Dystopia-palooza – New YA Books Winter 2012

I love reading Young Adult books. Here are some newly published YA mostly dystopian books that you might just love as much as your teens. . .


The Scorpio Races
by Maggie Stiefvater

You’ll LOVE this unique fantastical tale. Water horses eat human flesh so it’s a sign of great skill and bravery to race one in the annual Scorpio Races. Orphan, Puck needs to win the race or she and her brother won’t have food to eat or a home.

Peter & Max: A Fables Novel
by Bill Willingham

If you love fairy tales, you must read this novel based on a comic book series. It’s based on the story of the Pied Piper and is about two brothers, one good and one evil, Peter and Max. Through the story Max becomes more entrenched in black magic and only his brother, Peter, will be able to stop him.


Prized  (#2) by Caragh M. O’Brien

This dystopian plot is not terribly unique but still quite entertaining. 16-year-old Gaia Stone and her baby sister are captured by a strict women-led culture. Gaia’s sister is taken from her and Gaia must work as a midwife to serve the community.

Princess of the Wild Swans
by Diane Zahler

I loved this story. Princess Meriel’s father marries a witch in disguise who turns Meriel’s brothers into swans. Spoiled Meriel must work for once in her life, weaving nettles into shirts to save her brothers. It’s based on the Hans Christian Anderson story, The Wild Swans.


Havoc: A Deviants Novel
by Jeff Sampson (Deviants 2)

Emily is a Deviant — a werewolf at night only. She tries to figure out who made her a Deviant and who is the sinister Shadowman who watches her. It’s a quick and easy paranormal read.

Arcadia Awakens
by Kai Meyer

The Mafia in Italy is made up of powerful families whose members can turn into animals – snakes for the heroine, Rosa’s, family, and tigers for her enemy’s family. Of course Rosa falls in love with Alessandro, son of the enemy family and things get murderously messy.

The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt: A Novel in Pictures
by Caroline Preston

A scrapbook coming-of-age story about a 1920 girl who dreams of becoming a writer. It’s beautiful to read!


by Brodi Ashton

Teenager Nikki has just returned from a year in Everneath, where she was lured by the immortal, Cole. She has only six months before she must return for good but she’s determined not to go.

Thirteen Reasons Why

by Jay Asher

Hannah Baker commits suicide and leave behind cassette tapes explaining the thirteen reasons that led to her fatal decision. She leaves one of the tapes with Clay, her friend who can’t understand what he could have possibly done that would have led to her suicide. It’s depressing but captures the dramatic and confused teenage state of mind.

Inheritance (#4)

by Christopher Paolini

Thankfully, this book was better than the third, Brisingr. It was a great last book in the series and wrapped things up. However, I thought it left the door open for a new series.


Incarnate (New Soul #1)

by Jodi Meadows

I hate reading a fabulous first book only to end on a cliff hanger- grrr. This futuristic fantasy is about a world where people never die, they keep reincarnating over and over again. 1 million people do. Except for Ana who is a new soul and not reincarnated. She’s outcast and wants to understand where she came from. I am waiting for book #2!!


Pure (Pure #1)

by Julianna Baggott

Here we go again – another first book. So annoying. But, it’s a good book. And I really want to know what will happen in book #2. This is the same premise as many of these YA book – dystopian, post-apocalypse hell. In this world, some people, the Pures, are safely inside “The Dome” while the the mess of who is left is not. Lots of twists and turns made it a fun read.


Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1)

by Marissa Meyer

Oh, no – another first novel in a series, dang it! I liked the twist on Cinderella though. Cinder is a skilled mechanic cyborg, a human with machine parts, and lives with her step-mother and sisters. When Prince Kai asks her to fix something for him, she becomes entangled in a plot which puts her life at risk and the entire country’s fate is hanging in the balance.



by Marie Lu

I now you’re going to be shocked to learn  . . . it’s another dystopian novel! But, I liked the story a lot. It pits a wealthy elite girl, June, against a slum-kid, Day. June’s brother is supposedly murdered by Day and she hunts him down. But, the truth is that the country is manipulating them both.

The Looking Glass Wars

by Frank Beddor (not new but new to me)

I loved this creative expanded Alice in Wonderland story. Alyss Heart, heir to Wonderland, flees from her evil aunt Redd who has attacked her kingdom and killed her parents. Alyss ends up in London, lost and unsure of how to return home. She tells her story to Louis Carroll who writes it down — but not exactly right – and eventually, her royal bodyguard Hatter Madigan finds her and takes her back to fight.

Which of these have you read or do you want to read?

I’ve added each of these books to my new master book lists by age.

Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest and Facebook for more ideas!


  1. says

    I think Thirteen Reasons Why should be required reading for all adolescents. It is sad, but it’s so well-written and it really helps kids understand that the “little things” can make a huge difference in someone’s life. Great list, as always! I’m adding a few new titles to my reading list. Of course, my favorite YA book is Forgotten, by Cat Patrick. (My sis!) :)

  2. Brien27 says

    All those books are great.I’m more interested with Everneath by Brodi Ashton…Thanks for sharing all those great books…

  3. says

    I’ll have my 6th grader check your list out since she’s always searching more more books like The Hunger Games. She didn’t like The Scorpio Games, though…not sure why.

  4. Anne Marie Messmer says

    You should check out Divergent by Veronica Roth.  It’s the first of a trilogy.  The second book is called Insurgent.  The third book is supposed to come out in fall of 2013.  It’s a dystopian novel, which you appear to be into (as am I), and I really enjoyed the details of the plot.  We’ll see where it ends, but it’s got a great start!

  5. Samantha says

    Delirium Trilogy by Lauren Oliver is good. The Matched/Crossed/Reached series is Dystopian and fun to read. If you like romantic but mythological (like Percy Jackson meets romance) you might like the Tiger’s Curse/Quest/Voyage/Destiny series..really cute based on Indian mythology – girl tries to help two Indian princes remove a curse that transforms them into tigers. Also, dystopian romance – The Selection and the Elite by Kiera Cass (3rd to come) is really cute – think a teenage /royal/dystopian version of the tv show The Bachelor.

    • Samantha says

      Also, “What’s Left of Me” is a really great read. Author is Kat Zhang. The book you posted – Incarnate – reminded me of it. Everyone is born with two souls and as they mature one fades away. The lead character of the book has both souls – and gets discovered and the government gets involved. (Dsytopian also)

  6. tmay says

    Pure sounds a lot like a series a just finished. The first book is called “Under the Never Sky”. It’s a fantastic series, I recommend it to anyone who loves dystopian books!

  7. tayy says

    some good ones that i have read are , the maze runner, the iron butterfly, and the giver. well written books. the maze runner has a hungergames/divergent feel to them, and they are currently making a movie for them as you all know


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