We’re a month into the New Year, and so far I think I’ve been doing fairly well with my 2011 blogging resolutions: participating in memes has gotten me out of my commenting shell, and I’m following my first male blogger, A Guy’s Moleskine Notebook.
The one resolution I’ve been dreading is #3: read out of my comfort zone. And to me no genre is quite as uncomfortable as dystopian.
My first brush with the genre was in eighth grade, when I read Orwell’s 1984. It scared the crap out of me, and it was quite awhile before I’d even pick up any book that had the merest hint of futuristic utopian society.
Call me a romantic, but I just hate books with unhappy endings. If I wanted to read about dictatorial all-seeing governments and societies collapsing under the weight of their own stupidity, I’d watch the news. Books are supposed to be fantastical and magical. I’m not saying that all the books I read need to have rainbows and unicorns and sparkly vampires (although…); I just don’t enjoy books that make me fear for the future, or where a character is unable to be with the person he or she loves.
This is, of course, generally what happens in dystopian literature — at least in the several novels I’ve read. They’re scary and sad and depressing, and not something I care to read. And yet it’s an important genre, one which contains social commentary and a lot of meaning. What’s a girl to do?
When I heard about Dystopian February (image takes you to the original challenge post), I figured that participating would force me to bite the bullet. So sometime this month, Lord help me, I’ll be reading and reviewing a dystopian novel.
It’s pretty simple: read a dystopian novel. Rather than re-reading 1984 or Fahrenheit 451, I thought I might try some YA dystopian fiction. I know that I love the YA part, and since most novels in that genre tend to end fairly happily, I figure it might be a good way to dip my toe in the water.
But now I don’t know which book to read, or even really how to go about finding a good one. The blogosphere as been talking non-stop about several recently, though:
And a quick Google search turns up dozens of YA dystopian novels.
Has anyone read any of these? Would any of them be a good “first” for me, or is there another book or series that would be better? I’d love to know what you guys think.