Modern dystopian fiction has a long history, from George Orwell's classic 1984 to Lois Lowery's Newbery Medal-winning The Giver. But it's only in the past decade that dystopian YA fiction has flourished, spurred in part by the mega-success of series like The Hunger Games...and young adults are hungry for even more.

There's a lot about dystopian YA that teens find appealing, from relatable characters to electrifying plot twists. The genre's heroes and heroines are sometimes ordinary—sometimes extraordinary—young people who find themselves caught up in life-changing mysteries, often involving seemingly perfect worlds that are revealed to be anything but. These characters face overwhelming odds and must deal with the consequences of their actions, no matter how devastating. The epic stories often unfold across multiple, ever-more-gripping installments, which means even reluctant readers won't want to stop, once they're hooked on a good book about a bad future.
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