Dystopia: A futuristic, imagined universe in which oppressive societal control and the illusion of a perfect society are maintained through corporate, bureaucratic, technological, moral, or totalitarian control. Dystopias, through an exaggerated worst-case scenario, make a criticism about a current trend, societal norm, or political system. From ReadWriteThink
It's funny. I've been reading a lot of so-called dystopian books in preparation of Dystopian Teen Week, and I realize how slippery this term is. I worried and worried about defining it, having specific books that fit directly within the parameters of this theme. But I've decided to throw most of that out the window.
I want to know how many different books share similar dystopian themes. I'm using the small 'd' for dystopian this week because readers who enjoy books which can be classified as speculative fiction will usually read everything under its umbrella. That said, while I enjoy a good steampunk novel or crazy zombie post-apocalyptic story, any book with elements of a dystopian theme really captures my attention.
What I love is a good mystery, and I realize that what makes a good dystopian read is the driving question, "How did it get this bad?" Usually you are plunked down in the middle of a setting which is so foreign to you that every sense is heightened. In The Maze Runner by James Dashner (review to come) Thomas wakes up in a dark elevator-like lift, with no memory of who he is, except his name. Or so he thinks. Right away I was like, "Where is this kid? What happened to him? Is he in a building? Is he in space? What does he have to do? What would he remember if he could?" (I always think people are in space when I am confronted by a strange setting in a novel which I know will be speculative in any way. Space is cool). So right away I am driven to find out what's going on in this world, what it's rules are, how it's governed, where it came from, and really, what its secret is. I read and read until I can pull back the curtain.
So I thought I would kick-off Dystopian Teen Week with a Giveaway for a finished copy of Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins! I loved reading The Hunger Games a month ago, which really was kind of the catalyst for events this week, and you can read my review and a spoiler-filled reading of the last hundred pages here. The extreme popularity of the first two books in the series has opened up a trend in dystopian themed teen fiction, and I love it. So, simply leave your name and your e-mail to win a copy of Catching Fire! I also invite you to tell a friend about this contest or about Dystopian Teen Week in general, spread the word electronically and add "x2" beside your name when you enter for TWICE the chance to win this book! So pass on the link to this contest or my blog in general and enter twice to win; it's the honour system but I trust ya!
This is only the beginning of events here this week. Check back for more book giveaways, very cool author interviews and author guest blog spots, and of course, book reviews!