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The Best Dystopian Novels for Teens and Young Adults

Need a new book to read? Look no further than this curated list of the Best Dystopian Novels for Teens and Young Adults! From the classics to the current popular best sellers, this list has them all! And best of all, they are clean, and thought-provoking that teens and young adults of all ages can enjoy.

A collection of 9 different dystopian book covers in a collage with text overlay Dystopian Novels for teens and Young Adults.

As an avid reader and a mom, I’m always on the hunt for the best dystopian novels that aren’t just enthralling reads but also appropriate to share with my teens and young adult children. It’s a joy to find books that not only captivate our imaginations with visions of new worlds and futures but also spark deep conversations about values, ethics, and the human condition.

I’ve read so many books, and today, I’m thrilled to share with you a curated list of the top clean dystopian books that have made an impact on me and are sure to provide both you and your older kids with plenty to think about.

If you are also an avid reader, you may also enjoy our Top Regency Romance Authors list. It was easier to just collect all our favorite authors of clean romance because they release new books too frequently to keep them current otherwise.

What is a Dystopian Novel

Dystopian is actually a very popular genre of books. But you may not have heard of the term Dystopian or what it refers to. They are often mistaken as a mixture of political fiction, science fiction, dark fairy tales, and Young Adult fiction. It wasn’t until 2009 when I discovered there was an actual genre name to these books that I loved so much!

Dystopian novels are a niche staple of the broader science fiction genre. They explore imagined futures or alternate realities where society has often taken a turn for the worse.

Dark dystopian scene of grey clouds, dark ruins in the background and lone figure walking down the road

A great way to describe it is a society that has recently collapsed usually due to war, and in the process of rebuilding, they desire to eliminate the very problems that resulted in their society’s collapse and aim to rebuild in their often propagandized vision as being utopian with government control.

But these books are anything but a Utopian society. Thus the name DYS-Topian.

These books typically feature oppressive governments, environmental devastation, or other catastrophic changes that challenge the characters in profound ways. The beauty of dystopian fiction lies in its ability to mirror our own world, offering a lens through which we can examine our morals, ethical choices, decisions, and the potential consequences of our actions.

Why is dystopian fiction relevant to me?

These books are not only the best dystopian books for teens and adults but also serve as gateways to discussing deeper questions about our society and values. Each of these novels, from “The Hunger Games” to “Brave New World,” offers a unique glimpse into possible futures while challenging us to reflect on our present.

Dystopian novels can challenge readers to think differently about current social and political climates and, in some instances, even inspire action. These books often serve as cautionary tales, prompting readers to consider the impact of current trends and decisions on the future.

Dystopian literature can spark discussions about resilience, empathy, and the importance of safeguarding human rights.  It also helps us to understand why we’re right to be afraid of certain things, like complete government control and loss of choice, agency, and freedoms.

The Best Dystopian Novels of all time!

Top Clean Dystopian Books

When it comes to the best dystopian novels, that young adults, teens, and adults alike can enjoy; we need a plethora of titles that are not only compelling but also clean and thought-provoking. Because while yes life in a dystopian society and reality can get rather dark, gruesome, and graphic; some of that is just not appropriate for young audiences. Plus we don’t want our children reading unnecessary graphic content that overshadows the thought-provoking lessons.

We want books that capture the essence of dystopian fiction, combining the thrill of new worlds with the depth of significant ethical dilemmas.

Now before we begin, I have an important liability issue to address to you my fellow avid readers….

DISCLAIMER: I am not responsible for unwashed laundry, hungry families, and dirty dishes in the sink. Please Read Responsibly. 😉

Enjoy Reading!

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Possible Best Dystopian Novels to come!

Now, that’s not all. There are several more Dystopian Novels that have been suggested to me, that I just haven’t had time to dive into and read or investigate yet! I’m including them as Honorable Mentions. Once I get around to reading them, If I love them, I’ll move them up to the top list with more detail about each one.

Book cover for Aldous Huxley's Brave New World book

I am always attached to my Kindle Paperwhite and Amazon looking for more great Dystopian Novels to add to my favorites list. As I discover new Dystopian Novels I will continue to update this list.

Many of these books are also available for FREE in the Kindle Unlimited Program. Join Amazon Kindle Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial!


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Monday 2nd of August 2021

HI! I'm new to your blog, as I was googling additional Regency Authors to look up. Then I found this page for Dystopian novels! What?! I've read most of these books, and thought I'd offer up a series that I enjoyed that isn't included on this list (it's considered apocalyptic): Razorland series (Enclave, Outpost, Horde, and Vanguard). War and plague force people to migrate underground, but there are monsters who threaten their lives down in the dark. Someone gets exiled and is forced to learn how to survive above ground again.

S. Green

Saturday 5th of December 2020

Great far as those that I've already read. I would recommend the dystopian series "I Am Margaret" by Corinna Turner. This series creates a future world where any notion of God is not allowed and refusing to deny the existence of God will result in "dismemberment." The idea of "dismemberment" is accepted because the harvested body parts are used to help the ailing members of the rest of society.

Kayslee Decker | The Fangirl Fulfilled

Sunday 8th of November 2020

Hi! I am also a super fan of all things dystopian. Some of my favorites are on here, and I would also recommend the Unwind series by Neal Shusterman!! It's a very well-written and powerful series that makes you think about the "pro-live" vs. "pro-choice" debate in a different way, while also blessing the reader with a fantastic sense of humor and super emotional moments. 10/10 would recommend!


Sunday 7th of June 2020

Scythe by Neal Shusterman is a trilogy and is excellent. Steelheart by random Sanderson was another series I enjoyed.

Ana Moctezuma

Wednesday 17th of May 2017

Not sure if it fit in the dystopian genre but it's a good book to read: Frost Blood by Elly Blake.

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