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Recommended Reads: Dystopian

1984

by George Orwell (1949)

In a grim city and a terrifying country, where Big Brother is always watching you and the Thought Police can practically read your mind, Winston is a man in grave danger for the simple reason that his memory still functions. He knows the Party's official image of the world is a fluid fiction. He knows the Party controls the people by feeding them lies and narrowing their imaginations through a process of bewilderment and brutalization. Drawn into a forbidden love affair, Winston finds the courage to join a secret revolutionary organization called The Brotherhood, dedicated to the destruction of the Party. He hazards his life in a deadly match against the powers that be.

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If you like this book, try:

The Circle by Dave Eggers

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Brave New World  by Aldous Huxley

American War

by Omar El Akkad (2017)

Sarat Chestnut, born in Louisiana, is only six when the Second American Civil War breaks out in 2074. But even she knows that oil is outlawed, that Louisiana is half underwater, that unmanned drones fill the sky. When her father is killed and her family is forced into Camp Patience for displaced persons, she quickly begins to be shaped by her particular time and place until, finally, through the influence of a mysterious functionary, she is turned into a deadly instrument of war. Telling her story is her nephew, Benjamin Chestnut, born during war – part of the Miraculous Generation – now an old man confronting the dark secret of his past, his family’s role in the conflict and, in particular, that of his aunt, a woman who saved his life while destroying untold others.

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If you like this book, try:

Divergent by Veronica Roth 

The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick

Legend by Marie Lu

Brave New World

by Aldous Huxley (1931)

Far in the future, the World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing and recreational sex and drugs, all its members are happy consumers. Bernard Marx seems alone harbouring an ill-defined longing to break free. A visit to one of the few remaining Savage Reservations, where the old, imperfect life still continues, may be the cure for his distress. Huxley's ingenious fantasy of the future sheds a blazing light on the present and is considered to be his most enduring masterpiece.

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If you like this book, try:

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

A Clockwork Orange

by Anthony Burgess (1962)

In Anthony Burgess's nightmare vision of the future, where criminals take over after dark, the story is told by the central character, Alex, who talks in a brutal invented slang that brilliantly renders his and his friends' social pathology. A Clockwork Orange is a frightening fable about good and evil, and the meaning of human freedom. When the state undertakes to reform Alex—to "redeem" him—the novel asks, "At what cost?"

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If you like this book, try:

The Knife that Killed Me by Anthony McGowan

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

The Giver

by Lois Lowry (1993)

12 year old Jonas inhabits a seemingly ideal world: a world without conflict, poverty, unemployment, divorce, injustice, or inequality. It is a time in which family values are paramount, teenage rebellion is unheard of, and even good manners are a way of life. December is the time of the annual Ceremony at which each twelve year old receives a life assignment determined by the Elders. Jonas watches his friend Fiona named Caretaker of the Old and his cheerful pal Asher labeled the Assistant Director of Recreation. But Jonas has been chosen for something special. When his selection leads him to an unnamed man -the man called only the Giver -he begins to sense the dark secrets that underlie the fragile perfection of his world.

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If you like this book, try:

Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry

The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Handmaid's Tale

by Margaret Atwood (1986)

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now...

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If you like this book, try:

Matched by Ally Condie

Children of Men by P.D. James

Wither by Lauren DeStefano