eighteen Hundred and Eleven, Anna Letitia Barbauld – This is actually a poem. It criticises Britain’s role in the Napoleonic Wars, and imagines a future where Britain as an empire has declined, and America’s empire is on the rise. Barbauld gives the vision of London (and Britain itself) joining other ancient civilizations long gone. Its got some pretty dystopian elements, and wasn’t well received at the time because of this. Continue reading

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17 of my Top Children’s & YA Books

We all have those books that are nostalgia in print form.  I loved reading as a child: it took a lot to peel me away from a book. And so, below, I have a list of the books from my childhood that I completely adored, right up to YA fiction.

Now, this list is pretty short (as book lists go), because by the time I was 11 I was actually reading Agatha Christie and Jane Austen, and so I didn’t really go through the “teenage girl vampire obsession”, or the zombie obsession- though I did get into the dystopian obsession. I also had to set myself some kind of cut-off point numbers wise, or I would have chosen 100 books. In the name of keeping this list age appropriate and without too much overlap into adult books/ heavier classics, what are strictly classed as childrens/young adult books are the only ones listed below. I’m also not including picture books, but books with more of an extended plot line.

Are any of these books favourites from your childhood? If so comment below, and if you have any different nostalgia-inducing books (as I’m sure you do), then you can leave a comment as well. If you’re older than 20 and reading this, then I would particularly love to know which books were popular when you got into reading.

 

Journey to the River Sea, Eva Ibbotson

Girl travels to the Amazon to live with her distant family, who try to pretend that they’re still living in England.

The Secret Countess, Eva Ibbotson

 In 1914 Annoushka/Anna is forced to become a maid to help her family out, having fled to England from Russia. She struggles to keep her identity as an aristocrat secret from the young Earl whose home she works in (sounds incredibly twee, it’s actually a brilliant book, with some very unlikable characters, a lot of humour, and great commentary on the class divide and eugenics)

The Molly Moon Series, Georgina Bing

Orphan girl learns how to hypnotise people from a mysterious book, and hypnotises her way to the top- ending up in NY before it all begins to go horribly wrong. The later books even involve time travel.

The Chronicals of Narnia, C.S.Lewis

A magical world you can access through a wardrobe? Yes please.

The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgeson Burnet

I kind of loved this book so much because it was set in Yorkshire, on the moors, and I grew up near some moors.

The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins

I was nuts about this series for so long; every world book day I dressed as Katniss. This is such a popular series that I doubt I have to really elaborate on the plot.

Howl’s Moving Castle, Diana Wynne Jones 

Possibly one of my top picks from this list: Sophie Hatter has a curse placed on her by the Witch of the Waste, and is transformed into a creaky old woman. In this fantasy novel, Sophie leaves the family hat business, and moves in as the notorious Wizard Howl’s housekeeper. She strikes a deal with Howl’s fire demon Calcifer: Calcifer will break Sophie’s curse, if she finds a way to release him from the contract he’s in with Howl. With one catch: he can’t tell her what the contract is.

The Crystal Doors Series, Rebecca Moesta & Kevin J. Anderson 

A great fantasy series where two cousins end up in a magical world where evil forces are at work, which they must defeat. Floating islands, underwater worlds, and flying carpets included. Continue reading