dystopia

Jun 13, 2018

Twelve year old Jonas lives in what seems like an ideal world. Everything is chosen for you, where you live, who your spouse is, what your job is, because, according to the community leader, when people have the opportunity to choose, they choose wrong. But Jonas never expected his life assignment to be the Receiver. He is assigned to learn from the Giver, but not what he thinks he is going to learn. With the help of the Giver, he begins to understand the dark secrets behind his fragile community.


I don't remember reading a book as fast as I read this one. It was a great read. I couldn't

Anthem

By Ayn Rand
4
Rated by Jackie S.
Feb 17, 2018

In Anthem, Ayn Rand illustrates how society and individuals suffer under extremist rule. The characters are bound to one another, and assigned specific duties, with the intention of benefiting the collective. After Equality 7-2521 makes a discovery from an ancient time, he begins to work on something that is outside of his designated vocation. In a different society, where innovation is valued, his work would be praised when he brings it to the authorities. But instead, he is punished for thinking for himself and not sacrificing his own will and desires for the collective. Even though what he

May 30, 2017

Thomas wakes up in the lift with no memory except that of his name. He is surrounded by other boys whose memories are also gone. They are in the glade, and it is surrounded by towering stone walls that make an ever-changing and limitless maze. It is the only way out, and no one has ever gone through it alive. But then a girl arrives, the first girl ever, and she carries a terrifying message.


The plot was fast paced, suspenseful and full of surprises. The twists and turns this book took shocked me unlike any other book I've read. It also has some creative lingo but I found it easy to

The Natural Way of Things

By Charlotte Wood
4
Rated by Amanda W.
Mar 31, 2017

The Natural Way of Things opens dramatically as Yolanda discovers she is being held captive in the Australian Outback. She is one of a small group of women who all have a curious, not immediately obvious, connection: they have all been part of public sex scandals. While the story leaves a lot unanswered and is incredibly dark in content and description, the beautiful writing was enough to keep me engaged until the end.


The story follows Yolanda and another captive, Verla, as they try to navigate survival in the extreme conditions they awoke to after being drugged and kidnapped. They sleep

Cloud Atlas

By Cloud Atlas (dvd)
4
Rated by Diane H.
Oct 15, 2016

Cloud Atlas is a movie that, for me, gets better with every watching. Fortunately, I had been forewarned that it is confusing; otherwise I might have turned it off after the first few minutes. While I got the gist of the plot with the first viewing – several lives interweaving and affecting each other through time – with each subsequent viewing I was able to catch more detail and see layers I had missed before.


A number of themes are explored: human nature, freedom, relationships and how they affect us, past lives, fate, the future. Perhaps the most compelling, and confusing, aspect of the

The Last Star

By Yancey, Richard
4
Rated by Kari E.
Aug 20, 2016

The Last Star is the final book of The Fifth Wave trilogy and picks up six weeks after the events of The Infinite Sea. After the Others, an alien race, sent four waves of death they killed seven billion people. The final wave of brainwashed humans will kill off the remaining survivors including Cassie, Sam, Ben, Megan, and Ringer. This installment is darker and more desperate than the preceding two books and unfolds from multiple perspectives which add dimension and depth to this portion of the story. Strong characters and a fast-paced plot drive this story making it impossible to put down

Aug 1, 2016

Adelaide is a countess used to getting anything she wants, but she is tired of all the comfort and luxury. So she poses as a servant to escape and start a life in the new world by going to the glittering court. It was designed to transform impoverished young women into the upper class so they can gain powerful and wealthy marriages in the colonies across the sea. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from everyone but the son of the man who created the court, who is a hiding a dangerous secret of his own. It is hard to deny the attraction simmering between them, but if acted upon, it

Jul 29, 2016

Pia grew up in a secret laboratory hidden in the rainforest, completely cut off from the outside world. She was raised by scientists to be the first of a new immortal race. But one night, she discovers a hole in the fence separating her from freedom, and sneaks out. She meets Eio, a boy from a local village, and together try to discover the dark and sinister story of her origin.


Origin is a beautifully told, shocking new way to look at an age-old desire: to live forever, no matter the cost. I loved Origin's action, romance, and mystery-and I couldn't stop thinking about the questions it

Jun 10, 2016

Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing.
They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.
But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.


Nothing

The Glittering Court

By Richelle Mead
4
Rated by Octavia V.
Jun 4, 2016

Richelle Mead, well-known for the Vampire Academy series has written a new book, The Glittering Court. While there are no vampires or werewolves in this new fantasy series, there is instead, Adelaide, Countess of Rothford.  Adelaide lives with her grandmother and has no source of income, leaving marriage her only choice. At least that's what her grandmother has told her.


The gentleman her grandmother has arranged for her to marry is the Barron of Ashby, Lionel Belshire. He owns two estates, farms barley and makes his house servants eat barley every morning to boost morale. He really hopes

The Affinities

By Robert Charles Wilson
4
Rated by Diane H.
May 29, 2016

Have you ever felt that you didn’t belong anywhere? Ever wanted to be with people who understand as much as you understand yourself? If so, the affinities are for you. Of course, you may not be a match for any of the twenty-two groups at the heart of Robert Wilson’s The Affinities.


Adam Fisk decides to undergo the battery of tests that will determine if he will fit into any of the Affinities – groups of people who are compatible beyond the normal societal classifications. Members of the affinities come from all backgrounds, races, social class, economic class, ethnicity, gender, age, etc

May 26, 2016

When Tegan decides to donate her body to science, she never expected to wake up 100 years later locked in a top-secret facility with no idea how she got there, or what happened on the day that was supposed to be the best of her life. The future isn’t at all what she had hoped, and when she learns the terrible secrets of the government that saved her, she must decide whether to keep her head down and try to survive, or fight for what she knows is right.


I have a few minor criticisms. The emotional freight of some of the interactions between Tegan and her friends on occasion comes across as a

May 12, 2016

Mare Barrow's world is divided by blood. There are the Red Bloods and the Silver Bloods. Red Bloods have a hard life, they live in villages with very little money. Silver Bloods, on the other hand, are royal and live up in the palace; ruling the Reds. Mare is Red, with little money and no job. When her friend, Kilorn gets assigned a place in the war, Mare does everything she can to help, even finding herself in the Silver world. She finds out she is an unusual Red, because she can do things only Silvers can do. Find out more by reading this exciting book!


I think this book was awesome

Feed

By M.T. Anderson
4
Rated by Diane H.
Mar 10, 2016

Feed reminded me of the people in WALL-E who spent their lives sitting on mobile chairs, having all their needs taken care of. Of course, the people in Feed do walk around, and they’re on earth (mostly) not on a spaceship. Still, the inability, or at least the disinclination, to think for oneself, is the same.


The feed is a computer implant, which both brings in information and keeps track of all ones thoughts, moods, feelings. It’s like a combination of having Google in your head and that scene from Minority Report where the protagonist walks into a store and holograms keep popping up

Feb 19, 2016

The nation of Panem is a post-apocalyptic version of North America. It consists of 12 poorer districts and the powerful and wealthy Capitol. Early in it’s history, the 13 districts rebelled against the Capitol which resulted in the destruction of the 13th district and, as punishment, an annual televised show called the Hunger Games. Each year, all the districts must choose a boy and a girl to send to the games that are forced to fight to the death, until only one survivor remains to claim victory. When Katniss’ sister Prim is chosen, she volunteers to stand in her place. She and the other

Perfect Ruin

By Lauren DeStefano
4
Rated by Chris K.
Dec 7, 2015

Sheltered and naive. That's the narrator of this book. She's always lived a protected, easy life, and doesn't have much to be anxious about. Of course, she lives in a world without poverty. Where there has never been a murder in her lifetime. Where crime, accidents, and disease are minimal, and almost everyone lives happily and safely to old age. (As far as she knows, anyway.) So life is good and there's no reason to question anything.


Except that she's a human. A human teen, at that. There might be no reason to question anything, but it's human nature and impossible to avoid. Morgan

5 to 1

By Holly Bodger
4
Rated by Peggy H.
Oct 28, 2015

The year is 2054 and India has a ratio of 5 boys to 1 girl. Girls have now become valuable assets. To combat the selling of daughters to the highest bidder, a group of women have founded a closed country they named Koyanagar. In Koyanagar, young men are chosen to compete for a chance to marry a girl. It is now Sudasa's turn to witness the testing of five young men and then choose one to become her future husband. Sudasa does not want a husband, she does not want to marry and bear children. She wants the opportunity to decide her own future, but that's not an option for her at this time. 

The Heart Goes Last

By Margaret Atwood
3
Rated by Heather B.
Oct 28, 2015

The Heart Goes Last takes place somewhere in the near future, after a catastrophic economic crash. Most people are unemployed. Many are homeless. Young married couple Stan and Charmaine are reduced to living in their car, barely surviving on the money Charmaine makes at her waitressing job. Things are desperately bleak and seem unlikely to improve at any point in the future, which is why Stan and Charmaine sign up without much hesitation for a new social experiment: The Positron Project offers the guarantee of a job and a place to live; the catch, however, is that all residents must spend

Alive

By Scott Sigler
4
Rated by Diane H.
Oct 4, 2015

What’s going on? Where am I? Who am I? Both the characters in the story and the reader wonder. Sigler has achieved an interesting balance between a thriller-like atmosphere and a slowly unfolding reality.


A group of twelve-year-olds wake up in older bodies, in coffins, with no memory of who they are and how they got there. Thus begins what is slated to be a trilogy.


There’s a somewhat Lord of the Flies flavor to the behavior of these “young adults.” With more questions than answers, and anxiety levels rising, the need for a leader quickly arises. While most of the small group are happy

Ready Player One

By Ernest Cline
5
Rated by Nancy D.M.
Jul 3, 2015

I used to read dystopian novels regularly believing they gave insight into the problems of our current world as well as hints of a difficult future if we didn’t pay attention.  Ready Player One also fills this role but makes it all so much more fun than the average tale of dystopian hardships.  Ernest Cline’s novel is set in a dismal future that has turned the global population toward a virtual computer-generated OASIS to escape the filth, crowding and poverty of reality.  When the creator of this online universe dies, his will offers his entire fortune to the online player who can solve his

Jun 4, 2015

Madeline Landry is the heiress of Landry Park, the richest estate in the country, which has been in her family for generations. However, as she starts to doubt her father, she meets David Dana, who is more than meets the eye.


I thought this book was extremely well written. It was impressive that Bethany Hagen managed to make this novel stand out in a sea of dystopian YA fiction. Although it is dystopia, Hagen adds a complexity to her characters, and she keeps the reader entertained and curious. This book was a fascinating read, but I wish that the author would have developed a little more

MaddAddam

By Margaret Atwood
4
Rated by Heather B.
May 23, 2015

This volume completes Atwood's trilogy that began with Oryx and Crake and continued in The Year of the Flood. In the not-too-distant future, most of humanity has been wiped out by a man-made global pandemic, known by God's Gardeners, a new environmental religious sect, as the waterless flood. But as the trilogy's main characters have discovered, there are more survivors than they originally imagined, and they're not all friendly and supportive. In this installment, the main characters of the previous two novels have converged together with other human survivors and the Crakers (the new human

Red Queen

By Victoria Aveyard
3
Rated by Kate M.
Apr 17, 2015

Mare Barrow's fate is sealed. She is a lowly red, born to work hard and serve the ruling silvers. With her birthday approaching and no job prospects, Mare will be conscripted in to the army like her older brothers. Fighting in an endless war, Mare will surely die on the battlefield. Desperate and out of options, Mare takes a big risk to sneak into the castle for a chance to pick pocket from the rich and powerful silvers that hold her fate in their hands. Stealing from silvers isn't as easy as it sounds as each is gifted with an ability due to their silver blood. Some can read minds, some

The Last of Us

By Naughty Dog Inc.
5
Rated by Rachel C.
Feb 4, 2015

The Last of Us won well over 200 awards for very good reasons.  Both the original, and the PS4 remake, are stunning examples of the power of immersive storytelling.  The game is visually breathtaking, the atmospheric sound effects are perfectly suited, the acting is top-notch, the gameplay is reasonably responsive, and the world-building is fantastic.


Twenty years after the world went mad, you play as Joel, a smuggler in a dystopian future where a fungal infection can render anyone into a zombie-like creature.  Joel and his partner Tess are hired to smuggle a girl out of the military

Station Eleven

By Emily St. John Mandel
5
Rated by Josh N.
Oct 18, 2014

Confession: post-apocalyptic stories are not my favorite genre and can be really hit or miss with me. Despite the overall rave reviews, I've never read Cormac McCarthy's The Road because it sounds too grim and bleak for me. I watched the first season of The Walking Dead and gave up when I found it too depressing. (And I'm a fan of the Cure and Joy Division, so it's not like I only like things bright and cheerful.) Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, however, is very definitely not a miss.


Beautiful, heartfelt writing and strong, complex, sympathetic characters keep this story from

Ready Player One

By Ernest Cline
3
Rated by Debbie L.
Aug 4, 2014

The year: 2044. Wade Watts is among the millions across the globe searching for an Easter egg hidden within a massive multiplayer online game known as the OASIS. The game's deceased creator has left 240 billion dollars to be awarded to the first person who can find it. Players must have an extensive knowledge of 80s pop culture to have a chance at winning. Wade competes against opponents willing to kill in order to obtain the lucrative prize.


I do not generally read science fiction novels, but I stepped outside of my genre comfort zone to read Ready Player One and am glad I did. The

Red Rising

By Pierce Brown
5
Rated by Kate M.
Jun 24, 2014

Darrow has the most dangerous job on Mars. He is the helldiver of Lycos, running the drill deep underground that mines Mars for valuable natural resources. Helldivers to not generally live long lives, like his father who died when he was a child. But Darrow has other plans, he is going to make something of himself, and his clan. But he can only rise so far, the caste system of society keeps his people down. They are Reds, deemed to be good at nothing but hard labor. They are ruled over by the Blues, Greys, and at the top...the Golds, the apex of human evolution. 

 

To celebrate a

The Bone Season

By Samantha Shannon
3
Rated by Diane H.
Apr 22, 2014

When I first started reading The Bone Season I wasn’t sure I would like it. There was a fair amount of slang and the tone was dark. Even after finishing it, I can’t say it’ll be on my favorites list. And yet, it was compelling, drawing me in so I had to know how it would end. 


Of course, being the first book in a series it doesn’t really “end." Nevertheless, I was intrigued by the plot and felt for the characters. The Bone Season is a kind of alternate history/science fiction/urban fiction tale with a bit of steampunk thrown in. It takes place in England in the year 2059 and centers around

Maggot Moon

By Sally Gardner
4
Rated by Bryan V.
Feb 10, 2014

Standish Treadwell stands on the brink of bringing down an elaborate hoax perpetrated by the insidious rulers of the Motherland, an alternate-universe mashup of Stalinist Russia and the Nazi-era Germany. Messing with the Greenflies, as they’re known, means certain death. After all, they imprisoned and tortured his best friend Hector, killed his teacher, and threatened his family. They would certainly do worse to Standish, whose bravery does not go unnoticed by the evil rulers.   However, success means striking the Greenflies where they’re most vulnerable.  Standish’s love for Hector gives him

Landry Park

By Bethany Hagen
5
Rated by Diane H.
Feb 5, 2014

If you liked the dystopian themes in Kiera Cass' The Selection, Ally Condie's Matched or Gennifer Albin's Crewel, then ​Landry Park is for you.


In a future where nuclear energy has replaced electricity, there is a sharp divide between those who live privileged lives fueled by this energy and those who live oppressed lives working with the energy.  In this world, a young woman has to make the choice between what’s known, safe, and comfortable and the uncertain, dangerous, can’t-be-forgotten truth. Will she be loyal to her family and ancestors, or will she stand up for what she knows is right