Thoughts on Dystopian Books

Looking at my bookshelf and lists of books I have read in the past, I realized that a lot of them are dystopian. This post is really late, because all of these books have been out for a while, but I thought it’d be interesting to write about my opinion on dystopian books. 🙂

First of all, I have to answer the question, what is dystopian? Before writing this, I knew the meaning, but if you asked for a definition I couldn’t give you an exact one. After Googling it (because Google is the best 😉 ) I decided I like the Merriam-Webster definition best.

Dystopia: an imaginary place where people lead dehumanized and often fearful lives.

Now that we know exactly what dystopian is, here are a few common elements that generally occur in a dystopian novel:

  • It’s set far ahead in the future, where the world has been broken and put back together in a completely different way than we know it.
  • There is a “Society” of some sort that control everything. Everything seems to be perfect.
  • Obedience to the Society is required.
  • The main character is usually a rebel against the Society, whether by choice or accident.

I looked up “dystopian books,” and I have to admit that I’ve only read a small few. I’m going to talk about those few- most of them are popular and I bet you have read them or at least heard of them.

The Giver, by Lois Lowry

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The Giver is practically a classic. It is the first thing I think of when I think of dystopian. There is a Society creating a “perfect” world, and the main character, Jonas, is thrust into a job where he discovers that the world is- and was -so much more than a colorless, tasteless snowglobe of perfection. I haven’t seen the movie that came out a while ago, but I’ve heard it’s a good representation of the book.

The Selection, by Kiera Cass

Is this dystopian? I’m not sure. :/ The reason why I’m leaning towards yes is because the Selection series takes place in North America, except it’s all new countries and stuff. Let’s be honest, though, the reason I love the Selection series so much is because of America and Maxon.♥

Matched, by Ally Condie

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I tried to make this picture so cool, but I think it failed.

This book is highly disliked among many people. 😦 I really enjoyed it! (Though I DNF’d the rest of the series.) The idea behind the book is pretty interesting- in a nutshell, you’re matched with the person you’re going to marry. The main character is matched with someone, but she falls in love with someone else and wants to be with them instead. This is very dystopian, what with its Society and its Official, its ideal world and its rebelling main character. There are a few points where I can see why people wouldn’t like Matched:

  • The main character, Cassia, is a little selfish. At least to me. She wants to throw off the perfection of her Society just so she can have what she believes (at seventeen) to be her happily ever after.
  • The love triangle! It makes me want to scream.
  • Even though I’m not on the side of the Society at all, some of the things they do actually make sense. Cassia doesn’t understand that, though.

The One Safe Place, by Tania Unsworth

I read this a long time ago, so I can’t remember all the details. I did a review on it back on my old blog, so if you want more information about it, you can read that. I really should reread it soon. 🙂

The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

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Dystopian? Post-apocalyptic? Both? Whatever The Hunger Games is, it’s a good one. An aspect of this book that is very dystopian is The Capital, and how Katniss was thrust into being part of the Hunger Games. She didn’t have a choice; it was just how the society was. Also, the world as we know it today had fallen.

Divergent, by Veronica Roth

I haven’t read Divergent. Partially because the ending was spoiled for me by accident (okay, not really by accident, but I won’t go into the story) and partially because I haven’t had too much interest in trying it until lately. If you’ve read it, I’d really appreciate you commenting what you thought about it so I can see if it’s something I’d like to look into soon. 😀

Among the Hidden, by Margaret Peterson Haddix

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I’m a giant fan of Margaret Peterson Haddix, and while Among the Hidden is a very quick read, it won’t disappoint you in any way. The main character, Luke, is a third child. But in the Society he lives in, parents are only allowed two children. Luke has to spend his days hiding from everyone and everything. I’m not entirely sure if this is dystopian, but I’m leaning towards dystopian because there’s talk of this Population Law being fairly new. That hints at a former world- one without this society and all its restrictions.

Overall, I enjoy reading dystopian books. Even though many of them are made of the same cookie cutter mold, each one has a unique twist that makes them worth reading. 🙂 What are your favorite dystopians? What do you think of the ones I mentioned during this post? See you in the comments!

-Olivia♥

P.S. I want to take a moment to thank you all for all of your support! My stats have been increasing lately, and this is a huge thank-you for any follower, commenter, liker, and just reader in general! I love you all.

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11 thoughts on “Thoughts on Dystopian Books

  1. Lilahsbookshelf says:

    Great post! I enjoy reading dystopian novels. Out of these books I’ve only read Among The Hidden, and The Selection books. I think The Selection in definitely dystopian! I’ve been really loving The Lunar Chronicles which are dystopian. Have you read them? The first book, Cinder is great!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. artsyklutzy says:

    I agree that they’re mostly “made of the same cookie cutter mold” hahah! I’ve only read The Hunger Games and Divergent though… Both started off great for me, but somehow out of the 3 books, nothing beats the first book of the series – my thoughts anyway :p

    Liked by 1 person

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