Recently on my instagram some people have been commenting on books that I consider dystopian to not be dystopian. So today I wanted to discuses what is dystopian and what makes a book cross into the dystopian genre.
Dystopian is defined as: a society characterized by human misery, as squalor, oppression, disease, and overcrowding.
I consider dystopian as corrupted government.
I think a prime example and the most well know is The Hunger Games.You have 13 districts and depending on which district you live in depends on how poor or rich you are. We follow the story of Katniss who lives in District 12, the poorest district around since district 13 was destroyed. On top of suffering one man and one women between the ages of 12 and 17 from each district every year are picked to fight to the death.
The Selection series to me is also a dystopian. There are 6 castes and depending on which caste you are in determines if you are poor or richer than others. We follow America as she is chosen into the selection. The selection takes girls from the castes to be in the running to becomes a princesses. Only one in the end can marry the prince.
Now the one book that people are telling me is not dystopian is Fire and Flood by Victoria Scott. I love this book. We follow Tella and her family while she has to watch her brother die from a mysterious disease. And when Tella thinks she can not take watching her brother die anymore a box appears in her room. In the box is a ear bud and when she listens to the ear bud she is invited to the Brimstone Bleed, a race where one lucky winner will get the cure they are looking for. Now this doesn’t quite sound like a dystopian until Tella finds out that the government is making a selection of people sick on purpose. To me it sounds like the government is trying to control who lives and who dies and this may or may not be because of wealth. We will have to find out in the next book Salt and Stone, being released in February 2015.
I think a new world of dystopian is opening where plaques are being released to control the people. Legend by Marie Lu is a example of this. A plaque has been unleashed on certain parts of the city. Though I have only read Legend it sounds like there is a reason why these certain paces have been targeted.
The Young Elites by Marie Lu is a new series that I also think have some dystopian aspects in it. We follow the story of a young girl who was scared from a plaque when she was young and is now discovering hidden talents that she never had before the illness. She is taken under the wing of the young elites as they try to take down government corruption.
In conclusion not all books are going to be exactly dystopian BUT many have a lot of dystopian factors in them. To me dystopian is when a government is taking away freedom from other people and is the case for suffering. I know a lot of people have different ideas of what a dystopian is but when I read a dystopian book I except the government to be corrupted in some way.