I consider myself a wildly optimistic person, so maybe it’s a little surprising I love dystopian fiction so much. Hey, let’s imagine the world is in a worst case scenario and dig deeper into THAT! But there’s something about these stories that draws me in…and I think maybe it’s the challenge of finding the silver linings, the glowing embers of good that never go out despite being piled with struggle and strife. I look for hope in all of them, and if it’s my kind of story, I tend to find it. Even if the only hope is that someone cares enough about the possibility of going down the wrong path, that they write a book about a scenario so that it will never come to pass.
by George Orwell
I first read this in high school when I was devouring the classics, and have read it several times since. Not only is it an intriguing story that makes you think about the modern world and where it’s headed, you’ll also understand a lot of literary allusions after you’ve read it.
Brave New World
by Aldous Huxley
I consider this an opposite partner of 1984; it’s interesting to read these two side-by-side and imagine twisted governments controlling their citizens through opposite means….and arriving at the same place. Again, if you read this book, you’ll understand a ton of literary allusions.
Hunger Games (Series)
by Suzanne Collins
I’ve never taken more than a week to read through this series of three books, because the story is so grippingly page-turning. The first time I read it I had the flu and literally read during all my waking hours, and it made being sick so much more palatable.
The Handmaid’s Tale
by Margaret Atwood
I read the book before watching the Hulu series (which is fantastically done, by the way!). I appreciated the context of reading Offred’s thoughts in the book as the story was taking place, it helps to understand the story in a deeper way.
The Giver (Series)
by Lois Lowry
I read and re-read The Giver as a kid, about a futuristic society where a boy is given the task of being the sole possessor of memory for an entire community. What I didn’t learn until just a few years ago is that this book is part of a four-book series, each one expanding on the story of the one before. If you liked The Giver and wondered what happened to the boy at the end of the book, I highly recommend checking out the rest of the series.