Regardless of how hard you’ve been hit with “The Hunger Games” mania, there’s only so many times you can read about Katniss’s exploits without wanting something new. Luckily there is a plethora of novels to fulfill your dystopian desire. Dystopian novels such as “The Hunger Games” are a literary genre that presents an unfavorable society, often set in a hypothetical future. Instead of rereading “The Hunger Games” this summer, give these four dystopian books a try.
For the moviegoer: “Divergent” by Veronica Roth
If there’s one dystopian poised to become the blockbuster, it is “Divergent.” “Divergent” is set in a world divided into five factions based on different virtues. When it comes time to choose a faction, Tris forgoes her parents’ selfless Abnegation faction for the brave Dauntless faction. Tris initially enjoys her Dauntless training but eventually learns that this perfectly divided world isn’t quite so perfect. This fast-paced, impossible-to-put-down novel is a perfect beach read. Be sure to read it before the story hits the big screen in 2014.
For the video game lover: “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline
With copious pop culture references and a virtual reality setting, “Ready Player One” is tons of geeky fun. This dystopian set in 2044 describes a future in which the OASIS, a virtual reality paradise, is the only escape from a gloomy real world. Despite the fact that it has remained unsolved for years, Wade is determined to solve a massive treasure hunt hidden within the OASIS. When one day he finds the first puzzle, everything starts to change. “Ready Player One” is “Second Life” meets “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” and the result is a ridiculously fun adventure.
For the adult fiction fan: “Never Let Me Go” by Kazuo Ishiguro
While there’s no shortage of dystopian novels, it can be hard to find a good adult one in the sea of young adult fiction. For those looking for a slightly more serious read, “Never Let Me Go” is an excellent choice. This beautiful novel is the story of Kathy’s time at Hailsham boarding school. The dystopian aspect may initially be hard to see, but as the novel progresses, the true nature of Hailsham becomes clear. Grab a box of tissues before reading this tear-jerking dystopian drama.
For the classicist: “1984” by George Orwell
It’s easy to dismiss classics as boring, but “1984” is a chilling dystopian well worth reading. First published in 1949, “1984” features a speculative totalitarian future governed by an all-seeing leader known as Big Brother. It follows Winston and his attempts to rebel against Big Brother. If you’ve never taken the time to read this classic, give it a try this summer.
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