Bookstr Picks: Fictional World We’d Hate to Be A Part Of

Leave the wardrobe door open— we love the following worlds to death but not quite enough to die there.

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It goes without saying that Bookstr values fantasy worlds capable of transporting readers to distant neverlands in the blink of a chapter. The inhabitable potential of some of these worlds, however, might be hindered by the bombed, devoured, oppressed, and sacrificed populations. Today, we’re discussing a few of those worlds we love reading about but might want to avoid inhabiting.

Chicago, The Divergent series by Veronica Roth

Divergent by Veronica Roth, Book cover
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This one is obvious, but I would not want to live in the world where The Divergent series is, which is post-apocalyptic Chicago. Chicago, in this book, has gone through a war of some kind, and you are forced to choose factions, groups of people who live by different morals. Not only is it a war zone, but you are forced to join a group where you are to follow orders and be one thing instead of many things like people can actually be. 

Talya Golian, Graphics

Panem, The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
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The Hunger Games universe is a dystopia set in Panem, a North American country consisting of the wealthy Capitol and 13 districts in varying states of poverty. Every year, children from the first 12 districts are selected via lottery to participate in a compulsory televised battle royale death match called The Hunger Games. Forced to fight to the death just to be punished for going against authority? That’s the only sentence you need to know….

Talya Golian, Graphics

The Scholomance Series by Naomi Novik

Deadly Education by Naomi Novik, book one os the Scholomance Series
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On the surface, a world where young mages train for four years at an interdimensional magical school sounds fun. However, the allure of that world sours once one learns that hordes of maleficaria are actively trying to eat the students of that school, and “graduation” consists of fighting for your life to escape certain death. On top of monsters, one also has to worry about being killed by other students who use stolen life forces to enhance their own powers. Uh, no thanks. I’m quite content living a mundane yet monster-free life.

Cara Hadden, Editorial

Airstrip One, 1984 by George Orwell

1984 by George Orwell, book cover.

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Needless to say, the dystopian world in 1984 and the authoritarian government that rules Airstrip One sounds less than appealing. The constant surveillance, the strict rules and curfew, and the total control the Party has even over your own thoughts are surely enough to drive anyone crazy. Being powerless in a world where the government has total control seems helpless and makes me grateful to live in the world we currently do, even if it’s far from perfect!

Madison Weir, Editorial

The Factions, Divergent, Veronica Roth

This dystopian world is kind of terrifying. To be divided into different factions based on your personality/traits isn’t the worst part of this world: it’s getting killed if you don’t fit into any singular one. Not to mention, it’s all random due to a gene mutation, so living in this world is about a 50/50 shot of survival. If you don’t want a spoiler, skip now, but even the main character didn’t survive! 

Alexandra Mellott, Editorial

America, Legend by Marie Lu

Legend by Marie Lu, book cover.
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While the series is a phenomenal read, there isn’t a single place (other than Antarctica) that I would want to live in. And I don’t like the snow, so… What portions of the world that aren’t underwater are ravaged by extreme weather or extreme dystopian mayhem? There isn’t a safe place in sight, let alone a cozy one either. There would be no sleeping, at least with both eyes closed.

Kristi Eskew, Editorial

The Wizarding World, Harry Potter Series by J.K Rowling

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling book cover
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Although I love the wizarding world, I’m perfectly fine never living in it. Attending Hogwarts, where it always seems humid and rainy, means my hair wouldn’t last five seconds, or I would have to find a spell to maintain it. I also feel like Slytherins get a bad rep, so I probably wouldn’t make any friends outside my house. Lastly, I live in the US, so I would probably end up at Ilvermorny, which I know little to nothing about.

Jhade Gales, Graphics

Middle Earth, The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien
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There’s nothing more I want out of life than my own hobbit hole, preferably near Bag End in Hobbiton. That, however, is roughly where the upsides of living on Middle Earth would end. Outside the idyllic Shire, you’ve got Nazgûl, Balrogs, goblins, orcs, uruk-hai, sorcerers, ghost kings, witch kings, fiery floating eyeballs, dragons, trolls, and wargs, to name a few inhabitants of the realm. Even the friendly monstrosities are still monstrosities; I don’t want to share oxygen with eagles boasting 180-foot wingspans.

Charlie Williams, Editorial

We at Bookstr are all for escapist fiction, and all of the worlds on this list speak to the limitless power of fantasy literature and imagination. If we’re going to inhabit a fantasy world, however, we’d like to return from our travels in one piece.


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