Hungering for More Dystopia
Then you might want to read this:
Especially if you are needing another dystopian novel read.
Once finishing the Hunger Games trilogy I found myself cruising the library stacks looking for something to fill the void. I needed another Katniss. I craved more page-turning plot. I required a book, make that another series, about individuals standing up against the system. My book booster buddy, “E”, suggested I try out Divergent by Veronica Roth. I put in my library request. And waited. Long wait. Apparently others had discovered Roth’s writing filled their void as well.
Sometime in the future and we’ve got some serious Dystopian times. Society is now divided up into five factions and upon turning sixteen a person must decide which faction he or she will choose. This will be a life-changing decision: families will be separated and relationships tried, refined and perhaps broken.
Beatrice chooses a faction other than the one she grew up with and she finds herself in a totally alien environment. She struggles with her identify, as well the values she’s grown up with all her life. She also lives with the fact she hides a secret–one that could get her killed if it is revealed.
What I like:
Sure the plot is similar to Hunger Games, and that’s one reason why I like the book. It has a page-turning plot, a strong and likable protagonist, a government gone wrong, and a love interest brewing in the background. The rich vocabulary is worth mentioning, as well as the restraint on gratuitous violence, sex, and swearing–which is one reason Hunger Games was such a winner in my opinion. Divergent is almost 600 pages. I devoured it in two days. Devouring pages is one of my requirements for a good book.
On the subject of dystopia–why am I, like so many other readers, attracted to stories about societies gone wrong? Personally, I am not a person who appreciates chaos, yet I find myself intrigued by books where the world is on the verge of disorder and disruption. Hmm, some reflection. Am I attracted to what I fear? Am I heartened and relieved that when I put down the book I still have a voice, an identity, and a vote? To get even more analytical here is a quick list of dystopian books from way past to recent read:
College (of course)
High School (oh yeah–gotta love that required reading)
And the short stories of those wonderful curriculum textbooks (okay, a couple I like)
Recent Reads of My Own Volition:
Maybe utopia would be too easy to envision. What could be interesting about a perfect world? What do they teach in the short story unit–yes, you do too know: no conflict, no story. I guess as much as I crave peace, it’s the conflict that keeps things interesting.