The Bad Place

Thrilling and Thought-Provoking Dystopian Fiction

These gripping stories, set in secretly or not-so-secretly repressive societies, raise questions about ethics, identity, technology, and more. Before you venture into the dangerous worlds of these dystopian novels, arm yourself with the vocabulary you need.
  • LegendMarie Lu
    In Marie Lu's dystopian novel, a military prodigy and a street criminal uncover shocking secrets about their government. Learn these words that will make you a vocabulary legend.
  • The Hunger Games TrilogySuzanne Collins
    In this trilogy of dystopian novels, children from the twelve districts of Panem must fight to the death in a televised spectacle.
  • 1984George Orwell
    Published in 1949, this dystopian classic imagines a future of perpetual war, militaristic propaganda, and total government surveillance.
  • The Handmaid's TaleMargaret Atwood
    In this dystopian novel, America is a totalitarian theocracy in which young women are conscripted to serve the political elite.
  • The Giver QuartetLois Lowry
    Beginning with the Newbery Award-winning The Giver, this series imagines a dystopian future where conformity is prized.
  • Among the HiddenMargaret Peterson Haddix
    In this dystopian novel, famine and overpopulation has led to a strict Population Law that limits families to two children. Luke, an illegal third child, must spend his life in hiding — but when he meets Jen, another third child, he becomes involved in a dangerous plan to challenge the Population Law.
  • The City of EmberJeanne DuPrau
    In this novel, a city built to save humanity now faces dark times. Enlighten yourself with these words from award-winning author Jeanne DuPrau.
  • The Divergent TrilogyVeronica Roth
    In this dystopian trilogy, Veronica Roth imagines a future society that is divided into five distinct factions.
  • UgliesScott Westerfeld
    In a dystopian society that values beauty above all else, Tally Youngblood faces a choice: undergo cosmetic surgery to become a "pretty" or join a group of rebels.
  • MatchedAlly Condie
    In this dystopian novel, seventeen-year-old Cassia Reyes begins to question the strict rules of the society in which she lives.
  • The Maze RunnerJames Dashner
    Thomas wakes up in a strange place with his memories erased, surrounded by people he doesn't know. The only way out is through a shifting, kaleidescopic maze—and no one has ever reached the end.
  • FeedM.T. Anderson
    This satirical novel imagines a dystopian future in which people have computers implanted in their heads to control their perceptions of reality.
  • The TestamentsThe Sequel to The Handmaid's TaleMargaret Atwood
    In this sequel to The Handmaid's Tale, three women navigate the repressive regime of the Republic of Gilead.
  • The Marrow ThievesCherie Dimaline
    In this dystopian novel, indigenous people of North America are hunted by sinister Recruiters who hope to harvest the bone marrow that allows them to dream.
  • Never Let Me GoKazuo Ishiguro
    In Ishiguro's chilling dystopian novel, three students at a secluded boarding school learn the truth about their identities and their futures.
  • The House of the ScorpionNancy Farmer
    Nancy Farmer's award-winning dystopian novel tells the story of Matt, clone and captive of a powerful feudal lord. Follow Matt as he tries to escape the sinister forces at work in the country of Opium.
  • Brave New WorldAldous Huxley
    In the futuristic World State, the genetically altered citizens are happy and free of pain—but they cannot exercise free will. Learn these words from Huxley's influential dystopian novel, first published in 1932.
  • Fahrenheit 451Ray Bradbury
    In Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury imagines a dystopian future in which firemen burn banned books and people are constantly bombarded with mindless entertainment. This classic novel is as powerful and relevant today as it was when it was first published in 1953.
  • The Knife of Never Letting GoPatrick Ness
    Growing up in the extraterrestrial settlement of Prentisstown, Todd has always been taught that the virus that allows the men of his town to hear each other's thoughts is the same disease that killed the colony's girls and women. When Todd makes a discovery that endangers his safety, he flees his town and encounters a strange girl, Viola. Together they attempt to discover the truth about Prentisstown — while fighting for their lives.
  • The Darkest MindsAlexandra Bracken
    When the children who survive a plague develop unusual powers, they are rounded up and imprisoned in rehabilitation camps. Sixteen-year-old Ruby escapes from confinement and joins up with a group of other children fighting back against the government.
  • Red QueenVictoria Aveyard
    In Mare's world, people are divided by the color of their blood. When red-blooded Mare displays magical abilities belonging to those outside her caste, she is welcomed into the circles of the silver-blooded elites — but where do her loyalties truly lie?
  • A Clockwork OrangeAnthony Burgess
    In this dystopian novel, written using a form of Russian-influenced slang invented by Burgess, a teenager and his friends go on a spree of unrestrained violence.
  • InternmentSamira Ahmed
    Layla Amin thinks of herself as a typical American teenager. But when Muslim-Americans like Layla and her family are forcibly relocated to internment camps, the seventeen-year-old decides to fight for her freedom.

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