With the explosion of YA dystopia in the past few years, it can be difficult to find one that stands out from the crowd. After a while, so many series started to look the same to me: citizens divided by arbitrary traits must unite and rise up against evil overreaching government, with a side-order of climate-related disaster and/or zombies. Sound familiar?
In an effort to highlight the more unusual standouts in this genre, here are my top seven most unique YA dystopias that will hopefully refresh a reader who is experiencing some genre fatigue.
Unwind (Unwind Dystology #1) – Neil Shusterman
A chilling, four-part series in which unwanted children between the ages of thirteen and eighteen can be “unwound” by their parents–essentially having all their organs donated so that their life isn’t technically ended–this as a solution to society’s constant fighting over reproductive rights. The books are well-written, incorporating a quiet sense of horror and generating some uncomfortable introspection on our own moral stance.
The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child “unwound,” whereby all of the child’s organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn’t technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state, is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.