251 voters

If You've Read Any Of These Young Adult Novels/Series, You're Probably Ready For The Apocalypse

Updated July 13, 2018 2.2k votes 251 voters 4k views18 items

List RulesVote up the best dystopian works.

Young adult books about the apocalypse are incredibly popular. Indeed, the science fiction novelists responsible for these works of fantasy and survival found ways to combine the gravitas of traditional apocalyptic material with the occasional brevity of YA literature. However, reading enthusiasts of all ages tend to love the results. Sometimes, after completing the final pages, they even feel capable of surviving a Hunger Games sort of landscape.

These books will plunge you so far into the fictional realm, you'll never even notice if the world around you descends into chaos.

  • 1

    Divergent Series

    Veronica Roth

    First Published2011-04-25

    Genres (Book)Utopian and dystopian fiction, Dystopia, Young adult literature, Science Fiction

    Divergent is the debut novel of American novelist Veronica Roth, published by HarperCollins Children's Books in 2011. The novel is the first of the Divergent trilogy, a series of young-adult...  more

    Similar Books to Divergent#73 of 121 The Best Fantasy Book Series#32 of 51 The Best Children's Book Series

  • 2

    The Hunger Games

    Suzanne Collins

    First Published2008-09-14

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Utopian and dystopian fiction, Alternate history, Young adult literature, Adventure fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    The Hunger Games is a 2008 science fiction novel by the American writer Suzanne Collins. It is written in the voice of 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives in the dystopian, post-apocalyptic...  more

    #117 of 161 The Greatest American Novels#116 of 1,236 The Best Novels Ever Written#78 of 169 Books You'll Never Finish Reading

  • 3

    The Maze Runner

    James Dashner

    First Published2009-10-06

    Genres (Book)Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, Dystopia, Young adult literature, Science Fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    The Maze Runner is the first book in a young-adult post-apocalyptic dystopian science fiction trilogy of the same name by James Dashner. The novel was published on October 6, 2009, by Delacorte...  more

    #16 of 102 The Best Books for Teens#13 of 21 The Best Young Adult Fantasy Series#11 of 29 The Best Young Adult Fiction Series

  • 4

    The Giver

    Lois Lowry

    First Published1993

    SubjectsEthics, Literature, Young adult, Classics, Children's literature

    Genres (Book)Social science, Speculative fiction, Soft science fiction, Utopian and dystopian fiction, Children's literature

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    The Giver is a 1993 American social science fiction children's novel by Lois Lowry. It is set in a society which is at first presented as a utopian society but then has the reader question whether...  more

    #56 of 176 The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time#83 of 331 The Top Must-Read Books of All Time#8 of 72 The Greatest Dystopian Novels

  • 5

    Ender's Game

    Orson Scott Card

    First Published1985

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Fiction, Science Fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Ender's Game is a 1985 military science fiction novel by American author Orson Scott Card. Set in Earth's future, the novel presents an imperiled mankind after two conflicts with the "buggers", an...  more
  • 6

    The City of Ember

    Jeanne DuPrau


    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, Children's literature, Fiction, Young adult literature

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    The City of Ember is a post-apocalyptic science fiction novel by Jeanne DuPrau that was published in 2003. Similar to Suzanne Martel's The City Under Ground published in 1963 and Helen Mary Hoover's...  more
  • 7

    Uglies series

    Scott Westerfeld

    Genres (Book)Young adult literature, Science Fiction, Fantasy

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Uglies is a book series by Scott Westerfeld for young adults. Westerfeld originally intended for Uglies to be a trilogy. However, after publishing the series' first three novels, Uglies, Pretties,...  more
  • 8

    Fahrenheit 451

    Ray Bradbury

    First Published1953

    SubjectsBibliophilia, American science fiction, Literature, Book burning, Classics

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Utopian and dystopian fiction, Children's literature, Dystopia, Fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian novel by Ray Bradbury published in 1953. It is regarded as one of his best works. The novel presents a future American society where books are outlawed and "firemen"...  more

    #18 of 171 35+ Books Everybody Lies About Having Read#50 of 71 Required Reading That You Actually Ended Up Loving#37 of 117 The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written

  • 9

    First Published2009-03-10

    Genres (Book)Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, Dystopia, Young adult literature, Zombie

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    The Forest of Hands and Teeth is a New York Times best-selling post-apocalyptic zombie novel by first-time author Carrie Ryan that is marketed to young-adults. It was published in 2009 by Random...  more
  • 10


    Neal Shusterman

    First Published2007

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Adventure, Biopunk, Science Fiction

    Unwind is a 2007 science fiction novel by young adult literature author Neal Shusterman. It takes place in the United States, after a civil war somewhere in the near future. After a civil war—known...  more
  • 11

    First Published2008-05-05

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Young adult literature, Science Fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    The Knife of Never Letting Go is a young-adult novel by Patrick Ness, published by Walker Books in May 2008. It inaugurated the Chaos Walking series, was celebrated by critics, and won annual awards...  more
  • 12

    How I Live Now

    Meg Rosoff

    First Published2004-08-05


    Genres (Book)Alternate history, Young adult literature

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    How I Live Now is a novel by Meg Rosoff, first published in 2004. It received generally positive reviews and won the British Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and the American Printz Award for...  more
  • 13


    Lauren DeStefano

    First Published2011-03-22

    Genres (Book)Dystopia, Science Fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Wither is a 2011 young-adult dystopian novel written by Lauren DeStefano. It was originally published on March 22, 2011, by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing. It is set in a future where...  more
  • 14

    Tomorrow series

    John Marsden, John Marsden

    Genres (Book)Adventure novel

    Original LanguageEnglish

    The Tomorrow series is a series of seven young adult invasion novels written by Australian writer John Marsden, detailing the invasion and occupation of Australia by a foreign power. The novels are...  more
  • 15


    Matthew Tobin Anderson

    First Published2002

    Genres (Book)Dystopia, Fiction, Science Fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Feed is a young adult science fiction novel written by M. T. Anderson. The novel focuses on issues such as corporate power, consumerism, information technology, data mining, and environmental decay,...  more
  • 16


    Marcus Sedgwick

    First Published2000-03-02

    SubjectsGlobal warming, England

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Children's literature, Fiction, Young adult literature, Science Fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Floodland is a children's fantasy novel by Marcus Sedgwick, published on March 2, 2000 by Orion Children's Books and aimed at children. Floodland won the Branford Boase Award in 2001 for an...  more
  • 17

    Obernewtyn Chronicles

    Isobelle Carmody

    Genres (Book)Science fiction, Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, Fantasy literature

    Original LanguageEnglish

    The Obernewtyn Chronicles is a series of science fiction and fantasy novels by Australian author Isobelle Carmody. The series has a post apocalyptic setting, and depict a world long after its...  more
  • 18

    On the Beach

    Nevil Shute

    First Published1957

    SubjectsLiterary, Espionage, Publishing, Adventure, Nuclear warfare

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, Suspense, Fiction, Novel

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    On the Beach is a 1957 post-apocalyptic novel written by British-Australian author Nevil Shute after he emigrated to Australia. The novel details the experiences of a mixed group of people in...  more

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