The Book Chat {Vol 4}

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Thursdays are quickly becoming my favorite blogging day of the week because that means it’s time to link up over at Sweet Green Tangerine and talk books!

Today’s question: What is your favorite dystopian novel?

If you’re a big reader (or if you haven’t been living under a rock for the last year, really) you’ll know that dystopian novels are the new *thing*. Working in a bookstore I can tell you that most releases lately are new dystopian stories, and they all look AMAZING. If you’re not sure what the heck dystopia even means, it’s basically an imaginary place or time where the conditions of life are very poor or generally quite unpleasant. Think Hunger Games.

I’ve been reading dystopian novels since I was a teenager. The first one I ever read was The Giver but at the time I had NO idea that it was anything but a great book. In the last 3-4 years I’ve read a handful of AMAZING dystopian stories. It started about 3 and a half years ago with Hunger Games when it first came out, and since then I’ve basically been inhaling dystopian books left, right, and center. That sounded a lot weirder than I meant. Anyway.

To answer the question, I have a lot of favorites. But I wanted to talk a bit more about a book I brought up earlier this week, because it deserves some recognition!

The Maze Runner starts off with a teenage boy called Thomas who wakes up in an elevator that’s going up. As he comes to, he realizes he has no memories of his past or present. All he remembers is his name. When the elevator doors open, he is greeted by dozens of other boys who tell him that they’re in a maze, and none of them have ANY idea why. Some have been there for a year, and since the beginning they’ve been looking for a way out. Just after Thomas’ arrival, a girl comes out of the elevator- the first ever. And then things get REAL CRAZY.

I read this book when it first came out in October 2009 and have been a huge fan of the series ever since, waiting the full year for the next in the trilogy. Dashner recently ended his series with The Death Cure (which WAS AMAZING) and even more recently announced that he wrote a prequel called ‘The Kill Order’ which comes out this summer. The idea behind this dystopian trilogy is very end-of-the-world, slightly post-apocalypse style, but it just *works* so well. Not only are they well written, but there aren’t any ridiculously cheesy love stories. Everything that happens in Thomas’ life is for a reason.

The one thing that was tough to get used to in the first book was the language. The boys in the maze use weird words instead of swearing, and at first I was super thrown off, but after the first few chapters I completely forgot about it. I think I could have read the books without the weird words throughout, but one way or another it didn’t make it worse for me.

I highly recommend this series if you like dystopian, adventure, mystery, slightly gory but extremely action packed books. I often show this book to teenage boys because it works SO well for their age, but there are tons of older people that have read and loved them too. I’m the perfect example! So go read it, right now! 🙂

What are your favorite dystopian reads? Which ones are a MUST for me to read?!

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8 responses »

  1. yes ma’am. I recently put this one on my To-Read list on Goodreads. I think you hit on a lot of the same points that I did. And I love that you said “No cheesy love stories”. Seriously, this whole Teem Peeta/Gale thing has me fuming. That’s not at all what the book is about, people!
    I’m glad you mentioned The Giver too. I think that was really the touchstone for a lot of newcomers in dystopian lit.
    Thanks again for participating. That first line made me smile.

  2. I’d have to say 1984 and A Brave New World are my favorites…gotta go with the classics! “The Giver” is probably my favorite if we’re only talking YA fiction.

  3. After reading The Hunger Games and Divergent I’ve recently become obsessed with this type of book so I’ll have to check this series out. It sounds really good!

  4. I have to admit, I am not a fan of dystopian novels. At all. Books like 1984 are sheltered somewhat by my love for anything deemed a “classic” but only by a bit. I’m kind of glad that they’re so popular because my dislike for them helps shield my broader troubles reading fiction or reading anything written in the last like 10 years, ha! It’s super hard to explain to people that you don’t enjoy something that’s popular. I’m as picky a reader as I am an eater 🙂

  5. I loved The Hunger Games and I know you didn’t love the first book of the Chaos Walking Series, but I couldn’t put that one down either. I also loved The Road. Although you have to be in the right mind to read that for sure.

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