Book List

Dystopias & “Utopias” to Remember

November 22, 2017
Janine Perez
Riveted Editorial Board
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Sometimes when real life gets tough, it’s fun to escape into a different world through a book. It’s nice to concentrate on other people’s problems once in a while. Here are some worlds to escape to that will leave you feeling like our real world isn’t quite so bad after all.

This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada

This Mortal Coil

Catarina Agatta is a hacker. She can cripple mainframes and crash though firewalls, but that’s not what makes her special. In Cat’s world, people are implanted with technology to recode their DNA, allowing them to change their bodies in any way they want. And Cat happens to be a gene-hacking genius. Cat’s father is Dr. Lachlan Agatta, a legendary geneticist who may be the last hope for defeating a plague that has brought humanity to the brink of extinction. But during the outbreak, Lachlan was kidnapped by a shadowy organization called Cartaxus, leaving Cat to survive the last two years on her own.

When a Cartaxus soldier, Cole, arrives with news that her father has been killed, Cat’s instincts tell her it’s just another Cartaxus lie. But Cole also brings a message: before Lachlan died, he created a vaccine, and Cole needs Cat’s help to release it and save the human race.

Now Cat must decide who she can trust: The soldier with secrets of his own? The father who made her promise to hide from Cartaxus at all costs? In a world where nature itself can be rewritten, how much can she even trust herself?


Last Star Burning by Caitlin Sangster

Last Star Burning

Sev is branded with the mark of a criminal. A star burned into her hand is the penalty for being the daughter of the woman who betrayed their entire nation. Now her mother’s body is displayed above Traitor’s Arch, kept in a paralyzed half sleep by the same plague that destroyed the rest of the world. And as further punishment, Sev is forced to do hard labor to prove that she’s more valuable alive than dead.

When the government blames Sev for a horrific bombing, she must escape the city or face the chopping block. Unimaginable dangers lurk outside the city walls, and Sev’s only hope of survival lies with Howl, the chairman’s son. Though he promises to lead her to safety, Howl has secrets, and Sev can’t help but wonder if he knows more than he lets on.


Light Years by Emily Ziff Griffin

Light Years

Luisa’s life is thrust into chaos as a deadly virus sweeps across the globe, killing thousands and sending her father into quarantine. When Lu receives a cryptic message from someone who might hold the key to stopping the epidemic, she knows she must do something to save her family—and the world.


Scythe by Neal Shusterman

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A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery: humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now Scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control. When Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe, they know they must master the “art” of taking life, because the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.


Want by Cindy Pon

Want-Cover

Jason Zhou survives in a divided society where the elite use their wealth to buy longer lives. The rich wear special suits, protecting them from the pollution and viruses that plague the city, while those without suffer illness and early deaths. Frustrated by his city’s corruption and still grieving the loss of his mother who died as a result of it, Zhou is determined to change things, no matter the cost.


Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

Perfect Ruin

Morgan Stockhour knows getting too close to the edge of Internment, the floating city and her home, can lead to madness. Then a murder, the first in a generation, rocks the city. With whispers swirling and fear on the wind, Morgan can no longer stop herself from investigating, especially once she meets Judas. Betrothed to the victim, Judas is being blamed for the murder, but Morgan is convinced of his innocence. Secrets lay at the heart of Internment, but nothing can prepare Morgan for what she will find—or whom she will lose.


 

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

uglies-9781416934509_hr

Everybody gets to be supermodel gorgeous. What could be wrong with that?

Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait—to turn pretty. In Tally’s world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time.  But Tally’s new friend Shay would rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world—and it isn’t very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all.

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