My friends, I will be the first to admit that I have a borderline unhealthy appreciation for dystopian fiction.
Has modern greed and excess sent society spiraling into a post-apocalyptic wasteland? Sweet. Have we traded vast technological advances that improve quality of life for some while most suffer from a tyrannical government? I’m in. Have a couple of hardened and resilient teens begun to fall in love despite it being the end of mankind as we know it? Are there only a few survivors left on earth? Will there be a revolution of any kind? I’m already on chapter three.
Hannah has explained in her post about why the Hunger Games could be considered an addictive substance like cocaine or Oreos, and I’d like to talk about how we’ve read enough books about end-of-the-world scenarios to compile a genre. Some are great, some are corny and terrible, but if you judge them by the summaries on their inside covers, they’re all worth a try. It’s a little something I like to call The Twilight Effect. After the hysterical success of Stephanie Meyers’ vampire love-story trilogy, the world of books flooded with similar tales of supernatural, blood-sucking love. Now, post-Hunger Games explosion, (though I will admit that the Hunger Games is a vastly superior trilogy to Twilight), dystopian fiction crowds the Young Adult sections of bookstores everywhere, both old and new. So if you’re into seemingly-hopeless stories about post-apocalyptic societies, here are some of the best Hannah and I have found.
- The Giver, by Lois Lowry (for the younger crowd, but it’s Hann’s favorite).
- The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
- Divergent, by Noelle Roth (kind of a knock-off Hunger Games, compelling as hell).
- Delirium, by Lauren Oliver
- Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
- Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
- The Circle, by Dave Eggers
The inspiration for this post came from The Circle, a Christmas present I bought for myself and finished in three days. It’s about an all-encompassing, social media-based company whose innovations inspire radical change, including cameras that record every moment of everyone’s lives and successfully end privacy as the world knows it. It’s well-written and full of social commentary and one of the best books I’ve read in a while. If anyone wants to borrow my copy, let me know.