The best YA SFF books about utopian societies

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an avid reader turned author. I’m a Canadian YA Speculative Fiction author who takes books along as I hike, cycle, and go to the beach. I love audiobooks! In the years leading up to writing my first novel, I must have read over three hundred books. My favorites were Young Adult Fantasy and Science Fiction. When I ran out of happy, positive, and wholesome books, I started writing them. I feel like I'm often called back to my favorites, and hope more authors will jump on the happy train! Now that the world has literally turned into a Dystopian Society, perhaps more authors will start writing about hope and change.

I wrote...

The Ancestors' Key

By Marie-Hélène Lebeault,

Book cover of The Ancestors' Key

What is my book about?

For fans of Stardust and The Golden Compass, The Evers Series brings readers on a fantastical new journey of magic and mystery. 

Fifteen-year-old Lola’s life is about to turn upside down. One minute she’s living with her mom in Baltimore and hanging out with her best friend Jane, next thing she’s receiving a mysterious skeleton key to an old Southern mansion and boatloads of money. But it all comes with unanticipated baggage, and Lola isn’t sure how she will cope with her newfound long-lost dad, an eccentric aunt, and a drop-dead gorgeous boy who keeps popping up everywhere she turns. Not to mention the magical book that seems to have materialized out of nowhere, and an ancient family secret with endless layers to uncover. 

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Giver

Marie-Hélène Lebeault Why did I love this book?

Most books about corrupt societies have inherently rebellious protagonists, a dubious environment, and a great romance that begins in the first chapter. The Giver does not conform to this rule and that’s one of the reasons I love it. Jonas, an 11-year-old who lives in a future world without war, famine, or strife, is selected for a unique assignment: Receiver of Memories. As he is exposed to how things used to be before their society was created, Jonas experiences colors, emotions, and values he and his fellow citizens have never been exposed to. And the reader gets to experience it with him. It is so beautifully done, that I read this book every year.

By Lois Lowry,

Why should I read it?

20 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 Divergent

Marie-Hélène Lebeault Why did I love this book?

The faction system in the book, and series, is brilliant and I think most people would find their place and live quite comfortably. I identified as a Divergent and I believe it represents a number of creatives and intuitives that are popping up in society today. Though this book is a few years old, it has never been more relevant. Teens are changing the world by insisting on inclusion, diversity, and adaptability. They are so fluid and open; the older generations should really wake up and pay attention. There are millions of Triss Priors out there!

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 Uglies

Marie-Hélène Lebeault Why did I love this book?

I devoured this series that turns ‘Uglies’ into ‘Pretties’ when they turn sixteen through an irrevocable operation. It is such a good metaphor for how our society is focused on looks and perfection. Where the pretty people of the world seem to have all the money and fun, and none of the responsibilities. In the books, a teenager changes the world as they know it and I believe it’s what’s happening now on Tik Tok. Where Facebook is about putting your best life forward, Instagram is about showing your prettiest aesthetics, and Twitter is about showing how smart you are, Tik Tok is all about keeping it real. Authenticity is the currency of the future!

By Scott Westerfeld,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Uglies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 11, 12, 13, and 14.

What is this book about?

Soon to be a major motion picture streaming on Netflix!

The first installment of Scott Westerfeld’s New York Times bestselling and award-winning Uglies series—a global phenomenon that started the dystopian trend.

Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait. In just a few weeks she’ll have the operation that will turn her from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty. And as a pretty, she’ll be catapulted into a high-tech paradise where her only job is to have fun.

But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to become a pretty. When Shay runs away, Tally…

Book cover of Matched

Marie-Hélène Lebeault Why did I love this book?

In this society where people are matched with their jobs, but also with their future mates, arts and culture are carefully selected and limited by leadership. People take mandatory medications.

The most horrifying part, for me, is that they can no longer write without a keypad. Whatever they write on a computer is censured. Can you imagine better ways to control the population? Does it sound familiar?

By Ally Condie,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Matched 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?

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in…

Book cover of Flawed

Marie-Hélène Lebeault Why did I love this book?

I love Cecelia Ahern’s earlier books and this was her first YA duology. The second book is called Perfect. This society also praises beauty and perfection, but mistakes are punishable offenses with a serious consequence of being branded, literally, are Flawed. The book is chilling in so many ways, but what I loved about it is that making mistakes is an inherently ‘human’ thing to do. Older generations have been taught to avoid making mistakes at all costs, or at least never own up to them. The younger ones are learning that it’s all part of life and we should all have a little more compassion. We’re all doing the best we can with what we have.

By Cecelia Ahern,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Flawed 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?

In her breathtaking young adult debut, bestselling author Cecelia Ahern depicts a society in Flawed in which obedience is paramount and rebellion is punished. And where one young woman decides to take a stand that could cost her everything.

Celestine North lives a perfect life. She's a model daughter and sister, she's well-liked by her classmates and teachers, and she's dating the impossibly charming Art Crevan.

But then Celestine encounters a situation in which she makes an instinctive decision. She breaks a rule and now faces life-changing repercussions. She could be imprisoned. She could be branded. She could be found…

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Terracolina: A Place to Belong

By Carla Kessler, Richard Kessler (illustrator),

Book cover of Terracolina: A Place to Belong

Carla Kessler Author Of Terracolina: A Place to Belong

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, one of my favorite places was in the top branches of a tree. From up there I could watch the world pass by, remaining invisible. I could make up stories about the world below and no one would challenge me. The second best place for me was inside the story of a book, the kind that took you to magical places where children always found a way to win the day. I knew when I “grew up” I would write one of those empowering books. I became a middle school teacher and have since read many wonderful books for this age. Enjoy my list of favorites.  

Carla's book list on where kids who believe in nature make a difference

What is my book about?

Where do you turn when the only adult who gets you, your grandpa, is gone, and the world seems to be in self-destruct mode?

On his 12th birthday, Thomas runs away to the forest he used to visit with Grandpa. It is dying. Will saving it from a deadly parasite bring him closer to Grandpa or make his world safer? Before he can find out, he is enticed into a magical world under an attack of a different kind.

Welcomed by a garden of talking plants, mind-reading creatures, tree-climbing, nature-loving beings, Thomas conquers the stinging, prickly hedge that guards the portal to this alternate world. At last, a place where he fits in. A place that needs him. But what about his and Grandpa’s forest?

“…a magical book...” John Perkins, New York Times best-selling author

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in utopian, love triangle, and dystopian?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about utopian, love triangle, and dystopian.

Utopian Explore 66 books about utopian
Love Triangle Explore 74 books about love triangle
Dystopian Explore 552 books about dystopian