Just because some of our favorite YA authors write about shadowhunters, curse workers and everyday girls (and not survivalist teens battling in a wilderness arena) doesn't mean they haven't jumped on the dystopian bandwagon. As part of our final Dystopian Week proceedings, we asked a few non-dystopian writers to weigh in with their favorites from the genre.
"Absolute favorite dystopian books... I love 'Shipbreaker' by Paolo Bacigalupi and his adult book, which is called 'The Windup Girl,' said "Mortal Instruments" author Cassie Clare. "I've been enjoying 'The Hunger Games.' I've been enjoying the new batch of YA dystopian that's been coming out. I think it's kind of a fun thing to see. I really enjoyed 'Wither' by Lauren DeStefano and 'Matched' by Ally Condie. And the really classic dystopians. It's really a look back at early sci-fi. I think 'City' by Clifford Simak and books like that... I really like 'Uglies' by Scott Westerfeld, it's one of the ones that tops my list."
Good friend and book tour mate Holly Black (author of the "Curse Workers" series), also appreciated a few of the classics but had a yet-to-be-released book to recommend, in addition. "Well, I certainly love the classics. Your '1984,' your 'Brave New World,' your 'Lord of the Flies,'" she said. "Actually, 'Beauty Queens' by Libba Bray, which is coming out in May , is this great—imagine if 'Lord of the Flies' was told with ladies who were beauty queens. It's absolutely fantastic and a shade into dystopian."
Sarah Dessen, whose latest "What Happened to Goodbye" comes out May 10, admitted that she isn't a huge dystopian buff, but she did have one great read to recommend. "Megan McCafferty’s new book, 'Bumped,' it’s crazy," she said. "It’s kind of a mix of 'Teen Mom' and this weird dystopian society. Girls have become incredibly valued because they’re the only ones who can have babies. It sounds so crazy, but it’s this cutting satire and incredibly funny but also—I’m surprised that people aren’t already protesting it in some way too. I’m just kind of waiting to see how it’s going to go down as far as school districts and everything. It’s a really interesting book, so I’d say that is my pick if I’m stepping outside of my comfort zone to something that’s very unlike what I’m doing."
And then there's "Hush, Hush" author Becca Fitzpatrick, who seems to have gotten her hands on every hot YA dystopian read. "I read the 'Hunger Games' series—well I haven't read the last book, 'Mockingjay.' I don't know if I want to. I want it to end on a happy note, and I've heard rumors that it's not the happiest of endings. I don't know if I can handle it right now. And 'Matched,' by Ally Condie, I've read that one. That was really good, because it wasn't what I was suspecting. It wasn't this loud novel full of action and suspense. It was very quiet, but at the same time chilling. I really loved 'Matched.' I just started 'Delirium.'
Phew! Lots of amazing book recs. What are you waiting for? Get reading!
Which of these novels will you be picking up?