Welcome to the Second Day of A Week Long Guest Post!
We have here Schuyler Esperanza of Dystopian Divas is talking about Dystopian Book Genre.
The floor is yours!
Young Adult Dystopian Books: Why We’re Hungry for More Hunger Games
Why read dystopian, when the works often feature intense human misery? Why are there suddenly so many young adult books in the genre; what do kids today know about suffering and deprivation? Diva Schuyler from Dystopian Divas writes about why she loves dystopian lit, particularly for teens.
It’s been interesting to watch the rise of dystopian tales (as well as post-apocalyptic reads) in the young adult market. I believe tragedies such as 9/11, Columbine, and the like here in America, and the current struggles for freedom in places like Libya, have wriggled their way into our unconscious minds; so that while we go about enjoying our freedom we are aware, too, of how life as we know it can end, brutally swift. Also, awareness of more personal tragedies such as bullying, child abuse, and homelessness is high, and sadly these issues are not abating. Today’s teens deal with a world where these problems are nearly inescapable. It’s either in their face due to internet/media exposure, or an undercurrent in their daily lives, or it IS daily life. Kids just know. Young adult literature reflects this knowing.
As an adult who faced childhood trauma, I read tales like Divergent by Veronica Roth to cheer on characters who either know, or come to know, life’s big and small tragedies, and then fight. Some of these characters face actual combat, like in Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games or Patrick Ness’s Chaos Walking trilogy, or a more subtle war, as in Ally Condie’sMatched or Angie Smibert’s Memento Nora. But always, they battle. And in every one of these stories, they find friends who fight alongside them. In dystopian tales, the main characters fight hard, and they love hard.
We suffer, celebrate, and love with them.
Maybe the question is not, “Why read dystopian?”, but “Why is today’s society such a perfect market for these stories?”
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Dystopian Divas Recommends:
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
The Knife of Never Letting Go is the first book in Patrick Ness’s Chaos Walking trilogy. It follows Todd, a boy about to become a man in Prentisstown, the scariest town you’ll ever hear of. And you’ll definitely “hear” Prentisstown—because people (and animals, too) are infected with a sickness that makes their every thought audible. Can secrets hide in such a place? Todd finds out in this scary, innovative, and supremely beautiful story.
Schuyler Esperanza (Diva Schuyler) is blog manager for Dystopian Divas, which celebrates dystopian books and books with dystopian elements. Dystopian Divas is currently taking guest post submissions for reviews, essays, fan art, and related features. Check out the blog at http://dystopiandivas.blogspot.com, and follow Diva Schuyler on Twitter: @ReadersInk.
What can you say about Dystopian books? are you a fan of this genre?
A big THANKS to Schuyler Esperanza for participating on this feature *waves*
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