Happy Tuesday! The Broke and the Bookish took a short summer break, but they’re back with a new linkup! Today’s theme is Recommendations for ______. I recently read an excellent dystopic novel, and decided to go with Recommendations for Fans of The Walking Dead. But here’s the twist: there are NO zombies on this list — only good ol’ end of the world nightmarish scenarios. Because we all know that zombies are just stand ins for the things that threaten our way of life!
The Road by Cormac McCarthy – Gritty, gripping, and heart stopping, if I had to choose only three words. We’re in post-apocalyptic America following a father and son on their journey to relative safety. The dialogue is sparse but the plot drives you forward like no other novel I’ve ever read. With a writing style that would have earned a student an F – full of fragmented sentences and elliptical thoughts – McCarthy has created a structure that works and draws the reader into this slim novel. I read this pre-children, but was able to finish it in an afternoon.
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel – My review for this book is forthcoming, but this was the best dystopian novel that I’ve read since I finished The Road! Set mostly in Toronto, a deadly pandemic has changed the world. Millions of people contracted The Georgian Flu and were dead within hours. Those who survived are left behind to find a way to make the world make sense again. This story is tied together by an obscure comic book series, Station Eleven, that brings the characters together in unexpected ways.
What list of dystopian novels would be complete without The Hunger Games Trilogy? This is a Young Adult series that is a true page turner. Even if you’ve watched the movies, it is totally worth it to read the books!
The Queen of the Tearling series is another YA trilogy that is difficult to put down and questions what life would be like without our freedoms. This recommendation has a fantastical element to it; Kelsea, the main character, has a glowing sapphire necklace that has incredible magical powers.
My thoughts on the first book of the series can be found here.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood – this was the second dystopic novel that I read as a teenager and it remains my favorite. You might have seen the TV show on Hulu, which is phenomenal. It doesn’t exactly follow the book, but the spirit of the book remains. This novel follows Offred, a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. Gilead used to be the United States, but policy changes by the elected leaders have created a country in which women have no rights and are assigned selected roles in the community. Handmaids are forced to bear children for the heads of household to which they are assigned. Published in 1985, this has served as a powerful warning to generations of women.
1984 by George Orwell – this was the very first dystopic novel that I ever read! I borrowed this from the library of my eleventh grade English teacher and remember being glued to my bed after reading it. I had never read anything like it. At the time, I believed that the scope of it was so huge and the writer was incredibly brave to have even written it. I reread it a few years ago and found that it had a similar effect on me, just not as profoundly. If you haven’t read this one yet, it will definitely be worth your time!
Thanks for stopping by my Top Ten Tuesday today! Feel free to look around and get to know me a little better. You can sign up to have my posts emailed to you if you think we’d be friends!
And how about you? Have you read any of these books? Anything you’d like to add to my list?