22 Dystopian Novels For Adults To Read in 2023

22 Dystopian Novels to Read for Adults in 2022

Dystopia is the new trend in terms of content these days. Be it written or visual content, fans have developed a strong taste for the genre and can’t seem to have enough of it. But it is widely misinterpreted that it’s only for the young teen generation. So here, we’ll be looking at some amazing dystopian novels for adults to read in 2023.

Dystopian novels have become my new favourite novels after the coming-of-age ones. But I got so used to reading YA Dystopian novels that they didn’t give me those goosebumps anymore. That’s when I levelled up and shifted towards adult dystopian novels, and trust me, and they’re phenomenal. They blew my mind so that I can’t get over them even when I’m doing other stuff. I’ve started to feel like I live in such a dystopian world.

Adult dystopian novels are somewhat mature and practical. They won’t give false hope or save the day unexpectedly, which is what happens in most YA dystopian novels, which is what is liked about other readers and me. 

Click here If you want to read dystopian novels specially meant for teens.

Enough praise and more work. Let me share with you all some of the most amazing mature dystopian novels that can be read this year, 2023.

22 Dystopian Novels For Adults to Read in 2023

As promised above, I’ll be sharing with you some amazing and thrilling dystopian novels for adults to read in the year 2023.

1. Girls With Razor Hearts

girls with razor hearts

Full Title: Girls With Razor Hearts

Author: Suzanne Young

Publishing Date: 2020

Genre: Science Fiction

Description: This book revolves around Mena and her other friends who escaped their cruel boarding school, Innovation Academy which traumatized them with violence and useless experimentations that sparked a sense of evil desire inside them to shut off the entire system of corruption, but they weren’t aware that the outside world isn’t the most pleasant surrounding to be in.

Struggling, they get into a private school, Ridgeview Prep, which they suspected had connections to their previous jail-like school. They wish to take down corruption from the very inside by identifying the son of an investor. While they all struggle to get freedom from their past and fight for their future, they’ll come to know what it means to be girls with razor hearts, and so will the readers.

2. Dead Astronauts

dead astronauts

Full Title: Dead Astronauts

Author: Jeff VanderMeer

Publishing Date: 2019

Genre: Science Fiction

Description: This book presents before us a city that has no name and is home to human beings and otherwise creatures, under the shadow of a powerful company.

This book includes a blue fox, messianic in nature, who slips and slides through and forth the warrens of time and space on a mysterious mission, a homeless woman who finds the key to all things in a strange journal and is haunted by a demon. A giant sea serpent demon is a kind of fish that is centuries old and hides a secret while remembering a past that may even not be it’s own.



Full Title: Followers

Author: Megan Angelo

Publishing Date: 2020

Genre: Dystopian Fiction

Description: Orla Cadden is stuck while writing about movie-star hookups and influencing yoga moves while dreaming of literary success. She wants to change her life but has no idea how to. Not until Floss, her roommate, shows up and comes up with a plan to launch both of them into the high-profile lives they crave so desperately.

After 35 years, a girl named Marlow discovers that her whole family history is a lie, which is rather shattering for her. Marlow wants to flee from the corporate sponsors who would do anything to ensure she’s on screen. Orla, Floss, and Marlow meet and join hands as they wind through time together.

4. A Beginning at the End

a beginning at the end

Full Title: A Beginning at the End

Author: Mike Chen

Publishing Date: 2020

Genre: Domestic Fiction

Description: This book chronicles different people’s storylines after destroying half the Earth’s population by a virus, which becomes intertwined with one another in later parts of the novel.

A former pop star Moira is living under a new identity she created for herself in order to escape from her past. A desperate event planner, Kristina reaches out to people who are still too traumatized to go outside but not of her own will. Rob is protecting Sunny, her daughter, by hiding a heartbreaking secret from her. All of them are brought together by circumstances and strict government policies after the pandemic.

5. Riot Baby

riot baby

Full Title: Riot Baby

Author: Tochi Onyebuchi

Publishing Date: 2021

Genre: Coming-of-Age

Description: Ella has a special ability. She can see things that haven’t happened yet. She saw a classmate grow up to become a caring nurse and a neighbour’s son being murdered in a drive-by shooting. This ability of her can destroy society as well as herself.

Kev, her brother, who was born while Los Angeles burned around them, intends to protect his sister from this destructive power but gets imprisoned because of his powers. Both of them are freakishly powerful, and they are astonishingly human.

This one is one of the highly recommended dystopian novels for adults.

6. The Dog Stars

the dog stars

Full Title: The Dog Stars

Author: Peter Heller

Publishing Date: 2012

Genre: Post-Apocalyptic

Description: A pandemic hit the world, taking away everything and everyone used to hold dear, including his wife, children, and house. He is the lone survivor among them all. He lives in a hanger of a small and abandoned airport with Jasper, his dog.

On the verge of losing hope when a random wave through his radio revives that hope, there might be a chance of a better life. He takes that chance and flies past his limits from where he can’t return, risking everything.

7. Winter World

winter world

Full Title: Winter World

Author: A.G. Riddle

Publishing Date: 2018

Genre: Thriller

Description: This novel shows the setting of a world hit by the ice age, threatening to wipe out humanity from existence. Scientists, desperate for answers, launch several pros into space and find out something in the relation. They discover a mysterious object drifting toward the sun, which might be the possible cause of the ice age.

NASA launches a space team to establish contact with the object while running out of time. But what the space team discovers out there in the dark and lone space is something no one expected.

8. The Children of Men

the children of men

Full Title: The Children of Men

Author: P.D. James

Publishing Date: 1992

Genre: Science Fiction

Description: Children are our future. But imagine living in a world where there are no children, which means that the world has no future. The last generation to be living there is that of adults. Suicide rates and despair increase while civilization seems to be crumbling.

Theodore Faron, an Oxford historian, and Julian, a bright, attractive woman, together might hold the key to reviving the world’s future again. It is one of the must-read dystopian novels for adults.

9. Delirium


Full Title: Delirium

Author: Lauren Oliver

Publishing Date: 2011

Genre: Romance Novel


Lena, a young girl on the brink of her mandatory “cure” to eliminate love, meets Alex, a rebellious boy, and falls deeply in love with him. As Lena questions the oppressive rules of her world, she becomes determined to break free from the government’s control and live a life of her own choosing.

With suspenseful twists and turns, “Delirium” explores themes of love, freedom, and the power of individual choice in a world where love is forbidden.

10. Street Freaks

street freaks

Full Title: Street Freaks

Author: Terry Brooks

Publishing Date: 2018

Genre: Mystery

Description: Ashton Collins’s father directed him to get into the red zone, into the street freaks, right before disappearing. The Red Zone is the dangerous heart of mega-city Los Angeles, and a world Ash is forbidden from. But Street Freaks can provide him with the strangest of aid awaits―human and barely human alike. When Ash gets hunted, he must uncover the mystery left behind by his father and discover his role in this new world.

11. Feed


Full Title: Feed

Author: Matthew Tobin Anderson

Publishing Date: 2002

Genre: Science Fiction

Description: It was a chance for Titus and his friends to party during spring break and play with some stupid low-gravity at the Ricochet Lounge. Started like any ordinary trip to the moon. But a crazy hacker caused all their feeds to malfunction, which sent them to the hospital to lie with nothing inside their heads for days and days.

Then, Titus met Violet, a beautiful, intelligent teenage girl who decided to fight the feed and its ability to categorize human thoughts and desires.

12. The Knife of Never Letting Go

the knife of never letting go

Full Title: The Knife of Never Letting Go

Author: Patrick Ness

Publishing Date: 2008

Genre: Science Fiction

Description: Todd Hewitt lives in a town of men and is the only boy there, and is just a month away from becoming a man. The settlers were infected with the Noise germ, which led Todd to hear everything the men think and hear everything he thinks.

However, amidst the noise, he knows that the town is hiding something from him. Something so awful, Todd is forced to flee the town with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too.

13. Second Born

second born | 22 Dystopian Novels For Adults To Read In 2022

Full Title: Second Born

Author: Amy A. Bartol

Publishing Date: 2017

Genre: Romance Novel

Description: The second child in every family is taken by the government and forced to become a servant on Transition Day. Roselle St. Sismode’s 18th birthday is here. It brings the harsh realization that she is to become a soldier for the Fate of Swords military arm of the Republic during the bloodiest rebellion in history. Her mother, an elite firstborn, is happy to see her go. 

Roselle’s privileged upbringing earned her the resentment of her secondborn peers. Now, she decides to spare an enemy on the battlefield, which marks her as a traitor to the state.

14. An Ember in the Ashes

an ember in the ashes | 22 Dystopian Novels For Adults To Read In 2022

Full Title: An Ember in the Ashes

Author: Sabaa Tahir

Publishing Date: 2015

Genre: Fantasy Fiction

Description: Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family has existed inside the Roman Empire for quite a long time, but they do not challenge the Empire as they have seen what happens to those who do.

However, when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to decide. She will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother.

15. A Wrinkle in Time

a wrinkle in time | 22 Dystopian Novels For Adults To Read In 2022

Full Title: A Wrinkle in Time

Author: Madeleine L’Engle

Publishing Date: 1962

Genre: Science Fantasy

Description: A strange visitor comes to the Murry house and tempts Meg, Charles Wallace, her brother, and Calvin O’Keefe, their friend, on a dangerous and extraordinary adventure that will threaten their lives and the entire universe. We’ll get to experience Tesseract (a wrinkle in time).

The story is filled with adventures in space and time of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O’Keefe, an athlete, student, and one of the most popular boys in high school. They are searching for Meg’s father, a scientist who disappeared while he was engaged in secret work for the government on the Tesseract problem.

16. Interment

interment | 22 Dystopian Novels For Adults To Read In 2022

Full Title: Interment

Author: Samira Ahmed

Publishing Date: 2019

Genre: Science Fiction

Description: This book is set in the near-future United States, which is much horrifying. Layla Amin, a 17-year-old girl, and her parents are forced into an internment camp for Muslim citizens in America.

Layla begins a journey to fight for freedom with the help of newly made friends trapped within the internment camp, her boyfriend on the outside, and an entirely unexpected alliance, leading a revolution against the camp’s Director and his guards.

17. The History of Bees

the history of bees | 22 Dystopian Novels For Adults To Read In 2022

Full Title: The History of Bees

Author: Maja Lunde

Publishing Date: 2015

Genre: Fiction

Description: This book mentions three to four incidents, all of which do with bees. William is a biologist and seed merchant in England in 1852 who sets out to build a new type of beehive that will bring both him and his children honour and fame.

George is a beekeeper fighting an uphill battle against modern farming in the United States in 2007, but he hopes that his son can be their salvation. In China, in 2098, Tao’s hand paints pollen onto the fruit trees now that the bees have long since disappeared. When Tao’s young son is taken away by the authorities after a tragic accident, she goes on a gruelling journey to find out what happened to him.

18. The Age of Miracles

the age of miracles | 22 Dystopian Novels For Adults To Read In 2022

Full Title: The Age of Miracles

Author: Karan Thompson Walker

Publishing Date: 2012

Genre: Science Fiction

Description: Julia awakens to discover that something has happened to the rotation of the Earth on a normal yet not-so-normal Saturday in a California suburb. She experienced many changes, including the extended length of day and night, which affected gravity, birds, tides, human behavior, and the rhythms of the cosmos are disorganized.

Julia must face surprising developments in herself, in a world that seems filled with danger and loss, and in her world, i.e., divisions widening between her parents, strange behavior by her friends, the vulnerability of her first love, a growing sense of being alone, and surprising new strength.

19. Shatter Me

shatter me

Full Title: Shatter Me

Author: Tahereh Mafi

Publishing Date: 2011

Genre: Romance Novel

Description: Last time it was an accident, but she was imprisoned for murder by the Re-establishment. No one knows why Juliet’s touch is deadly. No one cares unless she hurts someone.

The world is so busy that no one pays attention to the 17-year-old girl. Illness destroys the population, it is difficult to find food, birds stop flying, and clouds are the wrong color.

20. One Second After

one second later | Dystopian Novels For Adults

Full Title: One Second After

Author: William R. Forstchen

Publishing Date: 2009

Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Fiction

Description: A few months before publication, “One Second After” was already cited in Congress as a book that all Americans should read. This book has already been discussed in the Pentagon corridor as a realistic view of weapons and their incredible destructive power. 

Literally within a second across the United States. This weapon warns the Wall Street Journal that it could shatter America. The story is set in a typical American town in the tradition of on-the-beach, fail-safe, and testament, and this book is a disastrous warning of our future and our end.

21. The Year of the Flood

the year of the flood

Full Title: The Year of the Flood

Author: Margaret Atwood

Publishing Date: 2009

Genre: Speculative Fiction

Description: Times and species change at an alarming rate, and social contracts are as thin as environmental stability. Adam Wang, the benevolent leader of God’s Gardenia’s religion, dedicated to the fusion of science and religion and the protection of all flora and fauna, has long predicted a natural disaster that will change the planet as we know it. I did. Now that has happened and has wiped out most of human life. 

Two women survived though: Ren, a young trapeze dancer imprisoned in a high-end Scales and Tails sex club, and Toby, a god gardener barricaded in a luxurious spa with many treatments.

22. The Giver

the giver

Full Title: The Giver

Author: Lois Lowry

Publishing Date: 1993

Genre: Soft science Fiction

Description: This book has become one of the most influential novels of our time. The unforgettable story revolves around 12-year-old Jonas. Jonas lives seemingly ideally in a colorless world of suitability and satisfaction.

He begins to understand the dark and complex mysteries behind his vulnerable community only when he is given the purpose of his life as a recipient of memory.


So, how did you find all these books? Amazing, weren’t they? I’m sure you might have found major differences between these novels and those meant for teenagers. The major difference that I found which I’ve even mentioned in the beginning is that YA dystopian novels for adults turn out to be well at some point or the other.

A superhero or superhuman is always there to seize the day, but this doesn’t happen with adult novels. They give the message to accept reality and bear with it if nothing can be done. That’s something I like about these novels. But what are your opinions? How did you find them?

Also, If you love 22 dystopian novels to read for adults Do also check out the links mentioned below:

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