Literary Quote of the Month

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

Friday, October 16, 2009

DystopYA Reading Challenge... and Everything I Know about Dystopian Fiction!

Books on the Nightstand challenges us to read Dystopian YA Fiction!
Are you up for the challenge?

You may wonder what Dystopian Fiction is... "Dystopian fiction is generally fiction about a world that is attempting to be perfect but contains a fatal flaw. It's the opposite of a utopia. This can take the form of a fascist government, a failing environment, corporate rule - anything. In it, life is miserable and people have to strive to rise above."

There have been quite a few YA (Young Adult) books published lately that deal with Dystopia Fiction including The Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. One of the best known YA Dystopian novels is probably The Giver by Lois Lowry, a novel in which a world with no poverty, no crime, no sickness and no unemployment, and where every family is happy... almost! The Giver won the Newberry Medal in 1994, which is presented to the author of "the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children." It also made the banned book almost immediately for it's "inappropriate material" for children. The American Library Association says that Dystopian fiction "not only offer teens excellent escapist fare rife with surv
ivalist adventure and grim imaginings of future worlds but also an opportunity to reflect on how the issues in their own lives and societies are mirrored in these worlds gone horribly wrong."

So when Ann & Michael of Books on the Nightstand posted the DystopYA (that stands for Dystopic Young Adult) challenge I thought I would join in on the fun! Would you like to enter the world of DystopYA with me? Here are two of the "rules"... (yes, there are always rules in a Dystopic world...)

* You must do as you are told. You are hereby commanded to read 3 works of dystopic fiction that were written or published primarily for young adults. Books must be read between October 5, 2009 and December 31, 2009 in order to count for the challenge.

* Secret activities are forbidden in dystopic societies. You must post your reading list and/or your review(s) of the books that you've read... either on your blog or on the special thread set up at Goodreads.

There will be a random drawing at the end of the challenge for prizes for all participants who complete the challenge too! Go to Books on the Nightstand DystopYA Reading Challenge for all the details!

Here is My reading list for the "Challenge"... AND links for the Reviews!

The Uglies by Scott Westerfeld... The Uglies is the first book in a trilogy. It's about a world in which everyone has an operation when they turn sixteen, making them supermodel beautiful. Big eyes, full lips, no one fat or skinny. This seems like a good thing, but it's not. Especially if you're
one of the uglies, a bunch of radical teens who've decided they want to keep their own faces... Here's My Review!

The Giver by Lois Lowry... Jonas, an eleven-year-old boy, tells the story of living in a futuristic society that has eliminated all pain, fear, war, and hatred. There is no prejudice, since everyone looks and acts basically the same, and there is very little competition. Everyone is unfailingly polite. The society has also eliminated choice... Here's My Review!

The Maze Runner by James Dashner... When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls. Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift. Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers. Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind. Here's my Review!

As I meet my Challenge of reading these three Dystopic books, I'll post a link to my reviews here! So check back to see how I'm doing! Oh and BTW, Dystopian Fiction isn't limited to YA, there are plenty of choices for adult fiction too! The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood, The Road by Cormac McCarthy and 1984 by George Orwell are just a few adult dystopic novels to choose from.

Have you read any Dystopian fiction novels? Any recommendations? Do you like Dystopian fiction? Let me know what's on your shelf!

Happy reading...


Anonymous said...

I'm doing this challenge too! I've actually read all three of your picks (The Maze Runner is one of mine as well, I just finished it), with The Giver being my favourite of the three

I absolutely love dystopian novels (YA and adult), so this challenge is perfect for me. Two of my all time favourite dystopias (besides The Giver) are both by Margaret Atwood - The Handmaid's Tale, and Oryx and Crake.

I can't wait to see what you think of the books you picked =)

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi thekams!
I loved The Handmaid's Tale! I read it so long ago, I was thinking of rereading it since Amazon has the Kindle version for under $4. I heard that Oryx and Crake was a great read. Margaret Atwood's newest book, The Year of the Flood, is suppose to be a parallel story to Oryx and Crake...

I just finished The Giver yesterday... it really is haunting... So well written and the ending... well, did you think of it ending on a positive note or otherwise?

Louise said...

I've read quite a few actually over the past months :-) Hunger Games I+II for a start, Life as we knew it + the dead and the gone bu Beth Pfeffer (supposedly a third one is going to be out next year in this series called "Moon Crash Trilogy" but I am not sure it actually started out with the meaning of being a trilogy).

I also recently read Chaos Walking I: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness and Tomorrow when the war began by John Marsden.

I have ordered Lois Lowry's three books and the second Chaos Walking and am expecting them any day, I have recently received Floodland by Marcus Sedgwick and am reading The Forest of Hands and Teeth right now, but only got a couple of pages into it.


Suzanne Yester said...

Wow Louise! I think I'm getting writer's cramp writing all your great recommendations down! Thank you for sharing all of them!

You'll have to let me know if you liked Forest of Hands and Teeth.. I was going to read that for the challenge, but I read a few reviews that were so so and went with The Maze Runner for my third choice. The whole premise sounded interesting, so I will probably end up reading it as a 4th choice for the challenge.

Alright, now I'm going to check out all those titles I just wrote down! :D

Unknown said...

Yeah I mostly agree with you, I am glad you put Catching Fire and The Hunger Games in there because they fit in nicely.

Book Bird Dog said...

Thanks for the definition of dystopian - I was wondering what it was. There's no such thing as earthly perfection, is that how it goes?

trish said...

I loved The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. But I've also heard that The Knife of Never Letting Go is FANTASTIC. So I'd definitely recommend that. :)

By the way, I sent you an email. I hope it doesn't go to spam!

Melissa said...

I'm doing the challenge also and actually just found your blog through the BOTN page. (I was looking at the other pages). I recently read The Hunger Games and loved it (haven't got to Catching Fire yet). Just finished reading Uglies, Life As We Knew It and Floodland. I'm afraid I've got carried away. Your blog looks great!

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Book Bird Dog!
I never knew what dystopian was either! :D Thank goodness we're readers so we were "exposed" to it!

Hi trish!
Thanks for letting me know you liked both The Hunger Games and Catching Fire! I haven't heard too much about Catching Fire and am glad to see your thumbs up for it! Plus, I just wrote down The Knife of Never Letting Go!

Hi Melissa!
I'm so glad you found me! That's one of the great things about these challenges- not only do you read all sorts of great book, but you find new blogs! I love your blog too! You have really gone to town on the DystopYA challenge! I've got a whole bunch of books to read thanks to you!!

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