Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Breakfast with the Bookie - My Two Cents on YA Dystopian

Hello Lovelies! It’s Wednesday, WHICH is when Breakfast with the Bookie is hosted. I’m sorry there wasn’t a discussion last week but it was my Debut of the Month feature with Paige Harbison and it didn’t feel right to go ‘ sorry, we going to stop the show and feature…’

Anyway, Breakfast with the Bookie is a weekly feature here at Badass Bookie. Basically it’s a discussion post you can read and share your opinions about! It can range from a number of things including advice, pet peeves, Q&A‘s and of course, YA fiction!
This week’s topic – My Two Cents on YA Dystopian

Dystopian is becoming an incredibly popular genre among YA fiction. I suffer from this case of OCD where I not only have to organize my own books into categories, I have to organize books in the general into categories. So Harry Potter Era – Way back-2007, Vampire Era – 2008-Mid-2010, Dystopian Era – Mid 2010-present. YA Dystopian is increasing in number and popularity. This is the start of a new era, one that could that could possibly outlast…The Vampire Era.

I can positively say the majority of readers have read at least one dystopian novel. New York Times Bestselling, Matched by Ally Condie and Across the Universe by Beth Revis. Recently released, Delirium by Lauren Oliver. Upcoming Bumped by Megan McCafferty, Possession by Elana Johnson and Wither Lauren DeStefano. The international bestseller – The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins, not only selling millions of copies worldwide but making it to the silver screen ( 2012). The domination of Dystopian fiction right before our eyes.

My two cents? It’s a little boring. I love Dystopian fiction, it’s unique, one of a kind and original. Yet it’s all the same. Now, before you say ‘ you’re not making any sense’ hear me out. When you look at the bigger picture, you will see that all Dystopian fiction is somewhat similar. It’s all about freedom, throwing the rule book out the window, separating truths from lies, forbidden love and finding who you are.

While each story line is unique, each controlling society portrayed differently and each character unique and facing their own demons, they are all fighting for the same thing – freedom. It’s hard to explain but I love dystopian fiction yet I don’t. On the originality radar, Dystopian fiction absolutely dominates yet the story line of each book is so similar to one another, I can’t help but find it boring.

Also, it’s not just the same storyline base that’s a little old but the books themselves. I loved every Dystopian I have read but most of them were a little boring. The start is always the best, original, exciting new society ‘ohhh ahhh’ and then character does something forbidden like fall in love with the wrong guy. Then there’s this whole chunk of the book full of internal fighting where they try to reject these feelings, before the action starts. AND THEN when it finally gets interesting, it’s the end. All of it is a little slow paced for me, I like my novels action packed. WHICH is why I loved The Hunger Games, it’s all dystopian and action.

Bottom line, I love dystopian but it can be boring. Compared to other books I have read, all the Dystopias are rated pretty high on my radar, usually a 4-5 but even than they can be boring. It’s not a terrible bore like it is when you read some poorly written novel with a lame plot and even lamer characters but it’s still...boring.

In defense of Dystopia, you can only let there be some much action and chaos in a book about a strict and controlling society, maybe Dystopian is meant to be a little bring, I don’t know but that’s my two cents. I LOVE it but it can be boring. Your thoughts? You’re with me or you’re not? What’s you two cents?

Badass Bookie xx


  1. Oh, man. I could not feel more differently. I LOVE this genre and love that it's exploded. There are dystopias that I've loved more than others, but each one is a snapshot of a possible future to me. I love thinking about where our world is headed, and what's wrong with it right now that could become even more pronounced in the future. Books like Veronica Roth's Divergent are just brilliant. Across the Universe? Loved it. Hunger Games? I love it so much I've taught it for three years!

    I know that some people are getting tired of this genre, but I'm far from sick of it. I can read more and more. Keep 'em coming!

  2. Dystopian is definitely my new favorite genre. Yes, the books have similar setups (just as so many paranormals are about teens discovering they're actually witches/vampires/werewolves/angels/demon hunters, etc.), but that's part of the dystopian experience. That being said, it's always nice to find ORIGINALITY within the genre. Speaking of, have you tried Patrick Ness' Chaos Walking series? It's action-packed and refreshingly different.

  3. I wouldn't say I've read that many Dystopian books, aside from the Noughts and Crosses Series and The Declaration by Gemma Malley (is this even considered Dystopian? If not, it should be) but I can see how they'd get boring over time.

  4. Ah I'm torn in two directions. I can see what you mean about how they're all similar in terms of story, but I also LOVE dystopia. I love reading about the societies and whatever crazy conspiracies/tech/circumstances the author comes up with. It's so exciting!
    I think what I love most is always the thought that dystopian novels could be based in science fiction and then it makes you look at your own society and wonder if what you're reading could one day happen for real.
    I don't know, it's just a genre I love and can always see myself reading and enjoying. Bring on the dystopia!

  5. Having read and been terrified by The Hunger Games, I can't say I'm very much in love with Dystopia. While, on the one hand, I applaud the originality and masterful writing, I'm a bit of a wimp when it comes to my books. I like to escape, to see good conquering evil, to see the heroes get their party (or quiet celebratory drink with friends) when the day is done. Dystopias often have SO MUCH going on, SO MUCH wrong, and SO MUCH grey shades's hard to get excited/happy at the ending. So, I might enjoy a smattering of dystopia here and there, but I think I'm currently tapped out for the year.