Best Book Ever: Dystopian

Welcome to Best Book Ever!  Every week we pick a new theme and authors, bloggers, and book readers decide what is their favorite of all time!  This week we are talking about one of the hottest genres in YA literature:
Week 9: Dystopian

Ooh... this is hard picking just one, because there's so many well written YA Dystopians out right now. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi is FABULOUS!! I seriously love everything about this book. I'm being so serious when I say that. Tahereh writing is engaging. She completely swept me off my feet with her story. Her world building is fascinating, and I really enjoyed the plot twists, danger, action, romance, and  all the surprises that Tahereh throws into her entire story. I completely fell in love with all her characters, even the not so nice ones, because she allows readers to understand the reasoning behind the way they are and the choices they make. This book was a complete package of awesomeness for me!
Katie @ MundieMoms

My pick most definitely has to be DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth.
It's hard to sum up in just one paragraph why I love this book so much. When I first picked it up, I was unprepared for just how much I'd fall in love with it. 
DIVERGENT absolutely knocked my socks off! It was beautifully written and made a big impact on my heart. I decided whilst reading that of the factions, I could never be just one. I would want to be Divergent!
I laughed, I cried and I fell in love. Tris and Four are two of my favourite fictional characters to date. Seriously who doesn't heart them some Four?! 
This book made such an impact on me in fact, that I had a Divergent tattoo, 3 birds flying across my left shoulder!
If you are interested in my full review, see it here.
If you want to see my gorgeous tattoo, click here.

OH GOODIE! In case you weren't aware I'm incredibly obsessed with Dystopian novels, so this is by far going to be the hardest week because I have SO MANY favorites :) The obvious choice would be The Hunger Games, but as much as I loved that series I'm going to have to go with The Maze Runner. I absolutely LOVED that book for so many reasons, but the main one would have to be the major plot twists throughout the entire book. I honestly sat down and read that book in a day and didn't even realize it, that's how good it is!!! And the language that they create is so much fun, my friends and I actually use it sometimes!!
Dystopian novels have become my new favorite genre. There is just something about a story that takes place in a controlled community and a character fighting for his or her freedom, or trying to survive. I mean, there is a lot more to it than that, but I find that in dystopian novels is where I find all my strong and kick-butt characters. Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi and Divergentby Veronica Roth are good examples. In Under the Never Sky you get to know, Ari, who is thrown out of her home into a crazy world she knows nothing about. She starts off as an average teen living her life the only way she knows how, and as you keep on reading she turns into this amazing and strong character by the end of the book. I am not sure if Under the Never Sky is more Sci/Fi than it is Dystopian, or maybe it’s both in one, but I loved it!

Divergent is also a great book. Tris jumps from one faction to the other in Divergent and all the test and experiences she goes through would have broken anyone on the first day. But Tris continues on and takes everything they got. She made up her mind to be a Dauntless and no one was changing her mind. Those are two books I highly recommend and thing everyone should read, or at least give it a try.

Whenever I come across a dystopian novel, I don’t think twice about reading it. In fact, I find myself searching for dystopian novels now at bookstores. They rock! 

I loved so much about The Hunger Games, from Suzanne Collins' story of the book's origins (a night of TV spent flipping between a reality show and war coverage) to the Roman gladiator influences throughout the world-building. The characters broke my heart repeatedly and I had to read each book in the trilogy in a single sitting. Mockingjay I started reading aloud on the drive back from a midnight release party (I wasn't driving) and stayed up until I finished. I couldn't help it! The books make you care so much for the characters and then relentlessly throw them into dangerous situations. There were many, many times when I looked up from the page to say: "Suzanne, HOW COULD YOU?" then dove back in for more. If you know me in real life, I've probably already forced you to read these books. To my cyber friends and acquaintances who haven't yet, GO READ THEM RIGHT NOW.
-Tiffany Schmidt, debut author of Send Me a Sign (2012 by Walker- Bloomsbury)

When it comes to dystopian novels, THE HUNGER GAMES is hands down my favorite. I love that despite the fact that it's dystopian and therefore a sort of bleak and terrible world, it's still so interesting! Even though I wouldn't want to live there, I would definitely go visit. And in the first book, Katniss is at her best. She's fiercely protective of her sister and her family, and she's definitely one of the strongest YA characters out there. I love that she isn't waiting for someone else to change things for her. She takes matters into her own hands and does what she does best: she survives. I can't imagine there are many people out there who haven't read HUNGER GAMES by now, but this is the kind of book everyone should read. I bet in twenty years it'll be a classic.-Elizabeth Norris, author of Unraveling (2012, Baltzer and Bray)

One of my all-time favorite books is THE GIVER by Lois Lowry. I read this book several times as a teen. The whole thing just blew me away. And that ending! The ending totally changed the way I thought of book endings from then on. What an amazing book.
Jodi Meadows, debut author of Incarnate (2012, Harper Collins Children's)

This week’s topic is the perfect excuse to gush about one of the best young adult books ever, let alone one of the best dystopian novels: Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve. This is the first book in the four-volume “The Hungry City Chronicles” (titled the “Mortal Engines Quartet” in the UK), so called because it takes place in a post-apocalyptic future in which cities roam the countryside, capturing and ingesting smaller cities and towns to replenish their resources. You read that correctly: cities move around and eat other cities, the ultimate in “municipal Darwinism,” the survival of the fittest. The concept of these “Traction Cities” is flat out one of the most astonishing ideas I’ve encountered in fiction, part of some truly masterful world building—which is all the more impressive because on the face of it, the idea is kind of hard to, well, swallow. The action in the first book starts out in a futuristic, locomotive version of London, but the grand scope of the series expands to other traction cities, static settlements, submarines, and even airships. Airships! As you can probably tell, the book also has some steampunk influences; even though this is the future, following the “Sixty Minute War,” the level of technology has regressed to fuel-burning, mechanical machinery, while bits of found “Old Tech” are preserved in museums.

As fantastic as the world is, the reason I take every opportunity to promote this series is because it has amazing and realistic characters—exactly what you need to ground events in the bizarre landscape they occupy. The main protagonists for most of the series, young Tom Natsworthy, an apprentice in London’s Guild of Historians, and Hester Shaw, an emotionally and physically scarred girl out for revenge, are remarkably complex and sympathetic, even when they make questionable choices. Which they do, often. I hope it isn’t giving away too much to reveal that this series is not only an epic adventure story, but a complicated romantic tale. It would be giving away too much to go into details about plot developments farther into the series, but I was thrilled to see older characters also featured in the later books alongside younger protagonists—one of the few examples of YA fiction in which adults are as important to the story as their children. Great, amazing stuff, and I strongly recommend you give Mortal Engines a try.
-E.C. Myers, debut author of Fair Coin (2012 Prometheus Books)

 So do you agree? Disagree?  What would you have picked?

Next week: High Fantasy

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