On Dystopian Young Adult Fiction

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Small confession: I caved and read another romance novel. And then reread two others I fell in love with last year.

I can’t apologize, because they were all great. I have mad love for Karina Halle’s work. I also may have a small thing for soccer players… I make no apologies for this.



Then, of course, I explored my saved shelves (yes, the real and the digital), and discovered just how many Young Adult, female heroine driven, post-apocalyptic, dystopian fiction there is in the world.

I’m not complaining at all, but holy cow, I’d never actually realized there was so much of it! And no, I do not believe that there is any harm/shame/what-have-you in reading books geared toward high school students. I read Anna Karenina when I was eleven, and I read the complete works of William Shakespeare a year later (yes, I’m serious). Read everything and read it because you like it, okay? (Just not “Fifty Shades”…)

Most recently, I finished the Chemical Garden series by Lauren DeStephano, and while there were a few parts that dragged just a little, I did enjoy the concept. The premise is that we’ve completely eradicated genetic diseases, cancer, immune disorders, and the like, all at the cost of human life expectancy. Men die at 25, women ay 20. The only people who live longer are “first generations” who were born before these effects took hold, and not necessarily everyone is born as perfect human specimens. There are still those with birth defects that are looked down upon as malformed.

Enter Rhine, who is essentially kidnapped and sold into marriage, and who has heterochromatic eyes (one brown, one blue), which intrigues her new father-in-law scientist/doctor/psycho.

Not my favorite series of this genre, but certainly worth a read. A solid three out of five orange trees.

      

Another I finally got around to in the past few months is the Selection series by Keira Cass. This one takes a note from Suzanne Collins by “selecting” girls from different portions of what was once the Americas. Teenage America (yes, that’s her name) is selected and sent away to be courted by the nation’s prince. There’s also a caste system (probably one of my favorite “rules” of this world) that determines your job, indicates who you might marry, etc.

Not the craziest, most complex read I’ve found, but certainly enjoyable, and I really loved the different rebelling factions. Another solid three out of five stolen pennies.

      

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer is truly excellent. I reserve five out of five for knocked-my-socks-off-could-not-put-down-Harry-Potter-and-the-Prisoner-of-Azkaban-level-rock-star-awesome, but “Cinder” gets four out of five screwdrivers. Loved, loved, loved it, and I won’t bother to explain. Read it now. (And yes, there are more than what I’ve added links to, but obviously, start here.)

      

Those are examples, because I’m sure I don’t need to tell you about the Divergent series or the Hunger Games. More still that fit the category quite neatly are the Matched series, the Delirium series, the Shatter Me series, the Uglies series, the Mortal Instruments, the Infernal Devices, and you know I can keep going.

The next two I’m looking forward to taking for a spin are “A Thousand Pieces of You” by Claudia Gray (which I’ve already dug into and is part of the Firebird series) and “The Forsaken” by Lisa M. Stasse.

   

For those of you who are not as voracious, perhaps, as I am about reading until your eyeballs fall out, enjoy the next few weeks/months of bedtime reading, and you’re welcome.

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