Dystopian books that prove things could be a lot worse.

So with a lot of us locked indoors right now and I thought it would be a good time to recommend some good books. Today I wanted to look at dystopian novels. One, because the new hunger games book, a Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is out this month. And two, to show us things could be a little worse then they are right now. Some of these I have read and others I haven’t but do want to read. So let’s go! 

The Hunger Games 

by Suzanne Collins

So what’s it about?

There are 3 books in this series, The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay. (Catching Fire is my fav) In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and once girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weight survival against humanity and life against love.

And why I like the books.

They were really well written and the world building is amazingly done, honestly I would just love a book full of backstory about the world. I’m so excited about this new book and now is the perfect time to read these books if you haven’t already. 

The Road

by Cormac McCarthy

So what’s it about?

A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don’t know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food—and each other.

And why I want to read it.

There’s just something about the idea of this good that fascinates me. I think there’s two styles of dystopian, one that talks about a person or organization that takes over and forces something on the world, a political dystopian, and there’s one that’s like this book. A world that has crumbled and left nothing but disorder in its wake. The second one scares me more but also fascinates me on a whole new level. I also love stories that focus on how powerful the love between a parent and a child can be, to see that bond that is already established. Also at only 241 pages this is a really short read. 

1984

by George Orwell,

So what’s it about?

Winston Smith is a low-ranking member of the ruling Party in London, in the nation of Oceania. Everywhere Winston goes, even his own home, the Party watches him through telescreens; everywhere he looks he sees the face of the Party’s seemingly omniscient leader, a figure known only as Big Brother. The Party controls everything in Oceania, even the people’s history and language. Currently, the Party is forcing the implementation of an invented language called Newspeak, which attempts to prevent political rebellion by eliminating all words related to it. Even thinking rebellious thoughts is illegal. Such thoughtcrime is, in fact, the worst of all crimes.

And why I want to read it.

The only reason I want to read this one is because I’m trying to read more classic literature and I know that this fits into a category that I really enjoy. 

Cat’s Cradle

by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

So what is it about?

Dr Felix Hoenikker, one of the founding ‘fathers’ of the atomic bomb, has left a deadly legacy to the world. For he’s the inventor of ‘ice-nine’, a lethal chemical capable of freezing the entire planet. The search for its whereabouts leads to Hoenikker’s three eccentric children, to a crazed dictator in the Caribbean, to madness. Felix Hoenikker’s Death Wish comes true when his last, fatal gift to humankind brings about the end, that for all of us.

And why I want to read it. 

There’s something about the concept of this book that really fascinates me but honestly I can’t tell you exactly what. Maybe it’s the dark humor, as you can probably tell from this post I do love dark humor. 

Battle Royale

by Koushun Takami, Yuji Oniki (Translator)

So what’s it about?

A class of junior high school students is taken to a deserted island where, as part of a ruthless authoritarian program, they are provided arms and forced to kill one another until only one survivor is left standing.

And why I want to read it.

I didn’t even know this was a book till I started looking into this for this post. Battle Royale is one of my all time favourite movies and to know it’s originally a book really pumps me up. I think this is going to be a book I read pretty soon. 

So let me know in the comments if you’ve read any of these books or if there’s any other dystopian books you would recommend. 

Check out my last blog post here where I talked about bookish gifts to treat yo self with and maybe consider subscribing to my newsletter on the right.

Find your local independent bookshop here and check out Hive or Abebooks here to find ones that deliver, shops need your support now more than ever. 

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