The best YA dystopian novels with strong female (and one young boy) protagonists

Who am I?

I love dystopian novels. What I love most is trying to figure out what the heck happened? Why did this happen, and what was the world like before this happened? I really love books that are based on Earth, but you can’t tell until you read part or all the way through. The whole idea of “what the heck happened” was the inception of my novel, The Incident. I wanted to begin with the inciting event that caused the world to get knocked off-center and go from normal to not. I wanted to show the changes that would make it impossible for us to recognize the world as the one we live in.


I wrote...

The Incident

By Avis M. Adams,

Book cover of The Incident

What is my book about?

In The Incident, a YA post-apocalyptic novel, seventeen-year-old Josh has prepared for any emergency, but when the storm of the century hits, he learns no one is ever prepared enough, while, sixteen-year-old Emma is on a mission to save the world. She gets caught in the same monster storm, and her fight for survival in the post-storm world becomes a battle for her life.

Emma and Josh struggle to save themselves and the people they love in a world forever changed by the cataclysmic storms. Together they forge through an unrecognizable landscape where the rules have changed, and it takes more than luck to survive.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The City of Ember

Avis M. Adams Why did I love this book?

This book is closer to MG than YA, but great all the same. It takes place underground and the lights keep going out. How creepy is that! I couldn’t wait to find out why they were down there and see if they could get out! While I was reading it, I kept wondering what happened? What made them go underground, and why did they stay? I won’t tell you what happens, but I will say this book was thought-provoking and a really fascinating read.

By Jeanne DuPrau,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The City of Ember as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Ember is the only light in a dark world. But when its lamps begin to flicker, two friends must race to escape the dark. This highly acclaimed adventure series is a modern-day classic-with over 4 MILLION copies sold!

The city of Ember was built as a last refuge for the human race. Two hundred years later, the great lamps that light the city are beginning to dim. When Lina finds part of an ancient message, she's sure it holds a secret that will save the city. Now, she and her friend Doon must race to figure out the clues to…


Book cover of Mockingjay

Avis M. Adams Why did I love this book?

Like so many other readers, I grew to love Katniss. She only did her, you know? She spoke her truth, and she won followers by being strong, even when she felt she wasn’t. I would have chosen the first book, but I think it’s on all the lists, so I chose this one because it brings resolution to the horror of what people in the lesser districts had to endure during the games, and it puts an end to that violence and injustice.

By Suzanne Collins,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Mockingjay as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

The final book in the ground-breaking Hunger Games
trilogy.
Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games
twice. But now that she's made it out of the bloody arena
alive, she's still not safe.

The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.

Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss.

And what's worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one
else is safe either. Not Katniss's family, not her friends, not
the people of District 12.



now a major feature film starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson
& Liam Hemsworth



OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES…


Book cover of Divergent

Avis M. Adams Why did I love this book?

I love strong female protagonists and Tris doesn’t disappoint. I love when she does the same physically demanding stunts the guys do without batting an eye. What a tough cookie! I didn’t mind the romance, but that’s not really my thing. The story was intriguing enough to make me wonder what had happened to create this world, and I was always rooting for Tris to find out answers to the questions she had.

By Veronica Roth, Nicolas Delort (photographer),

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked Divergent as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

The explosive debut by No. 1 New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth.

DIVERGENT - a major motion picture series.

For sixteen-year-old Tris, the world changes in a heartbeat when she is forced to make a terrible choice. Turning her back on her family, Tris ventures out, alone, determined to find out where she truly belongs.

Shocked by the brutality of her new life, Tris can trust no one. And yet she is drawn to a boy who seems to both threaten and protect her. The hardest choices may yet lie ahead....

A debut novel that will leave you breathless.


Book cover of The Giver

Avis M. Adams Why did I love this book?

This story is on the younger end of my referral list, and the protagonist is a young boy, but I really love it because it made me think. Jonas may be young, but he questions the reasoning and logic behind so much of what he is expected to accept at face value. This story challenges readers on every page to put the pieces together as Jonas does, and it holds lots of surprises! I loved the high moral standards Jonas had.

By Lois Lowry,

Why should I read it?

19 authors picked The Giver as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

THE GIVER is soon to be a major motion picture starring Jeff Bridges, Katie Holmes and Taylor Swift.

Now available for the first time in the UK, THE GIVER QUARTET is the complete four-novel collection.

THE GIVER: It is the future. There is no war, no hunger, no pain. No one in the community wants for anything. Everything needed is provided. And at twelve years old, each member of the community has their profession carefully chosen for them by the Committee of Elders.

Jonas has never thought there was anything wrong with his world. But from the moment he is…


Book cover of The 100

Avis M. Adams Why did I love this book?

Clarke is a natural leader who wants to take care of everyone but herself, and she will sacrifice her safety for others all in a world that defies the logic of the one she’d always known. She is frail and emotional, but tough when she needs to be, and she develops close bonds with just a few special people, while caring about all, even the ones she wants to shoot with a rifle or hang by a rope.

By Kass Morgan,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The 100 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

The Hunger Games meets Lost in this spectacular new series. Now a major TV series on E4.

No one has set foot on Earth in centuries - until now.

Ever since a devastating nuclear war, humanity has lived on spaceships far above Earth's radioactive surface. Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents - considered expendable by society - are being sent on a dangerous mission: to re-colonize the planet. It could be their second chance at life...or it could be a suicide mission.

CLARKE was arrested for treason, though she's haunted by the memory of what she really did. WELLS, the chancellor's…


You might also like...

The Warlock's Curse

By C.B. Oresky,

Book cover of The Warlock's Curse

C.B. Oresky Author Of The Warlock's Curse

New book alert!

Who am I?

Since childhood, the library was a wondrous place filled with magical tales and epic stories about strange realms that I could take home…devour…and get lost in. I grew up dancing to enchanting classical music…as an adolescent I painted majestic unicorns…my best friends are my enchanting pets. I often retreat into the deep silent woods or walk along the crashing waves of the ocean to find solace in the magical beauty of nature. Now, as a writer I hope to bring the wonder I’ve found in this world into the strange places and unique characters I create. I hope you enjoy a few of my favorite fantasies: worlds that I truly fell in love with.

C.B.'s book list on fantasy filled with so much magic and wonder

What is my book about?

Clara and Angelica Grace have never met ghosts. They’ve never sailed on a tall ship, ridden wild unicorns, or fought with magical weapons. Instead, the teenage twins have a wretched existence, ignored by their troubled parents in a rundown home and tormented by the town’s snobs.

Everything turns topsy-turvy all of a sudden when the discovery of an ancestor’s hidden journal with an odd key to an unknown door leads them into an entirely different realm.

The girls go on a thrilling oceanic voyage to search for mysterious whales, train with a seasoned warrior, and are befriended by a wise Master. But all is not a bouquet of lovely lilies…they are hunted by a cunning warlock and must rid themselves of The Warlock’s Curse.

The Warlock's Curse

By C.B. Oresky,

What is this book about?

Clara and Angelica Grace have never met ghosts. They’ve never sailed on a tall ship, ridden wild unicorns, or fought with magical weapons. Instead, the teenage twins have a wretched existence, ignored by their troubled parents in a rundown home and tormented by the town’s snobs.

Everything turns topsy-turvy all of a sudden when discovery of an ancestor’s hidden journal with an odd key to an unknown door leads them into an entirely different realm.

The girls go on a thrilling oceanic voyage to search for mysterious whales, train with a seasoned warrior, and are befriended by a wise Master.…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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