29 July 2010

Yackety-yak: Why I Heart Dystopian Novels

The other day (after I pretty much inhaled the Uglies trilogy) I got to thinking about why I love dystopian novels so much. Besides their uncanny ability to display what is both beautiful and ugly about humanity, why do they fascinate me? Then I came up with this little break down of how some genres make me feel.
Romance = feel
Fantasy = imagine
Mystery = analyze
Drama = sympathize
Dystopian = think
I love dystopians because they force me to ponder a different time and how I would survive it. A good dystopian (like Hunger Games) goes a step beyond that by swirling genres together. Then the reader not only gets to think, but they also get to feel, imagine, analyze, and sympathize. Which brings me to my question for you:
Which of your preferred genres holds a special place in your heart and why?
Decide to blog about it? Please link back in the comments.
{Photo credit: Benjamin Kanarek goes Blade Runner}


  1. I've always had a thing for dystopians too. I always have internal debates about if I would 'go along' or fight the system. My tendency is to speak up so I might not survive long.

  2. I like all of those genre's for all those reasons and I need read them when I'm in the mood. Lately more dytopian ..the stories are so excellent and good.

    Romance because some times I need fluff & and dh. Naughty girl Laugh

    Mystery to help my brain think besides thinking of kid stuff.

    Fantasy and drama -need to be the mood but I can see that with the all vamps and in books that pull at my heart strings.

    This is one of the longer responses from me to U.

  3. I love all those genres excet dystopian. I never read any books in dystopian genre yet and the only dystopian i know is the hunger games series. But to date, I still love mystery/suspense/true crime and any that relate to the genre. It kind of makes my adrenaline rush and I love the feeling of it.And keep wondering which is which and who is who.Like you said,i have to analyze and predict.if my prediction is right, than what i analyze is also right!yeay!

  4. I never really thought about it that way, but you're very right. I like different genres usually for different emotional reasons. Right now, I'm enjoying YA contemporary romances because they transport me back into high school life. It's like I'm walking those same halls again.

  5. Lesa: You and me both! ;) I see allot of Katniss in my self.

    Julie: I'm with you girl! That's why I love so many. They suit different moods. I've noticed that in the summer I like more action packed tales and in the fall/winter I like more homey tales :)

    Darlyn: Yah for mysteries :)

    Meredith: O I know exactly what you mean. I love that feeling sometimes :) Excellent point!

  6. Great post! Dystopians definitely make you think and empathize... what would I do if I were in that situation?? I'm getting more used to reading Dystopians, but there was a time when they really scared me. I thought 1984 was TERRIFYING, lol. I do like books that make me think about something, though, like social issues, etc.

  7. The hunger games is amazing! I'm ready for Mockingjay.

  8. Jenny: I feel ya! Sometimes I have to take breaks in between dystopian reads :)

    Cari: Right? Mine is pre-ordered and I can not wait!

  9. Is it sad to say that I actually had to google the word dystopian the first time I saw it? No really I did. It's been a while now, but yep...a fan of the genre when it comes around. The Uglies series is a great example....also, I believe the one I'm reading now can fit into this genre too....MATCHED by Ally Condie. DEFINITELY makes you think....
    Nice "yackety-yak" Juju! ^_^

  10. Great post, Juju! One of my favorite genres would have to be mystery. I love a good shock, and many twists throughout the book. It also has to be a simple mystery, but still has depth! There's nothing worse than being confused for the majority of the novel.

  11. yes, great word associations. i think you're right on!

  12. I agree with that analysis. I love historical fiction because it tends to address social restraints in a more obvious way as opposed to other genres. Fantasy I love because, as you said, the ability to imagine.

    Nice post!

  13. i like your break down of how different genres make you feel. ditto!

  14. I just heart dystopia too! For the same reason. Plus they make us appreciate humanity better - at least the world we live in right now. At the same time, it gives us a window into the possibilities of the future, if we don't take care of the present.

  15. I've always had a thing for dystopian novels. The Knife of Never Letting Go? One of my very favorite books. The Hunger Games? LOVE. I'm also a sucker for a good paranormal story. Reading about a life completely different from my own is always exciting to me. :)

  16. Oh I haven't preordered for fear of not getting it the day of. I'll run out to get it that morning or at lunch :)

  17. I think I'm going to have to go with historical fiction. While I wouldn't call it my FAVORITE genre, I do love it. Like you with fantasy, it makes me imagine, but like you with dystopian fiction (which I adore), it also makes me think. About the state of the world then compared with the state of the world now.
    It makes me more aware of where and HOW I am living.

    Fun post!

  18. I do love dystopian, but I can only handle a couple a season (they really affect my mood. weird.). Fantasy novels (the good ones) are the books that make me dream and expand my horizons.

  19. I like your one-word synopsis of each genre. Very good descriptive words for each! Mysteries are my favorites, but not necessarily the sugar-coated mysteries, although I do like those from time-to-time. I prefer the more hard-core like Larsson and Gerritson or historical/hard-core like Preston/Childs and Rollins.

    Dystopian I like probably for the same reason you stated - it makes me think about the world we live in and what it could become so easily.

    Young Adult I adore because the books written today for that genre is so real, raw and gritty and messy just like real life. And I love teenagers.

    I like Drama as long as there is a bit of the above three enmeshed in the book.

    I'm not terribly big on romance or fantasy.

    Great question!

  20. I definitely agree that dystopian novels make you think. I also like that they don't always end on a happy note. While sometimes it can be a bit of a downer, I appreciate that most of them don't end with rainbows/sunny days/etc.

  21. I agree with you on dystopian novels. I like them because they go for the jugular and make you think - politically, socially and culturally. I like the pic you used for your post. I haven't read The Hunger Games yet. I know bad me, but it's on my TBR list. I guess I would say I'm a huge fan of paranormal - vampires, werewolves, ghosts, witches, angels. I like anything different and worlds never seen before in books.

  22. Julie: "Go for the jugular"? What a great way to put it. You really must read Hunger Games. It is truly a must for anyone. Especially dystopian fans.

    I'm with you, I love different worlds. *starry*

    Lizzy: That's true. Sometimes I need to break away from the cookie cutter happy endings. :)

    Stacy: What an excellent way to put it. It does make you think about how easily things can go wrong. So why do you prefer the gritty mysteries? :)

    Celia: I completely understand that. My little heart needs breaks from them too. :) I <3 dreaming :)

    Briz: Wow. How true! I hadn't considered that aspect of historical fiction. Thank you for pointing that out. :)

    Cari: LOL True true!

    Cara: I haven't read that yet. Can you believe it? What do you think of the upcoming movie?

    Aths: Amen. It does make me appreciate what I have! Thank you for pointing that out! :)

    Chelley & vv: Thanks :)

    Emma: Good point! :)

    Emidy: *high five* I love a good shock too. I love to put my self in the place of the detective and break down the clues. We recently has a man steal a purse from my place of employment. I immediately turned in to Agatha/Nancy trying to plot which way he would have gone for the quickest exit ;)

    GMR: No way is that sad! :) It's a genre that is still morphing, stretching, and establishing it self. I am itching to read Matched. You just colored me envy green ;)

  23. Would you believe that until recently I didn't know what this genre was? I still have yet to read Hunger Games. I've heard its fantastic.

  24. Mmmm, Teresa, I still don't know what this genre is exactly...

    Hey, Juju, that is a cool breakdown you got there! You, brainy, you!! :)

    I'm a fantasy buff.... guess I'm an escapist reader huh?

  25. Teresa: I'll forgive you ;) if you promise to read Hunger Games? ;) *poke poke*

    Cherry: Ahhh thanks! :) I love to escape too!

  26. I like how you categorize these genre!

    I used to read A LOT of mysteries. I'm definitely an analytical person. Once I'd discovered dystopian, I really enjoy this genre too and I definitely like books that make me think (though I'm not a big fan of ambiguous endings!) I also prefer books that make me sympathize (e.g. Sister's Keeper) but I don't do well with just character study books, I need some plot.

    I don't read much romance or fantasy. Maybe I don't imagine or feel enough :)

    Great post!

  27. I like the breakdown of the genres! Very true! :)

  28. Hahaha, those are brilliant interpretations of the genres! I'm a sucker for Mystery, fantasy and romance. Preferably with a taste of all three. Question, where's the comedy genre? I WANT GIGGLE PANTS! :P

  29. Tipsy: *giggle* You're so right! I definitely don't read enough comedy!

    Christa: Analytical and sympathetic. Very cool! I love what our genre choices say about us.

  30. I never actually thought about that before, but that list is totally right (romance = feel, et cetera). I do love dystopian novels as well...I like how they can combine all of the other genres completely :)

  31. I agree - dystopian's can blend so many genres - love them!

    Teens Read and Write

  32. I'm in love with this genre right now just because I'm in awe of how many creative ways authors have the world ending ;) I do like to think about, while I read the book, how I'd do in that world. Sometimes I think I'd do fine - other times not well at all!

  33. Jill: LOL Right? I like to take notes just in case.

    Lea & Alyssa: :) Thanks

  34. I LOVE DYSTOPIAN too! For all the same reasons! I know this post is an oldie but I loved it and had to comment :)

  35. Natalie: Thank you :) I'm totally having a dystopian summer.