Tag Archives: young adult novels

Lisa’s Tuesday Perspective: Dystopias

The word “Utopia” had two meanings.  Firstly, “a perfect place,” and secondly, “no place.”  As in, no place could ever be perfect.  Anyone who’s read the novella by Sir Thomas Moore (or has been around enough) knows that Utopia was never really as perfect as it was supposed to be, and from that has sprung, over time, a string of “Dystopia” novels.  Some of them you had to read in high school, like 1984, Fahrenheit 451, and Brave New World.  Right now they’re all over the place in the YA market, though, because Dystopia and fantasy kind of go hand in hand in glove.

Earlier Dystopian novels were all about losing something vital from the human existence: God, family, love, literature, etc.  A society where the values have shifted so much that it takes an outsider from the society to show them what they’re missing.  What’s more common these days is something that’s intended to be for the greater good going terribly wrong—something that makes everybody better, everybody nicer, everybody more equal, where the solution is just as bad or worse than the original problem.

I haven’t read a lot of the Dystopic books on the market right now… they’re getting a LOT of big hype, though.  What have you read?  Do you like the trend, or no?


Lisa’s Tuesday Perspective: Dead Trend?

Okay, we’ve had a lot of undead in the YA market lately, but looking at a lot of the recent and upcoming novels, many of them seem to be featuring characters that are just plain old deceased.  Dead siblings, dead best friends, dead significant others—usually leaving some mystery behind in which they (the departed) are the one single person who can lead the remaining characters to uncover what truly happened.  Interestingly, this is showing itself both in paranormal novels and general fiction.

I… can’t decide if I like this trend or not.  Of course, I was never really big on the undeads, either.  But I have to admit, while there do seem to be a lot of these books coming out, authors are dealing with this in different and interesting ways… some haunted dreams, some unread letters, some secret journals… I find myself intrigued, despite myself.  Here’s a couple of books that I’m looking forward to the most, with descriptions from goodreads.

Wish by Alexandra Bullen

For broken-hearted Olivia Larsen, nothing can change the fact that her twin sister, Violet, is gone… until a mysterious, beautiful gown arrives on her doorstep. The dress doesn’t just look magical; it is magical. It has the power to grant her one wish, and the only thing Olivia wants is her sister back.
With Violet again by her side, both girls get a second chance at life. And as the sisters soon discover, they have two more dresses-and two more wishes left. But magic can’t solve everything, and Olivia is forced to confront her ghosts to learn how to laugh, love, and live again.

The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard

Seventeen-year-old Colt has been sneaking out at night to meet Julia, a girl from an upper-class neighborhood unlike his own. They’ve never told anyone else about their relationship: not their family or friends, and especially not Julia’s boyfriend.When Julia dies suddenly, Colt tries to cope with her death while pretending that he never even knew her. He discovers a journal she left behind. But he is not prepared for the truths he discovers about their intense relationship, nor to pay the price for the secrets he’s kept.

Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupola

In the five years since her bad-girl sister Xanda’s death, Miranda Mathison has wondered about the secret her sister took to the grave, and what really happened the night she died. Now, just as Miranda is on the cusp of her dreams—a best friend to unlock her sister’s world, a ticket to art school, and a boyfriend to fly her away from it all—Miranda has a secret all her own.

So yes… I’m curious.  What can I say, these sound like good books… I’m especially interested in The Secret Year.  I’ve seen it at the bookstore and been sorely tempted.  I’m still holding out reservations as to whether I like this trend or not, but it’s definitely on the rise, and I’m interested to see where it leads.


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