When we did a comparison contrast between 1984 and excerpts from Thomas Moore's Utopia in my sophomore year of high school my reading life was transformed. I was exposed to reading as a way to explore ideas, philosophy, politics, and the world. until this point I read for pleasure, the enjoyment of the reading experience was the act of doing so. But with reading these two works my desire to read grew into wanting to be engaged by reading. I wanted to explore, change, and think.

Though there are are dictionary definitions and encyclopedia entries on utopia, anti-utopia, and dystopia, a lot of the time the distinction really comes down to a matter of judgement in classifying a book. I dent to like the term dystopia, so I use it most commonly as a general classification for a false world or non-historical government controlled society.

Now, not having Internet, I was late in finding out about two different YA Dystopian Challenges. One hosted by Bart's Bookshelf and the other by Books On the Nightstand.
(Please click the images to go to the challenge pages.)
But over the time period of the challenge I was reading books that qualify. So I am planning on going back over my reading list and review the books I read within the time frame and likely add a few more before the end of the year.

Bart says,

The idea is to have fun with this, and as I know with the year-end rapidly
approaching, thoughts will be turning to completing all the other challenges we
are all signed up to! So your level of participation is up to you, simply pick a
target of between 1 & 4 books to read during the two and a half months of
the challenge. [Oct. 15th - end of Dec.]

It’s that easy.

There’s no need to list your
selected books upfront, but it’s always fun to see everybody’s book pools (Not
just because we all like to do a bit of book-coveting but somebody might spot a
great read they had never considered before!) So if you want to do that, then go
right ahead.

Ann from Books on the Nightstand says,

The Rules:There are always rules in dystopic societies. We will
be benevolent despots in the running of this challenge. Your participation is
voluntary and we will be deactivating the Reading Challenge Police, so you are
on the honor system.
1. You must do as you are told.
[Go to challenge page to read the read of the rules.]

Here is a list of books I have already read within the past two months or so:
The Roar by Emma Clayton
Stolen Voices by Ellen Dee Davidson
The Declaration by Gemma Malley (audio)
Fade to Blue by Sean Beaudoin
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (audio)
The Walls Have Eyes by Clare B. Dunkle (#2 in series)
Skin Hunger by Kathleen Duey (audio)
House of Power by Patrick Carman (audio)

I have already reviewed The Maze Runner and Fade to Blue, but I may want to revisit my thoughts about them before the end of the year.
There may also a few that I am not sure about the time frame on or have not decided if they fall under the umbrella of dystopia yet.

Up Coming Reads:
Cherry Heaven by L.J. Adlington
The City of Gold and Lead by John Christopher (Tripods #2)
Gone by Michael Grant
Rivers of Fire by Patrick Carman

I have a few others I would like to get to also, but I will stick with those for now and update if needed. I have not had a chance to think out how I want to classify which book for what challenge or if it even matters, but I am really excited to be participating in them.


  1. Megan,
    I love this post!! And your list of titles is great -- many of these are unknown to me, so I am eager to check them out. Thanks!


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