Book List

9 Young Adult Books That Take Place in the Future

June 26, 2019
Sam Benson
Riveted Editorial Board

Have you ever thought about what the world would be like in 50 years? 100 years? More? One thing is usually clear in YA books set in the future—the world doesn’t have that great of an outcome. I’m not sure if that’s necessarily how it’s going to be, but it’s fun (and often frightening) to imagine what the world would be like if artificial intelligence takes over or if we figure out how to stop death. But these terrifying premises are what make the books exciting because let’s face it, if everything was great in the future, it would be a pretty boring read. 

9 Young Adult Books That Take Place in the Future

1. Want by Cindy Pon

Set in a near-future Taipei plagued by pollution, Jason Zhou lives in a divided society split between the elite wealthy and poor trying to survive in a polluted world. Zhou and his friends must figure out how to infiltrate the wealthy in hopes of destroying Jin Corporation, which manufactures the suits that prolong the wealthy’s lives. Zhou falls for Daiyu, the daughter of the CEO of Jin Corp, but can Zhou save his city without compromising who he is, or destroying his own heart?

2. Dealing in Dreams by Lilliam Rivera

In this fast-paced dystopian novel, Nalah leads the fiercest all-girls crew in Mega City, but she longs to get off the streets and into the exclusive Mega Towers. As she struggles to prove her loyalty to the city’s benevolent founder, Nalah must choose whether or not she’s willing to do the unspeakable to get what she wants. Can she discover that home is not where you live but whom you chose to protect before she loses the family she’s created for good?

3. Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

In this chilling sequel to Scythe, Citra and Rowan take opposite stances on the morality of the Scythedom. The Thunderhead is the perfect ruler of a perfect world, but it has no control over the Scythedom. Old foes and new enemies converge, and as corruption within the Scythedom spreads, Rowan and Citra begin to lose hope. Will the Thunderhead intervene? Or will it simply watch as this perfect world begins to unravel?

4.  Sanctuary by Caryn Lix

In the future, corporations rule the galaxy. The main character of Sanctuary is a citizen of Omnistellar Concepts, the most powerful corporation in the solar system, and for her the company is everything. But she’s beginning to suspect there’s a darker side to the Omnistellar she knows.

5. This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada

This future holds a world where people can change their bodies through an implant that recodes their DNA. At the same time, a horrifying plague is ravaging the world.

6. The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

The Diabolic speculates about a future where Diabolics, or humanoid robots, are created to protect one person. They’re ruthless and deadly but will do anything to make sure they achieve this goal.  

7. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

In the world of the Uglies series, when someone turns sixteen they can get a special surgery to turn them from “ugly” to “pretty.” But of course, being a Pretty has its problems.

8. Scythe by Neal Shusterman

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.

9. The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow

In this future, artificial intelligence has taken over the world. If you are a world ruler, you must give one of your children as a hostage. Start a war and your hostage dies.

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