Thursday, 29 September 2011

Dystopian Novels


Popular genres in YA fiction come and go. We have seen epic fantasy with books such as Harry Potter and Vampire novels like Twilight. From Vampires came all sorts of different creature books such as werewolves to angel novels. As a book blogger I like to stay on top of what’s “hot” in the book world and a fairly recent trending genre in YA fiction which I am rapidly becoming obsessed with is dystopia. I was first introduced to this genre when I read Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman a few years ago and recently fell back in love after reading The Hunger Games trilogy.

So what is dystopia? I found it hard to actually come up with a accurate definition since its such an open broad genre. Wikipedia states dystopia is the idea of a society in a repressive and controlled state by the government or a dictator. In my opinion it is like an alternative reality without the heavy fantasy which some people dislike. A society which includes an overbearing government where humans are repressed in many different aspects of their life such as marriage and appearance. The word "dystopia" is, in fact, the opposite of utopia. Since a utopia is an idealistically perfect society, then it follows that dystopia would be the opposite. In many dystopian novels the government are trying to maintain a “utopia” society and to stop any potential uprisings and usually failing in this.

What attracts me is the realism of many dystopian novels. Although they are not strictly books set in today’s society dealing with fairly normal teenage issues, people can still relate on a level which you just can’t do with fantasy novels. Maybe it’s the similarity to Communist society people experienced a few decades ago or the way dystopian novels make you think about your life and how the world we live in is run and is it really corrupt? Are we really products of a controlled repressive government? It also makes me think a lot about my own values and human nature and I think if a book can really make you think this hard then its done its job well.

My question to you guys is in your opinion what makes dystopia such a compelling genre to read?

Examples of YA dystopian novels which I would recommend include: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Divergent by Veronica Roth, Matched by Ally Condie, Wither by Lauren DeStefano and Across the Universe by Beth Revis.





3 comments:

  1. I would also add The Maze Runner trilogy to your list of must-reads. The first book, The Maze Runner wasn't the easiest to get through, but I wanted to continue the story and so, picked up The Scorch Trials. I LOVED The Scorch Trials and I can't wait for the last book.
    I think people like dystopian novels for the reasons you listed and for a couple of other reasons. I agree that they make people think. I think people like to evaluate themselves to see if they think they are strong enough to stand up against immeasurable odds or to think how they themselves would fight against the oppressor.
    Whatever makes the genre so great, I'm going to keep reading them!
    Thanks for the thought-provoking post!

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  2. I have The Maze Runner on my bookshelf waiting to be read! I heard its very fast paced and exciting, can't wait to read!

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  3. Love this post!
    I think the great thing about these types of books is that it makes you ask yourself what would you do?
    Across The Universe is one of my favourite reads of this year, it's amazing.

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