search-icon

Dystopian Reads to Get You Psyched for The Handmaid’s Tale

by  | June 18

I read The Handmaid’s Tale in high school, and I was so drawn into the world of Offred and Gilead that I must have read that book at least five times. I was such a fangirl, that when the show came out on Hulu, I couldn’t get into it. The world in my head didn’t jibe well with what I was seeing on the screen. Finally, I got over myself and binged Seasons 1 and 2 like a crazy woman. Although, I am starting to believe that the real world is getting a little too close to Gilead’s theocracy, so I don’t know how much of an escapist pleasure the continuing series will really be. For those of you like me anticipating the continuation of the series in Season 3, we will have to get our dystopian fix with these great reads between episodes.

The Last

The Last

by Hanna Jameson

Jon gets a text from his wife and ignores it, thinking he can always get back to her later. He’s at a conference in Switzerland and staying at a remote hotel that seems bucolic. Jon will soon find that his hotel has a gruesome history of suicides and murders. Before he can text his wife back, the unthinkable happens—nuclear war strikes—and Jon finds himself holed up in the hotel with a bunch of strangers, unable to get in touch with his wife and family, or the outside world. Things take an even stranger turn when a young girl is found dead in one of the hotel’s water towers, and Jon decides to piece together the mystery of who could have killed her and why. This book will leave you unsettled, but in a good way, and you’ll find yourself answering every single text from your loved ones, because you never know when it could be the last.

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoSimon & Shuster logo
Foe

Foe

by Iain Reid

Foe is set in the near future where Junior and Henrietta live on an isolated farm with only each other for company. One day, a man from the City comes and informs Junior that he has been randomly selected for long-term space travel. Junior is told he will be gone for many years, but that Henrietta doesn’t have to worry about being alone because she will be left with a companion as a replacement for Junior—who is just like Junior himself. You’re going to want to read this story with a friend, because you’re definitely going to want to talk to someone about the ending after you finish.

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoSimon & Shuster logo
Station Eleven

Station Eleven

by Emily St. John Mandel

Station Eleven is hands down one of my favorite books of all time, and for a person who reads as much as me, that is really saying something. The characters in the novel are all connected to the night when Arthur Leander, a famous actor, has a heart attack on stage during a play. That night is also the start of a devastating flu pandemic—and within weeks civilization as we know it is ground to a screeching halt. The book follows a troupe of traveling actors and magicians, twenty years after the pandemic, who are dedicated to keeping the arts a part of their new society. An encounter with a violent prophet threatens to destroy their troupe. The story is told both before the pandemic and after it. This is the perfect book for dystopian lovers who want to read a novel with dystopian themes, but not experience the gruesome aftermath of characters struggling to survive right after the chaos of the trigger event.

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logo
The Farm

The Farm

by Joanne Ramos

Golden Oaks sounds like the ultimate location for a luxury retreat. Imagine a beautiful spa located in New York’s Hudson Valley, delicious organic food, personal trainers to keep you fit, and daily massages to relax you. And Golden Oaks pays its young women guests to stay there! Sign me up, you say! But what’s the catch? Well, Golden Oaks pays its guests to stay there for nine months in total isolation in exchange for becoming a surrogate for wealthy families. One protagonist, a Filipina immigrant, signs up to be a “host” at Golden Oaks, a.k.a. the Farm. The longer she’s there, the more she becomes obsessed with wanting to know how her family is doing in the outside world, and embarks on a mission to get in touch with them. She’s desperate, but she knows if she tries to leave, she will forfeit the money she will receive once she delivers her—that is, the Farm’s—child.

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logo
An Ocean of Minutes

An Ocean of Minutes

by Thea Lim

It’s 1981 and a flu pandemic has swept through America. (Why are all these dystopian books about the flu?? Stephen King’s The Stand was my first taste of it, and now I can’t get enough! Achoo!) An Ocean of Minutes tells the story of Polly and Frank, a couple who are faced with the ultimate sacrifice of their relationship when Frank comes down with the flu and is dying. Polly agrees to travel into the future as a migrant worker for a company called TimeRaiser to help pay for an experimental treatment. Polly and Frank decide to meet up 12 years in the future to resume their relationship. That is the ultimate long-distance romance! I know people who won’t date people in other boroughs, let alone dimensions. But when Polly lands in Texas after her time-travel adventure, it’s not 1993, it’s 1998. America and what it means to be a country have changed so much, that not only is she finding it a challenge to figure out how to live in this strange new world, or how to return from it, she can’t find out how to get in touch with Frank. This book is multilayered and at its essence explores what it means to be an immigrant in America, without status and money.

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoSimon & Shuster logo
Love to get lit... erary? Sign up to get the latest delivered to your inbox!