The best YA Dystopian Fantasies that will keep your heart racing

Who am I?

What can I say? I suppose I'm a bit of an oxymoron. Anyone who meets me while I'm at my day job - as a teacher of young children, no less - would say I have a cheerful, optimistic personality. But you see, I can't keep that up all the time. I need an outlet, a way to decompress. So you know where that brings us, don't you? At day's end, I come home and write about destroying the world. It's glorious. Through writing, I can let my inner demons escape through my fingertips - and hopefully spin a compelling tale while I'm at it.

I wrote...

Angel of Shadow

By D.H. Nevins,

Book cover of Angel of Shadow

What is my book about?

He would die for her. She is heartbreakingly killing him.

Nephilim have all but destroyed the surface of the Earth. Yet for Kali Michaels, her life is now much more complicated than simply surviving. Grappling with her own powerful identity, she worries she could destroy those around her. And what if she hurts Tiamat Wormwood, the Nephilim outcast who had given everything to save her?

The books I picked & why

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By Susan Ee,

Book cover of Angelfall

Why this book?

I loved this book (and the whole Penryn and the End of Days series by Susan Ee). I think we are drawn to things to which we can relate, and this book is so similar to my own, that of course, I have to love it! We have half-angels, or Nephilim, who are hell-bent on eradicating humans from the planet. Our protagonist is tough and resourceful, and of course, there is tension between her and one of the half-angels, who falls for her. Angelfall (Susan Ee) and Wormwood (my own) were both released around the same time, so I find it cool that although Ee and I each have different stories overall, we both had some similar ideas. It's fair to say that I appreciate how her mind works!


By Veronica Roth, Nicolas Delort (photographer),

Book cover of Divergent

Why this book?

My heart carries an insatiable craving for dystopian stories with a surprise twist, buried among the sparkling darkness within. Divergent ticked all the right boxes here. In this world created by Veronica Roth, there were questions layered upon questions, and it was a crazy ride, trying to predict what might happen next. Despite the harsh environment, our protagonist, Tris, was determined to prove herself. I grew attached to her mettle quickly, just as I was drawn in by her tough and mysterious instructor, Four.


By Marissa Meyer,

Book cover of Renegades

Why this book?

These ideas and the images in this one were sublime! This world, where some people are born with superpowers, was like a graphic novel brought to life. The connection between Nova, who is hell-bent on revenge against the Renegades, and the Renegade, Adrian, who simply wants Nova, makes the story hum with tension. I honestly wasn't sure if she would warm to him... or kill him. 

The Hunger Games

By Suzanne Collins,

Book cover of The Hunger Games

Why this book?

I was intrigued by the killer premise, where randomly chosen teenagers are thrown into a giant enclosure, and the last one left alive is the winner. The descriptions and the vividness of the characters created some of the best moments for me. I became obsessed with the fate of Katniss and Peeta. It was thrilling, what The Hunger Games did to my heart. Continually throughout the story, it would race, and it would break, and it would be lifted. What a ride.

The Host

By Stephenie Meyer,

Book cover of The Host

Why this book?

This story got my ticker thumping in all the right ways. It had the perfect mix for me: darkness, but with a faint spark of hope. Our human protagonist, Melanie, is "infected" early in the story, yet the alien who is using her as a host is unable to completely overcome her strong personality. I found myself sympathizing with both the alien, Wanda (who, interestingly became the protagonist), and with the host, Melanie. Being of two minds, Wanda seeks refuge with a hidden group of human survivors, endangering them all. My heart raced as I wondered what would become of the alien, Wanda, and the humans she now wished to protect. Could she go against her own kind in order to protect Ian, the boy she had come to love? I had to know!

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in anti heros, survival, and love triangle?

5,888 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about anti heros, survival, and love triangle.

Anti Heros Explore 59 books about anti heros
Survival Explore 112 books about survival
Love Triangle Explore 42 books about love triangle

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like The Lord of the Rings, The Road, and The Handmaid's Tale if you like this list.