Book List

6 Books You’ll Need to Survive the Apocalypse

August 14, 2017
Sarah McCabe
Riveted Editorial Board

Look, we all know that the end of the world is a hard time to be alive.

First off, you’ve got to deal with ZOMBIES

or ALIENS

or ROBOTS!

And if you’re REALLY unfortunate, all of the above. So let’s face it, you’re already not having a great day. And on top of that, you still have to keep up with all the boring things too, like eating and sleeping and determining whether you need to chop off that arm that has looked a little rotten since that hellbeast took a chunk out of it.

Yet even in the midst of the apocalypse, everyone deserves a little fun and relaxation, and what’s better for that than a good book? Of course, you probably won’t be able to carry too much weight (in fact, now’s definitely the time to abandon that annoying guy who keeps complaining about his landmine wound). But if you’re going to have to run for your life anyway, at least pack a few books for the trip that have some handy survival tips.

And you’re in luck, because I’ve compiled the perfect list of books you’ll need to stay alive.

Warm Bodiesby Isaac Marion

R is in the middle of an existential crisis—about being dead. The un-life of a zombie is a little monotonous, and R doesn’t see any way out. Until he meets Julie, the human girl he’s taken hostage after eating her boyfriend’s brains. For some reason, R can’t bring himself to eat her too, maybe because Julie is the one thing in the world that makes him forget he doesn’t have a heartbeat.

YOU WILL LEARN: That even monsters have feelings too. And that being a zombie may not be the worst fate you could suffer. Hey, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, right?

Unravelingby Elizabeth Norris

After being hit by a truck, Janelle is sure she’s dying—until she wakes up in the middle of the street, completely healed, with the school loner Ben Michaels hovering over her. When Janelle discovers a strange clock that seems to be counting down to the end of the world, Ben is the one person she thinks might believe her, especially when she discovers that Ben knows much more about this apocalypse than she does.

YOU WILL LEARN: How to escape to a parallel universe in case your own isn’t working out for you too well. But just to warn you, this is a last resort, because once you’re gone, you can’t come back.

The Kiss of Deceptionby Mary E. Pearson

After Princess Lia flees her home the day of her wedding, she starts a new life as a common girl in a simple village. When two mysterious travelers come to town, Lia can’t help but be intrigued. She doesn’t know that these travelers are not only a threat to her new life but also to the future of her entire world.

YOU WILL LEARN: How to tell a disguised prince from an assassin—a much more necessary skill than you might imagine, especially if they’re both kind of into you. It’s important to know which guy in your post-apocalyptic love triangle just wants to hang out with you and which guy wants to smother you in your sleep.

The 5th Waveby Rick Yancy

Cassie was unlucky enough to survive the first four alien attacks, losing everyone she loved in the process. And now, when aliens can look just like humans, the key to survival is to trust no one. But if Cassie wants to rescue her brother, she’s going to have to break that one rule and put her faith in a mysterious stranger who might know more about the aliens than he’s letting on.

YOU WILL LEARN: How to carry on even after your technology is gone, your home has been flooded, your family is dead from a wasting disease, and aliens have taken over your friends’ bodies so they could kill you. I mean, at this point, how much worse can it get?

The Scorpion Rulesby Erin Bow

Greta is a princess. She’s also a hostage, a pawn in a political game designed to keep international peace. If her mother—the queen—declares war on her neighbors, Greta will be killed as punishment. All she has to do is survive to her eighteenth birthday, but when you’re a slave to the whims of rulers, that is easier said than done.

YOU WILL LEARN: How to herd goats—obviously one of the most important skills you’re going to need to survive in the post-apocalyptic barren wasteland. Just saying, goats will eat almost anything, and if you’re really hungry, you can eat them!

We Are the Antsby Shaun David Hutchinson

The aliens who routinely abduct him have given Henry an ultimatum: in 144 days, the world is going to end, but to stop it, all Henry has to do is push a big red button. The only problem is, Henry isn’t sure the world is worth saving at all.

YOU WILL LEARN: How to decide whether humanity even deserves to stay alive. I guess that’s the first question, isn’t it? Metaphorically speaking, should we build humanity’s last stronghold in a series of underground caves, or is it time just lie back and wait for the bombs to fall?