Reviews of Teen Books by Genre: Dystopian

The Giver by Lois Lowry
Lowry, Lois
2 stars = Meh
Review:

I read this book in my eighth grade L.A. class and surprisingly it stuck even though I thought it was boring and had a hard time comprehending most things. The book does have a PG-13 vibe where it does carry some “sexual content”, but it’s basically about a really strict and emotionless society. A society where everyone was equal which sound really boring. I’m not going to lie that this was the most boring part in the book, learning about how strict it is and how love is forbidden kinda lame. The only interesting parts were when the main character would rebel against the society’s values by expressing his emotions, finding love and most importantly running away so he could give baby Gabriel a less uncompromising and more unconfined life. The most annoying part of the book is the ending not knowing what happens to Jonás and Gabriel. (The movie was better)

Reviewer's Name: Miguel
Divergent
Roth, Veronica
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

In a city with no contact to the outside world, everyone is divided into factions. In this world Beatrice needs to navigate doing what is right and what she wants while being different. In this book being different is dangerous and deadly, so she must keep it all secret. This book can keep you reading and interested in. This book is easily one of my favorite books because of how well written it is and the amazing plot The book is very easy to visualize and keep up with. I recommend this book to anyone who loves action, romance and suspense.

Reviewer's Name: Jana M.
The Hunger Games
Collins, Suzanne
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Within a corrupted society where children battle to the death in the annual Hunger Games for entertainment, lives a bold young woman named Katniss Everdeen. Katinis loves her little sister more than life itself. So when her sister PrimRose Everdeen is drawn for the Hunger Games, Katniss does the unheard of and volunteers and tribute in place of her sister. Katniss volunteered without hesitation so when she is sent to the capital along with the other selected person for her district Peeta Mellark she is prepared to fight. She knows that she is going to be sent right into the games and that she has to win it and come out alive to look after her sister. Along the way with the help of her bow and arrow she becomes one of the most unlikely candidates to perform so well in the games, her underdog ness strikes the outside world in hope and in rebellion. This book is by far one of the best that I have ever read, it is so riveting and engaging and has not only action
but romance. I have read every book in the series and I loved every page of it. I would recommend this book to anyone. It is by far one of my top ten favorite books.

Reviewer's Name: Madison S.
The Finisher
Baldacci, David
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Within the dystopian of Wormwood lives Vega Jane, a strong and very independent woman. When Vega was young, she saw her mother leave the village. No one had ever left Wormwood. Why would anyone leave there wasn’t anything outside of the town? However, Vega knew that the leaders of Wormwood were lying to her. The elders/leaders told her that her mother was dead and that no one survives leaving Wormwood. Vega knew she had to figure out the truth, she was at the end of her wits. She was tired of the constant scrutiny she was under for being a girl, she didn’t have a voice and she wasn’t respected by the men in Wormwood. Vega was really set into action when her friend Quentin Hermes goes missing but leaves clues behind to find her. Determined to uncover the truth to her towns dark past, she follows the clues left behind leading her closer to the truth. This book, while it was not my favorite, had a cool plot and was easy to follow.

Reviewer's Name: Madison S.
The 5th Wave
Yancey, Richard
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The Fifth Wave by Ricky Yancey is an awesome and thrilling book, that dives into a world in which aliens exist. The human race at the brink of extinction must learn to fight and hide in order to survive the invasion. A young teenager Cassie, has lost her mother and father and now must find a safe place to live and return to her younger brother. But when Cassie finds herself in the midst of a battle with a “silencer”, what they call the aliens, she fears she might not make it. Then a strange and mysterious man from a nearby farm saves Chloe after she was shot by the “silencer” and nurses her back to health. In order to find a way to protect her younger brother and stop the silencer’s invasion Cassie must trust this suspicious farm boy, who looks almost identical to the silencer that shot her. This book has not only has a lot of action and intrigue but has a sweet turn of events within it. It kept me glued to each page and I could not put it down. I would definitely recommend this book, it's one of my favorites!

Reviewer's Name: Madison S.
Book Review: The Towering Sky
McGee, Katharine
2 stars = Meh
Review:

"The Towering Sky" by Katherine McGee tells the story of five teenagers in 2119. Living in a futuristic Manhattan tower in which your floor displays your power, a mystery/romance story is bred. This book was perfectly okay. The writing wasn't half bad, and the characters ,well half-baked, were not unrealistic or arrogant. However, as reading this book, the third and final of a series, without reading the first two, was extremely confusing. At first I had not realized that this book was part of a trilogy, and thought the writing was purposefully confusing. Though I don't know if this book would make more sense after reading the first two, the pacing was quite fast, though the plot moved slow, which created a strange vibe while reading. In general, I would not recommend this book. However, if you have read the first two and liked them, go ahead and give it a go.

Reviewer's Name: Anna C.
Book Review: Fahrenheit 451
Bradbury, Ray
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Fahrenheit 451 follows the story of a fireman, Guy Montag, who lives in a dystopian society. His job as a fireman is to locate all books around the city and burn them. Books are banned from any individual and is considered to be an inferior type of entertainment in comparison television, which are more supported by the public. As Montag continues to burn more books throughout his job over time, he deals with a variety of external factors that changes his brainwashed and disillusioned perspective to considering books and their significance to society. Being a firemen in this dystopian society, Montag must deal with a plethora of barriers that are blocking his way before he can truly understand the importance of books and to keep them.

Fahrenheit 451 is an intriguing book that takes a different approach in a dystopian society. Instead of implementing a militaristic and governmental style, Bradbury uses firemen which encapsulates a unique and captivating plot line. Fahrenheit 451 demonstrates a story that everyone can enjoy, especially for those who enjoy reading dystopian novels. Bradbury effectively relates character development of Montag to the series of events that occurs. This coherent relationship that virtually happens side-by-side further produces a sense of immersion for the reader.

Personally, I enjoyed Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 novel. It is considered to be one of his best, and most iconic books that he has written to date. I highly recommend any average reader to consider reading Fahrenheit 451. The book is not too long, but it will still produce an immense amount of quality and satisfaction in the end.

Reviewer's Name: Nam T.
Awards:
Book Cover
Grant, Michael
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Michael Grant has written a thrilling conclusion to his Gone series. Light is the perfect ending to a phenomenal series. Over the past five books, Sam, Astrid, Edilio, and all the others have survived every obstacle the FAYZ has thrown at them. However, will they be able to survive a final epic battle with the Gaiaphage itself? With suspense around every corner, Light brings the same energy and intensity found in all of the other Gone books. I thoroughly enjoyed Light and highly recommend it to any high school aged reader.

Reviewer's Name: John B.
Book Cover
Grant, Michael
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Michael Grant continues the Gone series with another spectacular novel. The kids of Perdido Beach have survived many obstacles thrown at them by the FAYZ, but now they must face their biggest fear yet: complete darkness. Will these kids be able to survive when they can't see what's coming for them? Fear is another hit by Grant. With twists and turns around every corner, Fear is a suspense thriller you won't be able to put down.

Reviewer's Name: John B.
1984
Orwell, George
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

1984 introduces Winston Smith as the primary character. Smith is a middle-aged man that lives within a dystopian society in April of 1984. Being nearly 4 decades after World War II and just a couple of years after the apparent Atomic Wars, Smith lives through the totalitarian state of Oceania, where is activity is consistently surveyed. At this point, Smith attempts to relocate himself from this totalitarian state in order to put him back to normal behavior.

1984 is another novel involving a dystopia, however, it stands out for its strong character development. The premise of the story is heavily shown through the setting, as it demonstrates a controlled and tyrannical lifestyle.

Reviewer Grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: Nam T
Awards:
1984
Orwell, George
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

George Orwell depicts a horrific and terrifying alternate reality of 1984.
After years of war and conflict, the world is governed by three totalitarian regimes. The one that our main character, Winston Smith, resides under is ruled by the “party” and its leader “Big Brother”. The narrative follows Winston as he meets a mysterious woman named Julia, and the two begin to secretly rebel.
When I first started reading this book, I was a little bit disappointed. I had such high expectations (I think that was the problem) ,and it just didn’t live up to them. In the beginning, I thought Winston’s character was somewhat flat, and I didn’t feel a lot of sympathy for what he was living through. I thought Julia was unrealistic and a bit obnoxious. But in the second half of the book, my opinions had changed. The book becomes quite disturbing, and it makes you question what is actually real and what is just a fabrication of the party. It’s terrifying to say the least. Despite the fact that I enjoyed parts of this book, I have to rate it 3 stars because I wasn’t engaged in the first half of the narrative.

Reviewer's Name: Sophie L
Awards:
Plague book cover
Grant, Michael
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The thrilling Gone series continues with this fourth book, and Grant does not disappoint. This series has been one of my favorites and Plague is no exception. As a highly contagious, fatal illness spreads at an alarming rate and predatory insects terrorize Perdido Beach, morale continues to drop.
However, Sam, Astrid, and even Caine are determined to find a way to survive.
Everyone must make difficult decisions when it comes to saving themselves and those they love. Grant has written another phenomenal dystopian horror with suspense around every corner. I highly recommend this book to all high school aged readers.

Reviewer's Name: John B
The Storm
Bergin, Virginia
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Sequel to "H2O", "The Storm" continues the story of a newly distopian Earth where the rain kills. This book focuses on the bonds of family in crisis, or lack thereof, and the pursuit of survival. Like "H2O" I would call "The Storm" a dystopian thriller with a hint of romance. Not only are all the characters in peril, but they are on their own without any governmental aid.

Truly a fascinating story that will make you uneasy around water.

Reviewer's Name: Maddie K
The Selection
Cass, Kiera
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

I can honestly say that this book is my favorite book that I have ever read.
The selection is a book about a class system that divides society into groups within a monarchy. However, the extremely handsome Prince Maxon is holding a selection process to find his next princess. Thirty-five girls from all classes are selected to stay in the palace with Maxon for a chance and being his wife. America Singer is from one of the lowest classes, but by staying true to herself and never conforming to the Prince’s wishes she catches his eye. After a spark ignites in and Maxon falls in love with America, he struggles to decide if she will be suitable for the kingdom and fit to rule by his side.
Reviewer Grade:12

Reviewer's Name: Madison S
Hive Book Cover
Lyga, Barry
2 stars = Meh
Review:

In the near future, an app called BLINQ tracks all social media usage and amalgamates posts from a number of platforms. On BLINQ, you can vote to condemn a person for their social media output – if a person’s condemns to likes ratio gets out of balance, they’ll find themself condemned in real life. For example, a person who ignominiously dumps their partner on Facebook might find themself getting physically dumped in the trash. The punishment is designed to fit the crime. Called the Hive, its something our lead Cassie loved to participate in – until all of a sudden, it wasn’t. After a racy tweet, Cassie finds herself the target of the Hive, but her punishment is more severe than all that have come before it: death.

This was a fast paced, enjoyable dystopia which was a good change of pace from my normal fare of fantasy. I think teens are going to love it. Aside from a few horrendous decisions, our lead Cassie is likable, smart (ostensibly, anyway) and her experiences navigating a new high school will resonate with teens. As Cassie spends most of the book running for her life, it will definitely appeal to thriller fans or those that need their books to be very plot based. I read the book in a day or two even though I had a good idea of how it was going to play out. Little attention is given to the supporting characters, though the book did also present a few chapters from Cassie’s mom’s perspective, which I loved. The authors did a great job portraying a somewhat fraught mother-daughter relationship. There’s though-provoking, if heavy handed, social commentary to be found as well, and I think this book will stick with some readers long after they've turned the last page.

Ultimately, though, the book had what I’m going to call the “Scythe” problem: the premise just wasn’t believable. The Hive was certainly believable – its basically a physical manifestation of the shame that we’re willing to dole out to strangers online (if you’d like a great non-fiction read on the topic, try So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson ). Did I for one second think that the first person to get the death penalty would be a teenage girl who tweeted something offensive? I did not. I had trouble getting over that.

TLDR: If you liked The Maze Runner, Divergent or yes, Scythe, you should definitely check out this thrilling dystopia.
Lots of teens will love this one, but it didn’t do it for me – 2 stars. It was ok.

Thanks to Netgalley and Kids Can Press for the eARC which I received in exchange for an unbiased review. The Hive will be released on 03 September but you can put your copy on hold today!

Reviewer's Name: Britt
Fahrenheit 451
Bradbury, Ray
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Fahrenheit 451 is a classic book that most people have heard the title of. With a similar style to Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World”, Fahrenheit 451 takes the reader into a future where books are outlawed and the people of this alternate future are basically mindless robots. The people of this future have an intake of mindless media that even surpasses that of us currently. The main character is a firefighter but different from what we are used to. These firefighters fight with fire, burning houses and books if they are found since they are against the law. But soon after meeting a girl who does not conform to this society’s media consumption, the main character begins to rebel and go against the norm. Fahrenheit 451 is a spooky prediction of what the future will hold and after reading it, I can already see us as a society heading on this path. A truly incredible read, Fahrenheit 451 is a novel that cannot be missed.

Reviewer's Name: Maddie K
Hunger
Grant, Michael
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Michael Grant has written another thriller with Hunger. Continuing the story of Gone, everyone is still trapped inside of the FAYZ. However, a new enemy has filled the minds of every person: hunger. As they search for a solution to their hunger, Sam, Astrid, and the others must still resist Caine and the rest of his crew as well as a powerful being known as the Darkness.
Michael Grant keeps you in suspense throughout the entire novel and will leave you hungry for more. I highly recommend this book for any high school aged reader.

Reviewer's Name: John B
Gone
Grant, Michael
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Michael Grant has renewed a classic for the next generation of readers. Gone has a very similar structure to Lord of the Flies but has enhanced the story in many ways. Gone presents added science fiction elements to the story that will draw in many readers and provides conflict that will force you to keep reading. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. However, some readers may find some elements of the story slightly disturbing. Therefore, I recommend this book for high school aged readers and up.

Reviewer's Name: John B
The Hunger Games
Collins, Suzanne
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

16 year old Katniss Everdeen has had to fend for her mom and sister, Primrose Everdeen ever since her father died in a mining accident when she was 12. She has had to learn to hunt to keep her family alive with the bow and arrows that her father made before he died. It is the Reaping, and Katniss knows she is in danger of being reaped because of her extra names in the Reaping. After her father died she was forced to sign up for more food so that she and her family could live and she will pay the price now. It is Primrose's first reaping now that she is 12, and against all odds she is reaped. But Katniss volunteers so she won't have to go the the Hunger Games were a male and female tribute for each of the 12 districts are forced into an arena to kill each other in tell one lone victor remains. But when it is time for a boy to be reaped, he has a connection to Katniss' life. His name is Peeta Mellark a boy who worked in the bakery in District 12. As they get to know each other and prepare for the games they start working together so maybe one of them can survive the games.

Reviewer's Name: Natalie M.
Gone
Grant, Michael
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Gone, by Michael Grant is a fast paced dystopian sci-fi story about a small town in California by the name of Perdido Beach . The plot quickly pulls you in, leaving you emotionally invested in the characters. Personally, the second I was finished, I was onto the next book! The main character is a young boy named Sam Temple. After all of the people aged 15+ vanish, the remaining teens and children look up to him as their leader, even though he constantly tries to deny the huge responsibility. After a gang of bullies start to take over the town and kill and mutilate the people who won't bow down to them, he takes a stand to protect the rest of the innocents. Gone is the first in a series of five books. I would recommend this book, and by extension series, to anyone that enjoys superpowers, violence, and heartbreaking sacrifices.

Reviewer's Name: Emily G.

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