Dystopias and Social Critiques discussion

What are you reading right now?

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message 1: by Dana * (new)

Dana * (queenofegypt) I just finished the Maze Runner. This is YA, but I wouldn't let that stop you from reading it, it is really well done. There are two more in the series, so I have a new TBR list.

In a future of unknown status, young men wake up in an enclosed fortress which they call the Glade. Each new arrival has no personal memories, family, friends, experiences, nothing but their name. There are rules for living in the Glade, made by the group themselves. Everyone has a job, a purpose. The main goal is to get OUT of the Glade, through a maze that mysteriously changes wall positions every day. In order to inspire immediacy in the Gladers, there are killing machines that roam the maze.

A new arrival has some sort of hazy memory of what this is all about. Things begin to fall apart fast after his arrival.

What is the maze, why are they here, if they can get out, what is there to get to?

I loved this book. The characters are engaging, the plot paced well, the mysteries stacked up nicely. This is first in a series of three. I am quickly moving on to the next.

Although this is classified as young adult, I think that does it an injustice. This story will be interested to lovers of dystopian stores and post-apocalypic fiction.

message 2: by Julie (last edited Nov 23, 2010 05:35PM) (new)

Julie S. | 41 comments I've been reading a lot of YA dystopian and post-apocalyptic recently. I don't know if there is just more of those novels or if I've just been paying more attention to it.

Several months ago, I readThe Hunger Games and Catching Fire.

Birthmarked and
Matched are two recent ones.

message 3: by Dustin (new)

Dustin Hi, Julie. I am interested in The Hunger Games Trilogy!!

message 4: by Dana * (new)

Dana * (queenofegypt) Think I will try Birthmarked!

message 5: by Julie (new)

Julie S. | 41 comments I just read Truesight, which was good but suffered from being part of a trilogy.

message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm reading Unwind. Last month, I read, The Hunger Games Trilogy.

message 7: by Julie (new)

Julie S. | 41 comments I finished Little Brother about a week ago. It was OK, but I'm glad that I got it from the library instead of buying it. It had several of the "normal" characteristics in dystopian novels (survellience through technology, over-controlling government, lack of answers, etc). In theory, I should have loved this book, but it was a little awkward in the big picture.

message 8: by Carlye (new)

Carlye | 5 comments Dustin-I really liked the Hunger Games Trilogy!

Dustin wrote: "Hi, Julie. I am interested in The Hunger Games Trilogy!!"

message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

I just finished reading Unwind a few days ago and I really liked it, but since finishing the Hunger Games trilogy in November, I'm having a difficult time finding a dystopian book that keeps me as interested, as The Hunger Games! Any suggestions?

message 10: by Julie (last edited Jan 01, 2011 01:36PM) (new)

Julie S. | 41 comments Pat (or anyone else who is interested),

I have heard that Battle Royale is similar to The Hunger Games. I have not read it yet, so I am just going by what others have said.

I've also heard good things about The Maze Runner, but I haven't read that one either.

message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

I have those on my TBR list, and will ck them out. I just started reading, Birthmarked, and so far, it's holding my attention, and I'm enjoying it.


Julie wrote: "Pat (or anyone else who is interested),

I have heard that Battle Royale is similar to The Hunger Games. I have not read it yet, so I am just going by what others have said.

I've ..."

message 12: by Dana * (new)

Dana * (queenofegypt) Battle Royale is a huge book, so ya gotta have time to read it all.

message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

Dana wrote: "Battle Royale is a huge book, so ya gotta have time to read it all."

I'll remember that.
I'm really liking Birthmarked!
Prob start Matched when I finish.

message 14: by Cindy (new)

Cindy (newtomato) I'm reading The End of Marking Time right now as a First-reads book. It's pretty good (but not fabulous). I noticed the author, CJ West, is offering free e-copies of the book if anyone is interested.

It's a bit unusual for a dystopia, because the societal transformation happens in the book while the lead character, a convicted felon, is in a coma. When he wakes up, he's forced to deal with a new reality of there being no prisons, but a new type of imprisonment.

message 15: by Dustin (new)

Dustin Hi, Cindy! I've been told that The End of Marking Time is a pretty good read, as well! I'm glad you're enjoying it!

message 16: by Dustin (new)

Dustin Hi, Carlye! Thank you for your comment regarding The Hunger Games Trilogy, I appreciate it and apologize for not taking notice of it sooner. But can you tell me a little more about it?

message 17: by Julie (new)

Julie S. | 41 comments Speaking of the Hunger Games trilogy, I am excited to be reading Mockingjay finally.

message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm reading, "The Maze Runner", and at first, I didn't think that I would like it, but that has changed and I'm really liking it now!


message 19: by Dustin (new)

Dustin Hi, Julie! That's awesome! What did you think about books I & II?

message 20: by Dustin (new)

Dustin That's cool, Pat!

message 21: by Julie (new)

Julie S. | 41 comments Dustin, I really liked the entire Hunger Games trilogy. I know that I probably sound like a crazed fangirl, but they were really good for me.

message 22: by Dustin (new)

Dustin Oh, okay. Thank you for your input, Julie (always appreciated!) I've been thinking about adding the series to my "to-read" list for quite a while now...

message 23: by Julie (new)

Julie S. | 41 comments I finished Brave New World today. It was amazing.

message 24: by Sooz (new)

Sooz Julie - a classic!

message 25: by Myopic (new)

Myopic | 2 comments I'm currently reading The Long Walk by Stephen King...

100 teenagers have to keep walking at above 4mph until all but one are dead. The winner gets the prize of their dreams.

I like it, maybe not as intense as some other dystopias but it gives a good insight into the craziness of the human mind.

message 26: by Kathy (new)

Kathy (bookgoddess1969) Hey everyone, I'm Kathy and just found your group. I'm so excited! I love dystopian fiction! I just finished The Book by M. Clifford that I highly recommend! The Book by M. Clifford It's very reminiscent of Fahrenheit 451 and 1984. :)

message 27: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan (jprancestry) I'm reading 'Knockemstiff', by Donald Ray Pollock, a collection of short stories centered around the author's hometown of Knockemstiff, Ohio. The stories are all very dark and interesting -- not sci-fi and not dystopian, but very well-written.

message 28: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan (jprancestry) Just started Illuminated, by Matt Bronleewe, which is a religious mystery thriller, similar to The DaVinci Code.

message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

I really need my fix of a, "edge of your seat, awesome dystopian book"! Does anyone have any suggestions? Not sure which book to start next. The Hunger Games(Catching Fire), The Maze Runner, Matched, Birthmarked, Unwind, and The Blind Pig are my favorite dystopian reads so far.


message 30: by Dana * (new)

Dana * (queenofegypt) Pat wrote: "I really need my fix of a, "edge of your seat, awesome dystopian book"! Does anyone have any suggestions? Not sure which book to start next. The Hunger Games(Catching Fire), The Maze Runner, Matche..."

Try The Scorch Trials, sequel to Maze Runner.

message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

Oh sorry, I read that one already, just that The Maze Runner was my favorite of the two.

message 32: by [deleted user] (new)

I've decided on, Tomorrow, When the War Began
by John Marsden, followed by, not sure on the order, The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan, The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, and The Enemy
by Charlie Higson.

message 34: by Julie (new)

Julie S. | 41 comments One that I'm currently reading is Mortal Engines (The Hungry City Chronicles, #1) by Philip Reeve and it's pretty good so far.

message 35: by Phair (new)

Phair (sphair) Just finished the audio of World Made by Hand which is really more PA than dystopian. At first I didn't think I'd like it but gradually it grew on me. By the end I wanted to read the sequel- The Witch of Hebron - to see how the town is managing and what the heck is up with that group of religious fanatics but I think I'll wait a while and read in a few other directions first.

message 36: by Anna (new)

Anna (stregamari) | 11 comments try Hater (Hater, #1) by David Moody or Autumn by David Moody

message 37: by Jeff Hackett (new)

Jeff Hackett Just finished reading the Hunger Games Trilogy. Absolutely loved it! So sad that it's over. Have nothing left to look forward to :(

Hope the movies do the books justice!

message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

Yes, since I finished The Hunger Games Trilogy, it's been really difficult finding other similar dystopian books. The only other book that has come close, has been, The Maze Runner.

message 39: by Jeff Hackett (last edited Mar 05, 2011 10:00AM) (new)

Jeff Hackett Yeah, unfortunately I read both Maze Runner books so far. Really enjoyed both, but not to the same extent as the Hunger Games. Maybe I'll give them a read again!

Just got "Matched" so i'll see how that goes!

message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

Exstasie, yea, that's why I said it's the only one that came close but so far, I haven't read any dystopian books yet, that had me as excited, as The Hunger Games, although I liked, The Maze Runner, Unwind, Matched and Birthmarked, none of them take me to the edge and sucked me in, like the Hunger Games. : (

message 41: by Sooz (new)

Sooz you could always go back and read Lord of the Flies, the classic kids-getting-stranded-without-adults-or- supplies novel. it's not modern-day y.a., so it might require a little more effort. it is however the classic i.m.o.

message 42: by Jeff Hackett (new)

Jeff Hackett Sooz wrote: "you could always go back and read Lord of the Flies, the classic kids-getting-stranded-without-adults-or- supplies novel. it's not modern-day y.a., so it might require a little more effort. it is..."

I actually just put that book back on my e-reader. So we'll if I ever get back to it haha. I might trying reading Lord of the Flies and 1984 again. The first reads of those was for school, so I wasn't able to appreciate them as much.

message 43: by Sooz (new)

Sooz yeah it's rather ironic that reading novels in school is suppose to develop an appreciation for the classics, but often has exactly the opposite effect. it seems (at least in some cases) nothing destroys the appeal of a good novel quicker than reading it for school.

message 44: by Dustin (new)

Dustin The Lord of The Flies and 1984 are both excellent reads!

message 45: by Dana * (new)

Dana * (queenofegypt) OK, even though I got Birthmarked a week or so before Matched, i got Matched on CD and it has been great. What a clever idea, the 100 best of everything. How sad that would be. I like how the narrator slowly reveals all the restrictions of the society. And the voice belonging to a teen is making the story quite unique in point of view and that is making this a great story. I am about 1/2 way through.

The way that the narrator describes her struggles to do what is expected is very touching.

message 46: by [deleted user] (new)

I really enjoyed Matched and Birthmarked, they sucked me in, not like Hunger games but they r up there!

message 47: by Sooz (new)

Sooz i just finished Veracity. i can't remember if a member in this group mentioned it or not .... i know it was mentioned in the Apocalypse Whenever group i also belong to, but Veracity definitely belongs in the dystopian genre rather than post apocalyptic. while there is an event that radically alters the makeup of society it is hardly in the same category as The Road or The Stand.

Veracity's society has seen personal freedoms eroded, one after the other, in place of increased national security. this is very much a post 9/11 novel. it also draws on Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine that states in times of stress, a society is willing to trade freedom for security. a fearful people will give the government powers it would never consider giving away during stable times.

it's a pretty good read .... check it out
Veracity by Laura Bynum

message 48: by Julie (new)

Julie S. | 41 comments That sounds pretty good. Thanks for mentioning it Sooz.

I'm reading The Roar by Emma Clayton . It's probably considered YA.

It focuses on a society, specifically a brother and sister, that experienced The Animal Plague about fifty years before the book started. The Animal Plague was an animal disease (like rabies times a thousand) where all the animals attacked and killed humans. So now humans live in cramped houses inside The Wall. There are some mysterious things going on. I smell a conspiracy...

message 49: by Julie (new)

Julie S. | 41 comments I'm baaaaaack...

I posted earlier about The Roar. Now that I'm done with it, I have more to say. If you have some young ones (9-13ish) that you want to introduce to some dystopias, this might be one to include.

message 50: by Julie (new)

Julie S. | 41 comments Patrick, that one looks interesting. I'll have to read it sometime.

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