Dystopian YA Novels: Five Books + Ratings

“The community of the Giver had achieved at such great price. A community without danger or pain. But also, a community without music, color or art. And books.”

― Lois Lowry, The Giver

The Giver (The Giver Quartet #1) by Lois Lowry

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Jonas’s world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.

Samenvatting van de Nederlandse vertaling (verschijnt 03-10-2014):

The Giver is een van de klassiekers van de 20ste eeuw
De maatschappij waarin Jonas opgroeit, lijkt op het eerste gezicht perfect. Er is geen oorlog of pijn, en er hoeven geen keuzes te worden gemaakt, want elke persoon in de Gemeenschap krijgt een welbepaalde rol. Wanneer Jonas twaalf is, wordt hij uitverkoren. Hij zal worden opgeleid door ‘The Giver’, een belangrijke man binnen de Gemeenschap. Jonas wordt nu Bewaker van herinneringen, het geheugen van de samenleving. Hij wordt ingewijd in de geheimen van anderen. Zo ontdekt hij stap voor stap de verschrikkelijke waarheid over de maatschappij waarin hij opgroeit…

My favorite quotes:

“The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It’s the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.”

“If you were to be lost in the river, Jonas, your memories would not be lost with you. Memories are forever.”

“For the first time, he heard something that he knew to be music. He heard people singing. Behind him, across vast distances of space and time, from the place he had left, he thought he heard music too. But perhaps, it was only an echo.”

“I liked the feeling of love,’ [Jonas] confessed. He glanced nervously at the speaker on the wall, reassuring himself that no one was listening. ‘I wish we still had that,’ he whispered. ‘Of course,’ he added quickly, ‘I do understand that it wouldn’t work very well. And that it’s much better to be organized the way we are now. I can see that it was a dangerous way to live.’
…’Still,’ he said slowly, almost to himself, ‘I did like the light they made. And the warmth.”

“Of course they needed to care. It was the meaning of everything.”

“The life where nothing was ever unexpected. Or inconvenient. Or unusual. The life without colour, pain or past.”

“I feel sorry for anyone who is in a place where he feels strange and stupid.”

The newchild stirred slightly in his sleep. Jonas looked over at him.
“There could be love”, Jonas whispered.”


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Update: momenteel helaas niet te bestellen bij bol.com!

De Engelse versie echter nog wél! Wil je deze graag kopen? Klik dan hier!

The Maze Runner/De Labyrintrenner (The Maze Runner #1) by James Dashner

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When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls. Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift. Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers. Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.

Samenvatting van de Nederlandse vertaling:

James Dashners bestseller De labyrintrenner speelt zich af in een post-apocalyptische wereld. Nadat zijn geheugen is gewist, komt Thomas terecht bij een groep jonge mannen. Als hij ontdekt dat ze gevangen zitten in een doolhof, sluit Thomas zich aan bij de Renners. Niet alleen om uit het labyrint te ontsnappen, maar ook om het ijzingwekkende geheim dat schuil gaat achter hun lot te ontrafelen.

My favorite quotes:

“If you ain’t scared… you ain’t human.”

“Shouldn’t someone give a pep talk or something?” Minho asked, pulling Thomas’s attention away from Alby.
“Go ahead,” Newt replied.
Minho nodded and faced the crowd. “Be careful,” he said dryly. “Don’t die.”

“It’s kind of hard to ask a dead guy what he did wrong.”

“Just follow me and run like your life depends on it. Because it does.”

“You are the shuckiest shuck faced shuck in the world!”

“She smiled for the first time, and he almost had to look away, as if something that nice didn’t belong in such a glum and gray place, as if he had no right to look at her expression.”

“WICKED is good”


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Wither/Verwelken (The Chemical Garden Trilogy #1) by Lauren DeStefano

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By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children.

When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape–before her time runs out?

Together with one of Linden’s servants, Gabriel, Rhine attempts to escape just before her seventeenth birthday. But in a world that continues to spiral into anarchy, is there any hope for freedom?

Samenvatting van de Nederlandse vertaling:

Stel je voor, je leeft in een wereld waarin door een genetisch virus niemand ouder wordt dan vijfentwintig jaar. Je bent een meisje van zestien en je wordt ontvoerd om te trouwen met een jongen die je nog nooit hebt gezien. Je wilt ontsnappen, maar daarvoor moet je het vertrouwen van je echtgenoot zien te winnen…..

My favorite quotes:

“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.”

“I always knew I was an excellent liar; I just didn’t know that I had it in me to fool myself.”

“Eventually I realize that I am holding on to him just as tightly as he holds on to me. And here we are: two small dying things, as the world ends around us like falling autumn leaves.”

“I’ll tell you something about true love. There’s no science to it. It’s as natural as the sky.”

“‎I have always been fascinated by the ocean, to dip a limb beneath its surface and know that I’m touching eternity, that it goes on forever until it begins here again.”

“Tell freedom I said hello.”


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Gone (Gone #1) by Michael Grant



The first in New York Times bestselling author Michael Grant’s breathtaking dystopian, sci-fi saga, Gone is a page-turning thriller that invokes the classic The Lord of the Flies along with the horror of Stephen King.
In the blink of an eye, everyone disappears. Gone. Except for the young.
There are teens, but not one single adult. Just as suddenly, there are no phones, no internet, no television. No way to get help. And no way to figure out what’s happened.
Hunger threatens. Bullies rule. A sinister creature lurks. Animals are mutating. And the teens themselves are changing, developing new talents—unimaginable, dangerous, deadly powers—that grow stronger by the day. It’s a terrifying new world. Sides are being chosen, a fight is shaping up. Townies against rich kids. Bullies against the weak. Powerful against powerless. And time is running out: On your birthday, you disappear just like everyone else…
Michael Grant’s Gone as been praised for its compelling storytelling, multidimensional characters, and multiple points of view.

Samenvatting van de Nederlandse vertaling:

Wat doe je als alle volwassenen spoorloos verdwenen zijn? Het ene moment stond de leraar nog over de Burgeroorlog te praten. En het volgende moment was hij weg. Leraar aanwezig. Leraar weg.
Geen ‘poef’. Geen lichtflits. Geen knal. Tijdens een doodgewone schooldag ziet de veertienjarige Sam tot zijn verbijstering zijn leraar pal voor zijn ogen verdwijnen. Zomaar ineens… weg! Algauw blijkt dat iedereen die ouder is dan vijftien jaar op hetzelfde moment is verdwenen. Bovendien is er een ondoordringbare barrière rond de stad opgetrokken, waardoor internet, televisie en mobieltjes geen enkel signaal meer ontvangen. Een enorme chaos breekt uit. Er zijn geen artsen en politieagenten meer. En wie zorgt er voor de achtergebleven baby’s?
Net buiten de stad neemt Caine de leiding over zijn internaat en daarna ook over het stadje. In het begin weet hij enige orde te scheppen, maar gaandeweg voert hij met een aantal volgelingen een waar schrikbewind.
Hoewel Sam helemaal geen leidende rol wíl, besluit hij ten slotte toch dat hij de kwaadaardige Caine en zijn terreurbende moet tegenhouden. En dat kan alleen als hij Caine uitschakelt. Maar intussen komt de dag dat hij zelf vijftien jaar zal worden steeds dichterbij…

My favorite quotes:

“We didn’t Make this World we’re just the Poor Fools who are living in it.”

“That’s your solution? Have a cookie?’ Astrid asked. ‘No, my solution is to run down to the beach and hide out until this is all over,’ Sam said. ‘But a cookie never hurts.”

“Welcome to Perdido beach, where our motto is: Radiation, what radiation?”

“It’s vital to keep a sense of humour when the world seems to have suddenly become a very strange place.”

“Sam had a DVD in his hand. He said, “Yesterday I sent Edilio to the power plant to get two things. First, a cache of automatic weapons from the guardhouse.
“Machine guns?”
“Yeah. Not just for us to have, but to make sure the other side doesn’t get them.”
“Now we have an arms race,” Astrid said.
Her tone seemed to irritate Sam. “You want me to leave them for Caine?”
“I wasn’t criticizing, just… you know. Ninth graders with machine guns; it’s hard to make that a happy story.”
Sam relented. He even grinned. “Yeah. The phrase ‘ninth graders with machine guns’ isn’t exactly followed by ‘have a nice day’.”

“Sam was slow getting up. To Quinn he looked like an old man standing up after slipping on the ice. But he looked up at Quinn and performed a sort of salute.
I owe you, Quinn.”
I’m sorry I didn’t get him,” Quinn answered.
Sam shook his head. “Man, don’t ever be sorry you don’t want to kill someone.”

“Let me guess: you’re secretly a wizard who was raised by muggles.”


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Starters (Starters #1) by Lissa Price

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Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie’s only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man.

He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie’s head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator’s grandson. It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations’ plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined. . . .

Samenvatting van de Nederlandse vertaling:

De wereld is voorgoed veranderd Callie staat voor een onmogelijke keuze: Haar ouders zijn dood. Haar broertje is ernstig ziek. En er is niemand die ze kan vertrouwen Haar enige uitweg is de bodybank: een gewetenloze organisatie die ze verafschuwt. Ten einde raad gaat Callie met hen in zee. Ze moet haar opdracht volbrengen en opgeven is geen optie.

My favorite quotes:

“Did Cinderella ever consider fessing up to the prince, that night she was enjoying herself in the fancy ball gown? Did she even think of telling him, oh, by the way, Prince, the coach isn’t mine, I’m really a filthy little barefoot servant on borrowed time? No. She took her moment. And then went quietly away after midnight.”

“No one ever complained about a fat brain. No one ever accused their brain of being too short or too tall, too wide or too narrow. Or ugly. It either worked or it didn’t, and mine worked just fine.”

“It’s like you are a car, a nice car that hadn’t been washed for a year.
And then you got a wash and wax and all the trimmings.
You’re sparkling, but you’re still the same great car.”

“Eventually we’ll be old and wrinkled. Like everybody. But we’ll look a lot better if we’re happy inside. If we used our brains and our talents instead of stressing over what someone else defines as ‘pretty.’ ”

“What defines me? Skin? I hope I’m more than that. Than this. That I am what I think, what I believe. What I feel.”

“Falling apart wasn’t an option.”


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Happy reading!




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