Young Adult Dystopian Fiction

Categories: Dystopia, Young Adult

Published by Zephyr  (out now)

Snowflake, AZ by Marcus Sedgwick

Ash gets on a Greyhound bus to the place Bly was last seen: Snowflake, Arizona. Six thousand feet up in the wide red desert, Ash meets Mona; her goat, Socrates; her dog, Cooper; and finds stepbrother Bly, too.

In their ramshackle homes, the walls lined with tinfoil, Mona and her neighbors are all sick. But this isn’t any ordinary sickness: modern life has poisoned them, and when Ash too falls ill, the doctor’s response is, “It’s all in your mind.” Meanwhile, as Ash lives through a cycle of illness and recovery and loss, the world beyond is succumbing to its own affliction: a breakdown of civilization only distantly perceived by Ash and the isolated residents of Snowflake, from which there may or may not be a chance for recovery. This humane and thoughtful novel is about resilience, trust, family, and love, when all seems lost

Categories: Science Fiction, Young Adult, Dystopia, Steampunk

Published by Little, Brown (out now)

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

In America’s Gulf Coast region, where grounded oil tankers are being broken down for parts, Nailer, a teenage boy, works the light crew, scavenging for copper wiring just to make quota–and hopefully live to see another day. But when, by luck or chance, he discovers an exquisite clipper ship beached during a recent hurricane, Nailer faces the most important decision of his life: Strip the ship for all it’s worth or rescue its lone survivor, a beautiful and wealthy girl who could lead him to a better life…

Exodus by Julie Bertagna

It is 2099 – and the world is gradually drowning, as mighty Arctic ice floes melt, the seas rise and land disappears forever beneath storm-tossed waves. For fifteen-year-old Mara, her family and community, huddled on the fast-disappearing island of Wing, the new century brings flight. Packed into tiny boats, a terrifying journey begins to a bizarre city that rises into the sky, built on the drowned remains of the ancient city of Glasgow. But even here there is no safety and, shut out of the city, Mara realizes they are asylum-seekers in a world torn between high-tech wizardry and the most primitive injustice. To save her people, Mara must not only find a way into the city, but also search for a new land and a new home . . .

Categories: Dystopia, Young Adult

Published by Macmillan (out now)

Breathe by Sarah Crossan

The world has no air. If you want to survive, you pay to breathe. But what if you can’t? And what if you think everything could be different? Three teens will leave everything they know behind in Sarah Crossan’s gripping and original dystopian teen novel of danger, longing, and glimmering hope.

Ever since the Switch, when the oxygen levels plummeted and most of humanity died, the survivors have been protected in glass domes full of manufactured air. Protected . . . or trapped? Or controlled? Alina’s a revolutionary who believes we can save the environment. Quinn’s a Premium who’s never had to worry about having enough air. His best friend, Bea, is an Auxiliary who’s never worried about anything but having enough air. When the three cross paths, they will change everything.

Categories: Dystopia, Young Adult

Published by Bloomsbury (out now)

The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He

Cee awoke on an abandoned island three years ago. With no idea of how she was marooned, she only has a rickety house, an old android, and a single memory: she has a sister, and Cee needs to find her.

STEM prodigy Kasey wants escape from the science and home she once trusted. The eco-city—Earth’s last unpolluted place—is meant to be sanctuary for those commited to planetary protection, but it’s populated by people willing to do anything for refuge, even lie. Now, she’ll have to decide if she’s ready to use science to help humanity, even though it failed the people who mattered most. 

Categories: Dystopia, Young Adult, Thriller, Mystery

Published by Macmillan (out now)

Categories: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopia, Vegan Fiction

Published by Chronos Publishing (out now)

Earthlings – The Beginning by Ray Star

Peridot has lived a sheltered life. Raised on a remote island off the coast of England by an over protective mother, Peri has never left the comfort of her home, or met another child before. Until the night of her thirteenth birthday, when a strange boy appears at her window, filthy and malnourished, claiming to have escaped captivity from the mainland.

Her mother insists that the ways of the world are to remain concealed until her sixteenth birthday, but she unveils why they live in hiding, the mainland isn’t safe for their kind – they are born of magick. Not magic from stories and fables, but real magick from the days of old. The power to control earth, air, fire, water and spirit; an Elemental.

On her quest to learn the truth, Peridot leaves the island on her sixteenth birthday only to finally comprehend why the truth was kept from her. Life on the mainland is unlike anything she could have fathomed possible, humanity is enslaved, and the remaining species are in charge.

Peridot finds herself thrown into a world she wasn’t prepared for, caught amongst an ongoing battle between those trying to save humanity and the tyrants seeking to keep them enslaved. Struggling to command magickal abilities she doesn’t fully understand or know how to control. Her abilities may be the helping hand needed to save humanity from an awful way of life, but at what cost?

Within Peridot’s grasp is the chance to save the world, and earth knows, the world needs saving

Landfill Mountains by Rab Ferguson

In a world ravaged by the effects of climate change sixteen-year-old, Joe has been left with nothing but mountains full of junk.

When Joe and his friends are caught in an avalanche of waste, a six-year-old girl named Lily is left deathly ill. Joe travels to the city to seek out help for her.

Nothing could prepare him for what he finds on the way: a dangerous prince wearing a suit made of stars, the wolf from Red Riding Hood bearing its teeth, and the reality-changing power of storytelling aloud.

Categories: Dystopia, Young Adult, Environmental

Published by Onwe Press (Sept 2021)

The Islands at the End of the World by Austin Aslan

Right before my eyes, my beautiful islands are changing forever. And so am I …

Sixteen-year-old Leilani loves surfing and her home in Hilo, on the Big Island of Hawaii. But she’s an outsider – half white, half Hawaiian, and an epileptic.

While Lei and her father are on a visit to Oahu, a global disaster strikes. Technology and power fail, Hawaii is cut off from the world, and the islands revert to traditional ways of survival. As Lei and her dad embark on a nightmarish journey across islands to reach home and family, she learns that her epilepsy and her deep connection to Hawaii could be keys to ending the crisis before it becomes worse than anyone can imagine.

A powerful story enriched by fascinating elements of Hawaiian ecology, culture, and warfare, this captivating and dramatic debut from Austin Aslan is the first of two novels. The author has a master’s degree in tropical conservation biology from the University of Hawaii at Hilo. 

Categories: Dystopia, Young Adult, Survival

Published by Wendy Lamb Books (out now)

Categories: Science Fiction, Young Adult

Published by Chicken House (out now)

Read Clare’s essay here

Jelly by Clare Rees

Life has its ups and downs, doesn’t it? And Martha and her friends are really sick of going up, and down, and up, and down.

After a traumatic event that no one can talk about or even quite remember, they’re stuck on a giant killer jellyfish, tantalizingly close to the shore and safety. They’ve had enough of it. They’ve decided that they’re either going to escape, or die trying.

A YA novel like no other, Jelly is touching, funny and truly unique.

Categories: Dystopia Young Adult

Published by Impress Books (out now)

Truth Sister by Phil Gilvin

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. TO SURVIVE IN A HOSTILE WORLD, WOMEN MUST TAKE CONTROL OF THE KNOWLEDGE THAT REMAINS.

The year is 2149. The Women’s Republic of Anglia seeks to harness forgotten technologies from the time when men ruled the world. Naturals are second-class citizens, while women born through cloning are the true children of the Republic. When Clara Perdue graduates from the prestigious Academy, she is ready to do her part to support the Republic and bring about a better future for all.

But when she stumbles on information that the Republic has tried to keep hidden, she begins to realise that the society she has been taught to believe in and trained to defend is not all that it seems. A secret from Clara’s past puts herself, her family, and her friends in danger, and Clara must choose between subservience and rebellion.

In a world where knowledge is power, what you know can save your life. Or it can get you killed.

Categories: Science Fiction, Young Adult, LGBT

Published by Hachette (out now)

Ariadnis by Josh Martin

Back then I thought that if it weren’t for that cliff, our cities would be one and there would be no need for all this fierceness toward each other. But then I learned about pride and tradition and prophecy, and those things are harder than rock.

Joomia and Aula are Chosen. They will never be normal. They can never be free.

On the last island on Erthe, Chosen Ones are destined to enter Ariadnis on the day they turn eighteen. There, they must undertake a mysterious and deadly challenge. For Joomia and Aula, this means competing against each other, to end the war that has seethed between their cities for nine generations.

As the day draws nearer, all thoughts are on the trial ahead. There’s no space for friendship. No time for love. However much the girls might crave them.

But how you prepare for a task you know nothing certain about? Nothing, except that you must win, at whatever cost, or lose everything.

Categories: Science Fiction, Mythology, Romance

Published by Tor Teen (out now)

Solstice by P.J. Hoover

Piper’s world is dying. Each day brings hotter temperatures and heat bubbles that threaten to destroy the earth. Amid this global heating crisis, Piper lives under the oppressive rule of her mother, who suffocates her even more than the weather does. Everything changes on her eighteenth birthday, when her mother is called away on a mysterious errand and Piper seizes her first opportunity for freedom.

Piper discovers a universe she never knew existed—a sphere of gods and monsters—and realizes that her world is not the only one in crisis. While gods battle for control of the Underworld, Piper’s life spirals out of control as she struggles to find the answer to the secret that has been kept from her since birth.

Categories: Dystopia, Young Adult

Published by Orion (out now)

Floodland by Marcus Sedgwick

Winner of the Branford Boase Award 2001, Marcus Sedgwick’s powerful debut novel about surviving in a sinking world marks the beginning of the author’s multi-award-winning career.

Imagine that a few years from now England is covered by water, and Norwich is an island.

Zoe, left behind in the confusion when her parents escaped, survives there as best she can. Alone and desperate among marauding gangs, she manages to dig a derelict boat out of the mud and gets away to Eels Island. But Eels Island, whose raggle-taggle inhabitants are dominated by the strange boy Dooby, is full of danger too.

The belief that she will one day find her parents spurs Zoe on to a dramatic escape in a story of courage and determination that is handled with warmth and humanity.

Categories: Dystopia, Young Adult

Published by Hodder (out now)

Read Nicky’s essay here

The Survival Game by Nicky Singer

In a world full of checkpoints and controls, can love and hope defy the borders? A searing, timely story, as arresting as it is beautiful.

Mhairi Anne Bain owns only two things: a gun with no bullets and her identity papers.

The world is a shell of what it once was. Now, you must prove yourself worthy of existence at every turn, at every border checkpoint. And if you are going to survive, your instincts will become your most valuable weapon.

Mhairi has learnt the importance of living her own story, of speaking to no one. But then she meets a young boy with no voice at all, and finds herself risking everything to take him to safety.

And so Mhairi and the silent boy travel the road north. But there are rumours that things in Scotland have changed since she has been away. What Mhairi finds there is shocking and heart-breaking, but might finally re-connect her to her sense of self and to the possibility of love.

Categories: Science Fiction, Young Adult, Dystopia

Published by Fledgling Press (out now)

Ways of the Doomed by Moira McPartlin

It’s the year 2089 and everything is altered. The revolutions of the early 21st century have created a world divided – between the Privileged few and the Native (Celtic) underclass. Sorlie is enjoying a typical carefree Privileged teenage life until it is smashed apart by the cruel death of his parents and he is spirited away to live with his ice-cold grandfather at a mysterious island penal colony. Sorlie’s discovery that the captives are being genetically altered to remove all trace of their Native origins triggers a chain of shocking events that reveal his grandfather’s terrible secrets and, ultimately, the truth about himself.

Categories: Thriller, Dystopia, Young Adult

Published by Curious Fox (out now)

Essay: Melting Ice and Rising Seas

Red Rock by Kate Kelly

The ice caps have melted. The coastal areas we once knew are gone, and only scavvers now live in the flooded towns. The world has changed, but as 14-year-old Danni Rushton soon discovers, it isn t the first time… Living with her uncle after the tragic death of her parents, Danni s world is turned upside down when her aunt is assassinated. With her dying breath, she entrusts Danni with a strange, small rock. Danni must not tell a soul that she has it.

But what is the rock for, and to what lengths must Danni go to keep it safe? This action-packed adventure takes the reader from the barren terrain of Greenland, to the flooded ruins of Cambridge, and on to a sinister monastery in Malta. In her effort to save her uncle and evade a power-hungry space agency, Danni discovers that friends aren t always what they seem, and a rock isn t always just a rock…

Categories: Dystopia, Young Adult

Published by Homebound Publications (out now)

Call of the Sun Child by Francesca G. Varela

Sempra has lived all of her sixteen years in an enclosed dome called the Circadia Stable Living Facility. It is structured, sustainable, and windowless. After the sun grew in intensity, causing society to become nocturnal, it was the only safe place to go. No one remembers the outside world. For 150 years the government has warned them about the deadly sun, and savage, vengeful outsiders. There is only one punishment for any crime: to be exiled from the facility. But Sempra is curious. Beyond those walls, what is there to see? When she and her childhood friend, Alden, discover a forbidden book, she begins to question the facility, and, with it, everything she has ever known.

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