Best Young Adult Dystopian Romance Novels of the 21st Century

What if you woke up one day and society was different? What if there were no adults, or the adults were all crazy? What would you do then? That’s what some of the best dystopian romance novels ask. These books are full of love stories set in a world that is scary and new for readers. They offer hope even as they show just how difficult life can be under those circumstances.

In this article, we will tell about eight of our favorite YA dystopian romances from the past decade, along with why these books stand out to us. Along the way, we hope to give you an understanding not only of these particular tales but also why so many people are drawn to this genre in general.

1) The Shatter Me Series by Tahereh Mafi
This series is one of the newer entries into the dystopian romance genre, but it has quickly become a fan favorite. It follows the story of Juliette, a girl who has been imprisoned and isolated from the rest of society because she has an extraordinary power. When she meets Warner, the leader of her sector, she is both repelled and intrigued by him. As they get to know each other, they must fight against the dangers of their world in order to be together.
What makes this series so special is the unique writing style. Mafi writes with a poetic flair that will suck you into the story and keep you hooked until the end.

2) The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
This is one of the classics of the genre, and for good reason. It tells the story of Katniss, a young girl who is drafted into the Hunger Games, a televised event in which two children from each district are forced to fight to the death. Katniss must rely on her cunning and strength to survive while also trying to save her loved ones.
The Hunger Games is well-known for its thrilling action and suspense, but it’s also a deeply moving love story. Katniss and Peeta, the boy from her district, must pretend to be in love for the cameras in order to have a chance at winning the Games. But as their friendship turns into something more, they must decide how much they are willing to risk for each other.

3) Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
This novel tells the story of Mare, a girl living in a world divided by blood. Those who have red blood are hyper-aware, hyper-strong people with super abilities. Those who have silver or blue blood are not as powerful but they control everything, because the reds serve them.
When Mare realizes she can control electricity, she knows she is in danger. She must find a place for herself in this new world order and fight against those who would see her destroyed.
Red Queen is a story of politics, intrigue, and love. Mare must navigate the dangerous waters of court while also trying to figure out where she belongs in the world. And as she gets closer to the prince, she realizes that he may not be the evil man she thought he was.

4) The Maze Runner Trilogy by James Dashner
This series is about a group of boys who find themselves in the middle of a giant maze, with no memory of how they got there. They must work together to find a way out before they are killed by the monsters that live in the maze.

The Maze Runner is a heart-pounding thriller with a love story at its core. Thomas, the main character, falls for Teresa, a girl who has been in the maze for a long time. But their love is tested as they struggle to survive and find their way out.
With its constant action and emotional twists and turns, The Maze Runner trilogy will keep you on the edge of your seat.

5) Uglies Series by Scott Westerfeld
This series is about a future world where everyone undergoes an operation called “the Pretty” at age 16. It gives them perfect beauty, but it also comes with a price. Tally, the main character, is sick of waiting for her operation and decides to run away from home to avoid it.
She soon discovers that there is more to the world than she thought, and she must choose between the life she wants and the life she knows she needs to have.
The Uglies series is well-known for its exploration of the gray area between good and bad, right and wrong. The story forces readers to think about how much they are willing to sacrifice in order to be beautiful.

6) Matched Trilogy by Ally Condie
This series is about Cassia, a girl who lives in a world where things are all planned for you. You are Matched on your 17th birthday with someone who is supposed to be the love of your life. But when Cassia sees her friend Ky across a crowded room, she realizes that things are not what they seem.
The story follows Cassia, Ky, and Xander as they struggle to figure out what it means to be themselves in a society that tries to control them.
This trilogy is unique in its exploration of the idea of free will and what it really means to be happy. It’s also an incredibly romantic story; Cassia, Ky, and Xander each learn how to find happiness and love on their own terms.

7) The Selection Series by Kiera Cass
In this series, America is one of 35 girls who are chosen to compete for the love of the prince. The Selection is a chance for her to escape her ordinary life and live in luxury.

As America gets to know the other girls and the prince, she realizes that things are not as they seem. The competition is fierce, and the stakes are high.
The Selection is a story of love, heartbreak, and political intrigue. America must choose between her own happiness and what she knows is right.

8) Delirium by Lauren Oliver
This novel is set in a world where love is a disease that needs to be cured. Lena is chosen to be cured of love when she turns 18. But as she gets closer to her cure, she realizes that there is more to love than she thought.

Lena must choose between the life she has always known and a life where love is possible. This book is about choice, freedom, and what it means to be human.

The best young adult dystopian romance novels of the 21st century are a varied lot, but they all have one thing in common: these books will keep you turning pages until late into the night. Whether it’s love or politics that drives your reading motivation, there is bound to be something here for every type of reader.
So what are you waiting for? Read on!