Tag Archives: Dystopia

Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology, and the Fate of the Nation by James Howard Kunstler

Synopsis: Kunstler’s latest jeremiad about how America is unprepared for what will happen when we run out of oil. Review: It took me forever to finish Too Much Magic because I get so anxious thinking about all of this stuff. I am definitely mindful that I want my girls to learn traditional skills like cooking, sewing, knitting, building, and the like because I just don’t know what kind of future they will inherit. I am definitely a little obsessed with Kunstler and I’m not sure…

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Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Synopsis: After escaping from the repressive regime seeking to outlaw love, Lena joins the resistance and gets a dangerous assignment. Review: Pandemonium definitely suffered from middle book blues. I loved Delirium but I am not confident that the series will end up knocking my socks off. I’ll definitely read the third book whenever it comes out, though! Share on Facebook

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Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Synopsis: Lena is eagerly anticipating her upcoming surgery to have her ability to love removed–until she falls in love. Review: Delirium is part one of a trilogy, so I have to reserve judgement until it’s over. I did really enjoy it and immediately downloaded Pandemonium. I loved Before I Fall and it seems like Lauren Oliver is one of those writers with a million stories inside her. Bring it! Share on Facebook

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XVI by Julia Karr

Synopsis: Nina Oberon doesn’t want to turn 16, when she’ll be tattooed and expected to become sexually active, but a family tragedy puts her in touch with an underground movement to reform society at any cost. Review: XVI raises a lot of really fascinating issues with identity, coming of age, the exploitation of women, gender roles, and power. Unfortunately, the plotting really faltered near the end. I gave the sequel, Truth, a try but the plotting in that one was even less inspiring and I…

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Ascent by Amy Kinzer (The Party Series, Book 1)

Synopsis: Three teens are recruited for an elite leadership training program that will allow them to go back in time and change the moments they regret the most. Review: Wow, Ascent is a fantastic deal–only 99 cents for Kindle! You’d think that such a low price would indicate low quality, but that’s hardly the case. Amy Kinzer‘s writing can certainly compete with traditionally published authors of YA dystopian fiction. I hope she’s working on the next book, because I am a big fan! Share on…

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Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Synopsis: When the eccentric creator of the virtual reality world that has become more real than the real world dies without an heir, the nerds of the world race to discover a hidden easter egg that will unlock his fortune. Review: So. Fun. Ready Player One was an absolute treat of a book–compulsively readable and fabulously geeky. The hero is Wade, known in the virtual world called OASIS as “Parzival,” a high school student who has dedicated his whole life to hunting for the hidden…

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Dark Parties by Sara Grant

Synopsis: In a dystopia under a sealed dome where inbreeding has left everyone looking very similar, one girl looks for the truth about the world outside. Review: Dark Parties has a decent enough concept, and is executed well enough, but Neva’s plight didn’t strike a chord with me. Perhaps it was the world-building which felt thin and undercooked. I love dystopian YA, but am growing fearful that the genre has played out. It’s not enough to have an idea and be able to write. When…

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Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke

Synopsis: Aliens take over the world with nothing but benevolence and peace, but are the changes they bring ultimately good for the human race? Review: I listened to the audio version of Childhood’s End thanks to a sale on Audible. I was really hooked the whole time, despite Clarke’s detached style. I felt the story held up mostly well, some 60 years after publication. However, Clarke was unable to imagine how radically sexual and gender politics would change in that time, and so the personal…

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Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Synopsis: Now in the hands of rebel forces, Katniss Everdeen becomes the symbol for the battle against the Capitol, even as the human toll of her actions in the arena and out begins to break her sanity. Review: First reads of final books are always tough to evaluate, because desperation to have story questions answered (Team Gale/Team Peeta) make it hard to slow down and enjoy the ride. Mockingjay is much more action-y than the previous two books, and the pacing is fast fast fast.…

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Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Synopsis: A professional “carer” recalls her idyllic school days, which mask a horror that she and her friends “know but don’t know.” Review: Never Let Me Go is one of my favorite all-time books, and this is the third time I’ve read it. Big life upheavals, like having a baby, always send me back to books I know I’ll enjoy, as a way to comfort myself through a major life transition. If you’ve read it, you’ll know that it’s a strange one to read while…

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