Top 10 YA Science Fiction Books

Posted by Hayley on July 29, 2017

Sponsored by Ready Player One. Soon to be a major motion picture directed by Steven Spielberg.

Readers of young adult science fiction are used to the world ending. In the wake of The Hunger Games (and, to a somewhat lesser extent, The Giver), dystopian worlds have dominated the genre. The sky may be the limit, but not many characters are going there yet.

Our hunt for the best YA sci-fi books on Goodreads reflects this partiality to the post-apocalypse. We set the bar high, only including books with at least a 4.0 average rating. The result? A sometimes grim, always thrilling peek into the future—where young women and men have the power to change their fates.

How long will dystopia continue its YA reign? Already the tides are shifting, as Veronica Roth ditches the end of the world for space travel with her Carve the Mark series and Marie Lu seeks to put a cyberpunk twist on The Hunger Games with her upcoming Warcross.

Check out readers' top 10 YA sci-fi books and let us know how many you've read in the comments!

Rate this book
Clear rating
The Hunger Games
by Suzanne Collins

What to look forward to in the future: distasteful reality television!

To save her sister, Katniss willingly enters the Hunger Games, an annual televised event where 24 children must fight to the death.

Rate this book
Clear rating
by Veronica Roth

What to look forward to in the future: a life-changing personality test!

Welcome to the Chicago of the future, a city where everyone is divided into five factions based on one aptitude test they take as teens.

Rate this book
Clear rating
The Giver
by Lois Lowry

What to look forward to in the future: the absence of color!

Jonas' world shifts from utopian bliss to dystopian dread when he becomes his society's Receiver of Memory.

Rate this book
Clear rating
The Maze Runner
by James Dashner

What to look forward to in the future: puzzles that can kill you!

In the center of a towering, ever-shifting stone maze, a group of children must figure out how to escape—and how to survive.

Rate this book
Clear rating
by Marissa Meyer

What to look forward to in the future: cyborg heroines!

A sixteen-year-old cyborg tries to save her stepsister in this futuristic update on the classic Cinderella tale.

Rate this book
Clear rating
by Marie Lu

What to look forward to in the future: perpetual war!

After a brutal murder, a military prodigy and the country's most wanted criminal form an uneasy alliance to uncover the truth.

Rate this book
Clear rating
The 5th Wave
by Rick Yancey

What to look forward to in the future: waves of misery!

As one of Earth's last survivors, Cassie knows she must stay alone to survive…until a mysterious boy shows her a different way.

Rate this book
Clear rating
Shatter Me
by Tahereh Mafi

What to look forward to in the future: a literal kiss of death!

Accused of murder because of her fatal touch, Juliette struggles to understand if she possesses a gift or a curse.

Rate this book
Clear rating
by Neal Shusterman

What to look forward to in the future: forced organ donation!

Risa, Lev, and Connor band together to avoid "unwounding," a legal process where all of a person's organs are transplanted into different donors.

Rate this book
Clear rating
The Darkest Minds
by Alexandra Bracken

What to look forward to in the future: a disease with super side effects!

After Ruby escapes a government rehabilitation camp, she discovers a safe haven for other kids with frightening abilities.

What's your favorite YA sci-fi read? Share it with us in the comments.

See the complete coverage of Sci-Fi & Fantasy Week including:
Top 50 Science Fiction Books on Goodreads
Top 10 YA Fantasy Books
The Martian's Andy Weir Picks Space Colonization Sci-Fi

Ready Player One

Comments Showing 1-50 of 95 (95 new)

message 1: by Vikas (new)

Vikas Almost all of these series either I have read or they are on my TBR rack. Nice list.

Izzy Book Queen All of them <3

message 3: by ⭐Anny⭐ (Book Princess) (last edited Jul 29, 2017 01:45PM) (new)

⭐Anny⭐ (Book Princess) I've read 9 of them. The Hunger Games was the book that made me fall in love with dystopia <3333 and don't let me get started on Legend!!!

message 4: by laur gluchie (new)

laur gluchie Read 6/10 :)

message 5: by Zohal (new)

Zohal I've read 8 of the 10 :D

message 6: by Karen M (new)

Karen M Only read two but I already had two more on my wishlist.

message 7: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Martin I've read 5 of these, but my choice would be "Uglies".

message 8: by Denna (new)

Denna Brown Read or to be read on this shelf, hoping for more suggestions

message 9: by Sharon (new)

Sharon 4 out of 10. "The Giver" is my favorite.

message 10: by Sharry (new)

Sharry Read 6 of these! Can't believe I still haven't read the Giver :( Also, I loved Alexandra Bracken's Brightly Woven, should try The Darkest Minds, too!

message 11: by Ton (new)

Ton I've only read 3 out of these. I guess I'm a flop lol

message 12: by Ezgi (new)

Ezgi Tülü 8/10

message 13: by Enzo (new)

Enzo 6/10 I have read and loved Alexandra Bracken's other books should try The Darkest Mind shortly

message 14: by michelle. (new)

michelle. I've read 4.( Hunger Games, Divergent, Maze Runner and Legend) Legend or Divergent are probably my top 2 dystopian books out of these options. Although Legend was the one book that started my MASSIVE love for dystopian books. ;D

message 15: by Molly (new)

Molly Leyland Kelly wrote: "I've read 5 of these, but my choice would be "Uglies"."

Uglies is definitely in my top ten

message 16: by Ilona (last edited Jul 30, 2017 03:31AM) (new)

Ilona 9/10 and the missing one has enough 1 star reviews in its first page for me to be sure to avoid it.

The Hunger Games is my favorite but Unwind's idea is really unsettling.

message 17: by Ninosy (new)

Ninosy  (Wonder Woman) Cinder and Legend best of the best...

message 18: by Tasneem (new)

Tasneem Jamal Wow 10/10....

message 19: by Amber (new)

Amber 5/10

message 20: by Tazitazitazi (new)

Tazitazitazi I've read 4 of 10. One of them is The 5th Wave which I really disliked, and the others did not impress me. I guess YA Sci-Fi is not for me.

message 21: by ✨Catherine✨ (new)

✨Catherine✨ 9/10
Read all of them except Unwind, didnt finish 2.
Cinder and Legend and the Hunger Games!! The 5th Wave was good too.

message 22: by Laura (last edited Sep 15, 2017 06:39AM) (new)

Laura 9/10
Didn't read Unwind! Props to Cinder and The Hunger Games, my two favs on this list ;)

EDIT: 10/10 :D New fav: Unwind!

message 23: by Amber (new)

Amber I'm almost done with the Divergent series and I also thought Virals was a pretty good Scifi Thriller mystery YA series by Kathy Reichs too.

message 24: by Shaylia (new)

Shaylia Kelly wrote: "I've read 5 of these, but my choice would be "Uglies"."

Mine to <3<3

message 25: by Caroline (new)

Caroline | caro.library I've read the top 5. I haven't heard anything about Unwind, but I hope to read the rest of these.

message 26: by Andria (new)

Andria Henry I've read them all

message 27: by Rachie2929 (new)

Rachie2929 8 out of 10!

message 28: by S.R. (new)

S.R. Toliver I've read 6/10.. I'll have to add the others to my list of must-reads!

message 29: by mercy (new)

mercy ive read half of these and just added 3 of the others on to my to read list!

message 30: by Knute (new)

Knute Would that there were fewer dystopias, and more optimistic SF, YA and adult. Spider Robinson: "Over and over again I find in my short stories that I am, by policy, optimistic. Looking back on it and thinking it over after 25 years, I'm real proud of that. If that's a defect, it's a defect I'm sinfully proud of and I hope I can manage to maintain that excessively optimistic attitude for another 25 years. "

message 31: by Ana (new)

Ana Burmeister I have read six of these books. Of them, there are three I did not enjoy: "Divergent", "The Giver", and "The 5th Wave." The rest of the series of "The Giver" is phenomenal, though.

message 32: by Ellen (new)

Ellen Finally unwind makes it to a favourite list, it doesn't get enough credit. Highly recommend!

message 33: by Greta (new)

Greta Riordan 4/10

message 34: by Elvira (new)

Elvira Barinaga 7/10

message 35: by Elyse (new)

Elyse Great list! 9/10 I've read at least the first book on and obviously Legend is in my TBR.

message 36: by Marcela (new)

Marcela Sotelo Great list. I just read 5 of them, but I wish to read them all, except for The Maze Runner. Should add "Uglies" & "Delirium" to the list.

message 37: by Kamiko (new)

Kamiko 9/10...dang it

message 38: by Chris (new)

Chris Evans Divergent and Maze Runner put me off the genre unfortunately. Writers need to have an AT LEAST functional understanding of science to write science fiction stories.

message 39: by Betsy (new)

Betsy The only book on this list that I would consider Sci-Fi is Cinder. All the rest are dystopian. Just because it happens in a supposed future doesn't make it science fiction.

message 40: by Dark (new)

Dark Chocolate Gotta say i have most of them read or marked "to-read". I got some new additions just now though. I'm afraid my list "to-read" will never decrease :D

message 41: by Dana (new)

Dana 9/10

message 42: by Katherine (new)

Katherine Hayward Pérez There are more in this genre and sci fi than fantasy that I want to read. Have read the first book of the Hunger Games, and need to read the rest, plus all of the Divergent series and Cinder. Added some to my to read list.

message 43: by Kay (new)

Kay Weston I just read Amid Stars and Darkness by Chani Lynn Feener - it's a great read. I'd highly recommend it to lovers of YA, Romance and Sci-Fi :)

message 44: by Bookmeaway (new)

Bookmeaway I read them all ! 10/10

⭐Anny⭐ (Book Princess) Betsy wrote: "The only book on this list that I would consider Sci-Fi is Cinder. All the rest are dystopian. Just because it happens in a supposed future doesn't make it science fiction."
Yeah you're right! But great books nevertheless! ;)

message 46: by ReeMa (new)

ReeMa How did Shatter Me even make it to this list? It's the worst book ever!

message 47: by Elyse (new)

Elyse ReeMa wrote: "How did Shatter Me even make it to this list? It's the worst book ever!"

Which is your opinion and you are entitled to it.

message 48: by Kristina (new)

Kristina Just 3.

message 49: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer 6/10. I found Unwind (and the rest of the series) to be the most disturbing and most likely to happen.

message 50: by Tina (new)

Tina Fason 8 out of 10...not bad

« previous 1
back to top