Dystopias and Similar

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Prof. Rilla White
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Dystopias and Similar

Postby Prof. Rilla White » Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:24 pm

So, for the past few years I have been on a Dystopia kick. No one can seem to write them as fast as I can read them. With work I haven't had as much time to read so I was excited for the extra time this summer.

On the way home from our honeymoon location my husband and I listened to the first in the Maze Runner series which is just called Maze Runner. It was a little slow moving in a few parts but otherwise I enjoyed listening to it. I can usually tell when I enjoy a book by whether I go find the next in the series or hunt down more books from the same author. As soon as we got home I hurried to find a digital copy of book 2 The Scorch Trials which only took me a few days to devour. Finally, this week I just finished The Death Cure which is my first book for the summer reading challenge.

For those looking to read The Maze Runner I'll warn you it's pretty dark and fairly graphic at parts, more so than some dystopias I've read and less so than others. The main character you can't help but like and also kind of get annoyed with. The supporting characters are great. This series has one of the things I really enjoy with most young adult fiction and that is humor. I love the fact that even though people are going through horrible things they are able to crack jokes and try to keep their spirits up. I hope if anything horrible happens to our world similar to any of these dystopias that at least some people will be able to find the humor in it all.

So, my question is... who else is totally addicted to dystopias? Who else finds themselves reading them all even if they have similar themes or if some of them just really aren't that good? I'm looking forward to hearing what others have to say and maybe getting some more ideas of books to read.
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Re: Dystopias and Similar

Postby Prof. Rilla White » Mon Jul 24, 2017 5:16 am

I'd hoped some other folks would add to this thread but alas no one has yet.

I've finished another Dystopia, The Program by Suzanne Young which is part of a series. This series is placed sometime in the somewhat near future. People have smart phones, tvs, etc. but there aren't any flying cars or really any major technologies we don't have now. The premise of the series is that there is an epidemic among teenagers and teens who show symptoms are forced to get treatment in The Program.
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Re: Dystopias and Similar

Postby Prof. Amy Lupin » Fri Aug 04, 2017 2:20 pm

I also went through a phase of wanting to read any dystopias I could get my hands on. Some books/series that have intrigued me include Divergent (although I confess I wasn’t too happy with Allegiant ),The Hunger Games, The Giver and Station Eleven.

Most recently, I read The Testing series by Joelle Charbonneau. The first book is centered around Malencia, or Cia, who for years has wanted nothing more than to be chosen for the Testing so that she can take her place at the University and become a future leader of the United Commonwealth. However, as she later finds out, the Testing is not as glamorous as it first seemed.

While I found there were a number of parallels to other dystopias, particularly The Hunger Games, and a few things seemed rather extreme, I found myself turning the pages, eager to read more. The last book (and the events leading up to it) were disappointing, however, as certain things didn’t make much sense, such as the president putting a teenage girl in charge of a rebellion. Other aspects such as whether or not Cia could trust certain characters quickly grew tiresome.

There are a few other dystopias I have been eyeing out, so chances are I’ll be back here soon.
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Re: Dystopias and Similar

Postby Prof. Gustavo Flores » Sat Aug 05, 2017 3:40 pm

Prof. Rilla, have you read the classic one Fahnrenheit 451?? It was written by Ray Bradbury, and this novel narrates about a future in which books are prohibited and the job of firemen is to burn all the books that they find! That is definately a future I would never like to see! Take my books, and you take away my life!

Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles, is also quite good! There are some short stories in that book that really leave you thinking if you like dystopian novels.

I have always related dystopias with science fiction, and the following author has written some of them, that are not precisely dystopias but they talk about the future but taking it from a humanistic point of view, and it actually gives you hope. The author is Theodore Sturgeon, and the particular book I am talking about is The Dreaming Jewels.From Sturgeon, there's also a short story titled Special Aptitude, that is simply LOVE!! It narrates about an outerspace journey, with a special mission to find the Venus Crystals, however in order to reach them they have to face the Gabblers, some threating-look creatures. The ending is not what you would expect and the main character, Slopes, is endearing, and it teaches us such a great lesson

So if you like science fiction, and reading about perspectives of the future, I would recommend these two reading by Theodore Sturgeon :)
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Re: Dystopias and Similar

Postby Hannah R Thomas » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:52 am

I guess you can say that this is along the lines of a dystopia genre, in which the author, Richelle Mead, takes her new the YA series, The Glittering Court, and brings in some actual history as a base in creating the storyline. This is a trilogy of the same story, but of each book taking a different person's point of view (P.O.V). The storylines are different for each person and their journeys are different. For example, one is along the lines of being rich and wishes to escape the life of an arranged marriage and another is that of a war refugee. I would say that you can read either book in the series The Glittering Court (I read this last year) or it's "sequel," Midnight Jewel, (just came out) first and still know about each character with little crossover in the protagonists' stories.
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Re: Dystopias and Similar

Postby Hannah R Thomas » Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:19 pm

Another dystopia collection of books is Chicagoland Vampires by Chloe Neill. There are currently 13 books in the series and I have read up to the 10th, Blood Games. You are basically in Chicago, where the protagonist, Merit, goes from a normal life as a graduate student to everything going down the hole. Merit is dragged into a supernatural world that takes her on many different journeys around the new world she exposed to, friends, and family. She becomes the vampire everyone takes interest to: other vampires, werewolves, shifters, etc. It's her world going from quiet to her being the center of attention.
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Re: Dystopias and Similar

Postby Rowan Oswald » Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:59 pm

I don’t know if you have already read some of the more classic dystopias, but I have finally got around to reading Clockwork Orange this summer and it fits the bill. The protagonist, Alex is a 15-year-old boy and it’s written in first person from his perspective, which makes it all the more intense. It does take a little while to get used to the invented slang words, but it is done very cleverly so it works to make the world more real. What I thought was brilliant was that there are no morally good characters and unlike some modern dystopia fiction, there’s no clear cut ‘good side’.

Alex’s parents are afraid to go out at night because teenagers like Alex himself stalk the street beating people up, breaking into houses, thieving and worse. At the same time, what happens to Alex when he’s caught is terrifying. It’s a pretty short book, but it’s the kind of thing that makes you think for a long time afterwards.
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Re: Dystopias and Similar

Postby Hanna Inari » Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:44 am

I liked dystopias even before I knew what they are, and it's one of my favourite plots in books (and films and anime). For example, one of my favourite animes "Toward Terra" has such a plot, as does the famous book "Hungry Games" (even though I'm not really into it, and I didn't read the other books or watch the films). I usually met dystopias as a part of the plot rather than an actual and main storyline, so recently I decided to delve into classics and read two books: "1984" by Orwell and "Brave New World" by Huxley.

It wasn't a very pleasant experience, especially with "1984". After reading it I shouted to my friend that the things shown there were unpleasant and even nauseating, and that I didn't get why one would write such a horrid book because everything might be shown in a more beautiful way. Even though I realise that this must be the author's aim to shock the reader and thus make them think about the downsides of our society, I still don't like it. Also, it doesn't have any plot, all the characters are unpleasant and, in general, it would look better as a philosophical text rather than a fictional book. In addition, in my opinion the world shown there is illogical and can't exist in reality; all the motives of the party were unlikely. But I realise that I'm lucky to live in the present where the main part of the reality that was more similar to this book already became the past.

The other one, "Brave New World", is more interesting and lighter. It actually has a plot, and I could even empathise with some of the characters. Also, it is more similar to the problems we have now. It shows a bunch of modern problems such as loneliness among others who don't like you because you're different, fear of being alone, prevailing of the physical aspect of love, pressure of society, high standards that make you hated by others if you're not enough young and beautiful. Even though I liked it in general, I didn't like its ending. It was unexpected but it wasn't good.

The next dystopia I'd like to read is Fahrenheit 451 and I have high hopes for it because Bradbury is one of my favourite writers. The only worry I have is that I always cry when I read his books. But if somebody could write a dystopia that I'd like, it should be him.


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