Saturday, January 28, 2012

Dystopian vs. Post-Apocalyptic Week 3: The Brain Lair: Dystopia or Not Dystopia?

Today, I have the honor of sharing a guest post by one of our tweeps, Kathy @thebrainlair.  This feature would have never happened if it wasn't for her.  Let me have her share with you how it began and her thoughts on the discussion: 

I remember it as if it was December 19th. Ah – we were on twitter – cause, you know, we like being on twitter, and this happened:

But Kellee (which is the proper way to spell her name as noted by her Twitter ID!) would not let it go!

That started a great conversation between us, @mentortexts, and @KimMcCollum about what makes a book dystopia versus post apocalyptic.  After our talk I went with @mentortexts definition 

Though it’s really hard to have a novel if there is no world… So we’ll change that to civilization as we know it ended.  Now, I’ve always enjoyed Dystopias or at least I thought I did. But, according to Jen, maybe what I really enjoyed are Post-Apocalyptic novels. Hmm…take a look at three of my favorite novels:

The Uglies (Uglies Trilogy, 1) by Scott Westerfeld
Uglies (Uglies, #1)

The Uglies are about a future where at the age of 16 the citizens get an operation that turn them beautiful. They not only look better, they get to move to a better place and their life changes for the “better”.  A group of “Uglies” decide they like it that way. Where are these people hiding and what are their plans?
Dystopia or Not Dystopia?

The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, 1) by Patrick Ness
The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1)

Todd finds out that the family that raised him is not his real family. They were keeping a secret from him and now he needs to run if he wants to survive.  Oh and every man in his community, and there are only men, can hear the thoughts of every other man in the community!
Dystopia or Not Dystopia?

Divergent (Divergent, 1) by Veronica Roth
Divergent (Divergent, #1)

Tris lives in Chicago. It’s totally ruined Chicago and people are divided into one of five factions. Or they are factionless. You choose your faction at 16 and if you don’t choose with your parents – you never see them. Also, you take a test to help you pick a faction. And this test? Would you kill the…
Dystopia or Not Dystopia?

I know what you are thinking – Why do things always happen when you are 16? Ha, kidding, but you are thinking – how can we tell whether these books are dystopias? You can’t unless you read more about the book or sometimes look at the verso page (the copyright page – it’s on the reVERSe of the title page) and read the summary and the subjects, if they are listed.

But, ultimately, that’s not really how I decide what I want to read!  I usually pick a book based on the summary, the cover, and the title. I love a good title! And don’t forget twitter! If you are looking for something good to read – Dystopia or Not Dystopia – check out hashtags #nerdybookclub and #bookaday. You know,  I don’t go looking for dystopias but I do enjoy them when I read them – same with post-apocalyptic titles.  I just like finding something good to read!  
By the way, all those books ARE Dystopias, FTW!

The Brain Lair, or KB, is a middle school librarian with dreams of becoming a bookstore owner. You've heard of a "childrens" bookstore but have you heard of a "teens" bookstore?  That's what she wants to do. Until that day arrives she keeps busy supervising the school's morning news crew, running bookclubs, subbing at the local public library, moderating a Goodreads Mock Printz group, blogging with a few teens at The Brain Lair, tweeting, and being a mom to one crazy-busy and totally awesome 16 year old. Oh, and she likes to read. A lot. Especially dystopias. But really anything. Almost. Unless there are talking animals. Wait, she loved The Familiars and The Cheshire Cheese Cat.  So maybe she does like reading anything. She is going to stop typing now.

Kathy's enthusiasm is contagious! You can see why her motivation is what helped me decided to start this feature.  Thank you Kathy for contributing!


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