August 24, 2012

5 Reasons Why Dystopian Novels Resonate with Young Adults: A Guest Post

Please welcome to Feed My Need, the fabulous blogger and editor, Debra Johnson!

This guest post is contributed by Debra Johnson, blogger and editor of nanny housekeeper. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: - jdebra84 @

5 Reasons Why Dystopian Novels Resonate with Young Adults

Dystopian novels have been around for decades, and every few years there is one stand out novel among the rest; however it is just recently that the genre itself has exploded past one best seller at a time, and book after book dissecting different dystopian societies have been published and devoured by young adults everywhere. The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, and Mockingjay are all stand-out examples of this obsession that young adults have with dystopian societies. So what is it about these novels that make them so widely appealing to young adults?

1. Young adults identify with the discord. As people enter the young adult phase of their lives they are just beginning to understand the confusion and discord in our society. Before entering young adulthood they saw the world through rose-tinted glasses, relying on parents to make decisions for them and trusting that everything would work out. Now they are finally forced to make their own decisions regarding life and are beginning to understand that everything isn’t as black and white as they previously thought.

2. The heroes are almost always teenagers. The protagonist in all of the popular dystopian novels is almost always a teenager who is on the brink of entering adulthood and is forced to grow up much too quickly. Young adults are also teenagers on the brink of adulthood, or adults who have just left the realm of being a teenager, and it is easy for people within that age group to intensely identify with the struggles the protagonist encounters.

3. Dystopian novels force big questions. Every dystopian novel forces the reader to ask themselves really big questions: what would you do for freedom? Would you blindly follow society or are you willing to question the general public’s beliefs? Does society really have your best interests at heart? What is the bigger picture? These, and many other deep questions, are the root of these novels, and are questions that young adults are just beginning to encounter in their real lives.

4. Dystopian societies are always intensely monitored. This is in direct correlation to the world we currently live in, where we never know who is actually monitoring our movements and tracking what we do. In each dystopian novel there is always someone who is keeping a very close eye on what is happening within the society and is pulling the strings to spur events.

5. The protagonists always take the road young adults want to take. The protagonist in the popular dystopian societies always rebels against what is expected from the people in charge, bucking against expectations and forging her own path. This stance against conformity is one that many young adults yearn to take, and they are able to live vicariously through the characters as they read these novels.

Dystopian novels offer young adults more than just a good romance or a thrilling mystery; they offer the idea that you can be different and that you can change the world. It is this very idea that makes them so vastly appealing to young adults everywhere.