I am a very picky person when it comes to reading books. These feelings then make it more difficult for me to do my all-time favourite activity, which is reading. Personally, I have never cared for the romance genre, as I feel that they move more slowly in terms of plot and there is nothing keeping me on my toes and wanting more. I can get behind some fantasy novels, but again I’m very picky and if there isn’t a character that I like I will quickly put the book down. Now, I do love a good mystery novel, and if it wasn’t for the fact that it’s so difficult to find a good dystopian novel, I never would have investigated that genre. You may disagree but let me remind you why this genre is so amazing.
- it can be an allegory
Sometimes, the books in this genre reflect what is happening in current society. For example, novels like 1984 and The Circle reflect the darkness of technology and surveillance that the Government can have power over. Thus, if you can look closely enough, you may be able to find an allegory within the novel.
- fascination with the characters
There is something about the characters that are built from these novels that genuinely make them more appealing than characters from different genres. Hear me out on this one, these characters are oddly more relatable than the basic, helpless main character or a heroine with no negative thoughts. We often see these characters go through extreme hardships, and we’re interested in seeing how they react to the situations they are put in. Are they going to take revenge bravely, or cower away timidly? The dystopian authors are able to build strong characters that defy authority and lead revolutions like Katniss from The Hunger Games.
- there’s a “rightness” to it
This may sound weird, but let’s think about some dystopian novels that have strong controlling governments. The Handmaid’s Tale or Divergent are examples where the government is in control of what people can do with their lives. In a sense, there’s a ‘rightness’ in reading about the negatives of another futuristic society. This could be due to the fact that we live in a society where people can do bad things – and these novels feel honest.
- There’s an objective
There is an actual objective to these stories. It isn’t just a constant conversation between two people or describing all the activities that they do together, there is something in the story that the characters are trying to achieve. Whether this is survival or revenge, something is pushing the characters to make the choices that they do. A good example would be The Maze Runner, where Thomas’ objective in the first novel is surviving and getting out of the maze. There are things the characters try to achieve that tend to create beautiful plot lines.
- Takes me back to childhood
When I was younger, I constantly read dystopian novels and even in high school, I had an entire unit on dystopian versus utopian societies in my English class. This may have aided in making me love the genre because I got to read more classic novels. Lord of the Flies and The Beach are two novels that made me obsessed with how authors can create a flawed society that ends in a revolution. The entire genre reminds me of the great dystopian books that got me into reading.
In conclusion, though you may not like dystopian novels for the very reasons that I have listed, you can’t deny that these books are pure gold. They produce honest and reliable characters that try to make changes in their world and create storylines that will keep you interested in what occurs even after the book is finished. Therefore, dystopian novels are and will always be superior in my mind.