It is no secret that I like dystopian fiction. You know, like isn't even a good word. I adore it! I am researching dystopia from two sides, fictionally and academically. Each informs the other in my quest to better understand what dystopia means and how to classify it. My interest in dystopia started later than most. I don’t ever remember being exposed to dystopian young adult or middle grade fiction in middle school. The closest example would probably be The Wave which I read in middle school. The scariest thing about The Wave was that it was based on true events. One of the interesting distinctions in some dystopian definitions is that the story must be imagined and not be based on actual events. Do you think this is always the case? (To find out more about The Wave please check out this review.)
The first dystopian book I read was in high school when I was 15. We read 1984 and I remember it forever changing the way I read and the way I saw the world. Ever since I read this novel there has been a hunger inside of me to read more books like it. Often it could be hard to track down books that were dystopian, especially before the prevalence of so many online lists. When many online lists started emerging I would see the same titles over and over again. I wanted something new and fresh. I think that is part of why young adult dystopias are so intriguing for me. For the most part, they have no other option but to set forth new and fresh ideas, not to mention that more and more of them are being published every year. Somehow the strong young adult dystopia tradition has passed under the radar until recently. But luckily all those books of the past are not gone and can still be devoured by our new interests.
And considering all this, it would seem that joining a dystopian fiction challenge would be a no brainer. The only problem is? The last dystopian challenge I joined, I failed. *gasp* I know, I know. I hope to do better this time, to learn from my mistakes. With about 60 young adult dystopian books on my shelves that I haven’t read yet I have plenty of books to choose from. Collecting these books has become a passion of mine and I have recently been on a lucky streak finding the right prices.
I hope that the books I choose to read for this challenge will help me further explore issues that I considered in The Problem with Dystopia. I love how many different facets of dystopian fiction there is. I am excited every time I pick up a book to see where this one will take me. And there is always the hope that a book will take me to place I have never been before. That happened with Unwind and The Hunger Games.
I am excited to once again join Darren’s young adult dystopian challenge. He has made it super easy with different levels so you should head over there and join! I have joined several dystopian challenges in the past, but honestly I am the most eager for this one. I have been in such a reading slump I am hoping to get pushed right on out of it. There are so many great books piled up waiting for me to read, and so many more still to be purchased and published. The surge in dystopian young adult literature is fascinating to me and also very convenient, given my interest in it!
Although I have the fabulous Utopian and Dystopian Writing for Children and Young Adults, so much of the academic research of dystopia is centered around the adult sphere. I am hoping by exploring everything there is to explore I can get a better understanding of dystopia in general and then apply that to young adult novels.
Have you found there is a particular type of dystopian novel you enjoy? I really like the novels that feature a lot of technology. I think technology was part of what first drew me to dystopian literature, but I love how sometimes low tech books can take me by surprise with the depth of their world.
The challenge has 3 levels and despite my recent failure, I am not going to take it easy on myself. I will join at Level 3!
Level 3: Is for the dystopian die-hards! Minimum requirement for this level is five young adult dystopian novels, between the 1st October and 19th December. There is, however no maximum cap, you can keep reading for as many books as you like!
Listing your reading choices is not required, but I would like to suggest to myself some of the books I am thinking about reading. With so many books here it can often get hard to focus. The challenge spans a relatively short amount of time and finishing books has been my weakness. I hope with some dedication I can power through some of these books and really end my reading year with a bang.
Matched by Ally Condie
The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan
Crashed by Robin Wasserman
Green Boy by Susan Cooper
Shift by by Charlotte Agel
The Clone Codes by the McKissacks
The Lost Art by Simon Morden
Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder
Witch and Wizard by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonne
Are there any books you have found out about since you joined the challenge that you are now planning on reading? I would love to know the titles that look too good to pass up.