Science Fiction and Dystopian Book Reviews By Students

Castilleja Middle School students have recommended some of their favorite novels for you! All of these books are available at our library.

Dystopian Romance

Matched by Allie Condie

Matched is about a strong, intelligent girl named Cassia. She lives in Society, a place where her life is run by statistics and instructions given by government officials. Everything in her life has been determined for her, such as where she lives, what her job is, who she will marry, and when she will die. When matched with her best friend, Xander, to marry and have kids, Cassia’s dreamy reality is shaken when a mistake in the system bring a new, mysterious person into her life, Ky. Cassia begins an unlikely friendship with Ky, which leads to a sudden desire to change and break free from the society. Can Cassia do it all? Read Matched to find out!


Divergent by Veronica Roth

This is an intriguing and thrilling novel. The book is about a young girl Beatrice who in her sixteenth year has to choose which faction she will serve for the rest of her eternity. When her aptitude test, the test that tells you in which faction you are most fit for comes out with rare results, she is forced to decide between what her family wants and what she wants. Her choice is very unexpected and makes you want to read more and more. Throughout her initiation , Beatrice faces challenges regarding her size and capabilities and is forced to place in a competition that would change her life forever.  To add to the pressure of the competition, Beatrice has to deal with her own secrets and the evil doings of the Erudite factor. What will happen to her as the serum is developed? Will she make it through training?

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games takes place in a future North America, with a tyrannical Capitol and 12 districts fighting for survival. Katniss Everdeen, a sixteen year old girl, lives with her younger sister Primrose, and a mother who is grief stricken over the death of a husband. Every morning, Katniss goes into the forbidden forests outside the gates of District 12 to hunt with her best friend, Gale. Every year, the Capitol forces each District to sacrafice one male and one female between the ages of 12 and 18. They must fight to the death in an arena created by the Capitol. When Prim’s name is called during the reaping ceremony, Katniss volunteers to take her place in the Hunger Games. With the help of fellow competitor Peeta Mellark, Katniss enters the Capitol, facing decisions that will change her life forever.

Dystopian Adventure

Maze Runner by James Dashner

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, he can’t remember where he is or how he got there. Just like all of the other boys in the glade, they can’t remember either. The glade is surrounded by a maze full of monsters, and each night the maze changes, locking them in. Everyday the boys send out runners to find a way out. They are forced to find a way to live and get by without any help from the people above. Thomas and his friends are starting to get a sense of organization, everything changes when a girl arrives in the lift. Can they find a way out of the treacherous maze? Can they find a way to get past the evil Wicked? Find out when you read the Maze runner series.

The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

The City of Ember is a city underground where mankind went to save themselves from human destruction on the surface. They create an entire society that lasts for generations, but the power generator is beginning to fail, and they are running out of food and supplies. A message in a metal box from the creators of Ember was lost over time, but had contained vital information about how and when to return outside. When two teenagers Lina and Doon meet, they find out more about the mysterious box and begin a journey to find a way back to the surface. What will they find? Why is the energy of the city running out, and how did the message get lost? Read The City of Ember to find out!

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld is set in a futuristic world where every sixteen year old receives intense plastic surgery; becoming a “Pretty”, with perfect skin, figure, and face. Tally Youngblood is an eager “ugly”, not yet sixteen, and desperately wants to become pretty. Her best friend, Paris, is a New Pretty, and lives happily in New Pretty Town, not even acknowledging that Tally might be missing him. After her new best friend Shay escapes to the Smoke, Tally is approached by officials, offering her a chance to betray her friends or stay ugly forever. Join Tally on her adventure and she discovers being Pretty comes with consequences, and realizes that not everything is about being beautiful.

Recommendations by Grace E. ’18, Jashee Y. ’18, Rory F. ’18, Julia W. ’18, and Jane Z. ’18.

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