Dystopian February

Dystopian FebruaryWe’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.

Dystopian February

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.

The challenge

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:

Matched

Delirium

Hunger Games

And a quick Google search turns up dozens of YA dystopian novels.

Help?

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.

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4 Responses

  1. Susan Brehm February 5, 2011 / 1:17 pm

    Hmmm… I looked at two of those books on amazon… I say, why torture yourself? No dystopian books for me, that’s for sure. :-D

    • bookzilla February 5, 2011 / 1:49 pm

      I’m already an elitist snob when it comes to e-readers; I should probably make an effort to at least know why I dislike the dystopian genre. :) I look at this as my last hoorah: if I despise the one book I read for this challenge, then I’ll know for sure that I’m done with dystopian. But the book I get may surprise me, and I love books that do that.

  2. justpassingby February 13, 2011 / 4:29 pm

    Stumbled upon your blog and thought i’d tell you that i just finished reading Delirium and I thought it was great, i’d definitely recommend it :)

    • bookzilla February 13, 2011 / 9:05 pm

      The reviews of it I’ve read all have that same thought! Unfortunately I don’t think it’s actually going to be available for sale until after February. :( But I’m going to keep an eye out for it for sure. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you stick around!

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