Postcard For Reader + [dystopia]

Books for Relaxation: Dystopian

Okay, maybe dystopians aren't the best books for relaxation - they tend to put you on the edge of your seat. But they sure are fun to read (and with the influx of them I sense coming, better start reading the best ones now!).

Wither
Author: Lauren deStefano
Series: Wither (#1)

What if you knew exactly when you would die?

Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.

When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home.

But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limited time she has left.

Why?: If you want to compare it, it's the YA version of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. It's got some world building problems to sort out, but I was kept on the edge of my seat.

The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Series: The Hunger Games (#1)

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

Why?: Best. Freaking. YA. Dystopian. Ever.

Seriously, you've all probably read it, but if you have it you need to get on this now. Realistic characters, amazing world - just so much love for this series.

Incarceron
Author: Catherine Fisher
Series: Incarceron (#1)

Incarceron is a prison unlike any other: Its inmates live not only in cells, but also in metal forests, dilapidated cities, and unbounded wilderness. The prison has been sealed for centuries, and only one man, legend says, has ever escaped.

Finn, a seventeen-year-old prisoner, can’t remember his childhood and believes he came from Outside Incarceron. He’s going to escape, even though most inmates don’t believe that Outside even exists. And then Finn finds a crystal key and through it, a girl named Claudia.

Claudia claims to live Outside—her father is the Warden of Incarceron and she’s doomed to an arranged marriage. If she helps Finn escape, she will need his help in return. But they don’t realize that there is more to Incarceron than meets the eye. Escape will take their greatest courage and cost far more than they know.

Because Incarceron is alive.

Why?: I'm not a huge fan of this book myself - it only went up so high on my radar of things I like - but I did love the steampunky world that Fisher created.

Lockdown
Author: Alexander Gordon Smith
Series: Escape from Furnace (#1)

Beneath Heaven is Hell. Beneath Hell is Furnace.

Furnace Penitentiary: An underground hellhole. A place of pure evil with walls soaked in blood. Murderous gangs and vicious guards rule the darkness. Horrific creatures steal people away in the dead of night. And the impossible - escape - is the only hope.

Why?: This is a horror-dystopian. One of the reasons it's so exotically creepy is that it doesn't happen in a post apocalyptic future or 1000 years from now; it happens now. Besides that, it's just brilliantly well written.

Uglies
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Series: Uglies (#1)

Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait. Not for her license -- for turning pretty. In Tally's world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there.

But Tally's new friend Shay isn't sure she wants to be pretty. She'd rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world -- and it isn't very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.

Why?: Until I read The Hunger Games, this is my favorite dystopian series. The characters are fantastic and the dystopian future that's created is bloody brilliant.

What are your recommendations for dystopians?