Well, this one is tough. I read a bunch of dystopian novels years back when everything published was a dystopia but have since realized it’s not quite my genre of choice. Basically that means I’ve hardly read any since to know enough what my tops would be (and others have been ruined by their endings and therefore I refuse to include them *cough* Divergent *cough*). Still, there are some great ones to include here!
The Selection by Kiera Cass
A future-set royal The Bachelor/The Bachelorette? Okay, yeah, this one DEFINITELY belongs on this list. With some political intrigue and rebel wars thrown in the mix, this whole series is probably one of my favourites ever in the genre.
Matched by Ally Condie
I read this ages ago and can’t remember much in detail but I do recall how interesting the world Condie created was and how much I loved the concept of the Matches (and those mis-matched). Though the blurb makes it seem little more than a futuristic love triangle (which frankly is partly why I loved it so much), the actual story is so much more than that – suspenseful and intriguing with feisty rebel forces and a sweet romance.
Legend by Marie Lu
Okay, I haven’t finished this series because I’m having trouble with the second one and I found a maybe spoiler about the ending of the third that I very much do not like. But I love Day and I love June and I love Lu’s writing and the first one really was great, so it makes it here anyway!
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
This series I haven’t finished either yet (big oops) but the first one was so good it needs to be on this list! I surprised myself with how much I liked this one, given the minimal romance in the first novel but Dashner’s maze concept was so different and the fantasy-esque edge with the beasts kept me reading in anticipation.
The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow
This book was dark and so messed up in a lot of ways. Children held as collateral for their parents’ ambition, torture and murder in the cruelest and most vivid ways possible, a bit of high stakes LGBTQ romance – so much happened in this book. Though not usually my type of thing, I was taken with how different Bow’s approach to the genre was and the dark hopelessness that permeated the entire novel. Definitely something to try out if you haven’t already!