• Cara Goulding

Five Dystopian Reads

So I was on the look out for some good dystopian novels and after some research settled on the below five. It turns out that I didn't love all of them, but I wanted to include them in case they sounded like they tickled your fancy instead! Novels impact individuals differently, that's one of the reasons people return to literature time and time again so it may be that you dislike the one's I loved and vice versa but you should you give them a try, which I really hope you do.

I've listed them in my favourite order, and tried to include my positive things about each one.

The One by John Marrs

My favourite of the five books, this novel explores the possibility that we all have a soulmate and they can be found with a DNA match. Originally I wasn’t so keen on the fact that each chapter is a different character, in a rotation of 5, and I even cheated and jumped ahead on one person’s story but it was interesting to be involved in so many characters stories. It’s easy to get drawn in to their lives and they are well written. I love dystopian novels set in the present day but with a slight twist on some form of reality, it would be very easy to believe this world as real. This book is probably the least YA book of the bunch and came with a few twists that I hadn’t anticipated. I can normally spot them a mile off but I was pleasantly surprised by some in this book. A solid 4/5.

The Power by Naomi Alderman

In this novel the idea that women are (and have been for over 5000 years) in charge of the world is explored. The book provokes some interesting ideas about how the attitude of the women becomes very similar to the men’s. The stereotype that men are aggressive and more prone to violence is challenged in this novel. Indeed you may go into the book thinking it is a feminist bible but you’d be wrong. I was pleasantly surprised by the author’s ability to allow the reader to look at humans as a collective rather than male and female stereotypes. 4/5 for this one.

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

I have to admit I haven't finished this book. It has been so slow going and although I am only 120 pages from the end of a 613 pager I felt like I only got into the book by page 375, which is ridiculous. Also when I was researching which dystopian novels to give a go I was misled by this novel, I'd say its more fantastical than dystopian. The chapters are about 200 pages long, and seem to follow the most random of characters and by the time you get to know them the chapter finishes and another random character is introduced. The only reason I haven't listed this one at the bottom of my list is because I am FINALLY getting into it and everything is making sense. Positives include a look into the past and future, it's interesting to see how things change year to year. It's just scrapping a 3/5!

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

Definitely one of the more YA books of the five the story follows a group of friends who are the everyday people and not the group of people involved in the many attempts to defend the world. It’s an interesting concept and nothing I have seen before which I liked. I’ve often been watching a programme like Lost or the Walking Dead which follows a group and the outside characters never really get a look in. Each chapter starts with a short paragraph about what is happening with the ‘world defender’ group but the rest of the chapter deals with the mundane. I'm giving it a 2/5 because I actually would have rather read the interesting group story!

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

When I originally selected these books I hadn't realised that I was picking quite so many YA books. Maybe dystopia is a young adult thing? I don't know, but what I do know is that if you like The Selection series by Keira Cass, or The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins then you will enjoy this book. The theme on this one is based on blood and powers, throw in your usual angsty teen love triangle and you have the makings of a novel that will sell. Reviews led me to believe that there were going to be some massive twists but I saw them all a mile off which was a little disappointing. Still, I love a light read and reading about a world crumbling, if both things are possible in one novel (?!) so not all was lost. I'm giving this one a 2/5 because I felt let down by the 'twists'.

Cara x

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